Anglers at the inaugural Islamorada Spring Classic April 25-26 fished for nine species of fish in Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The Islamorada Fishing Classic Series utilizes a format of guided and non-guided divisions, daily prizes, as well as a junior and teen division for most releases. In two days of fishing, teams released a total of 128 fish.
The event kicked off April 24 with a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres on the beach at the Lorelei Restaurant. Fishing aboard the Key Hopper anglers Mark and Asher Cockerham of Islamorada released a total of 38 fish landing them in the winner’s circle. They released 10 Snapper, 10 Jacks, 2 Redfish, 7 Snook and 9 Trout. At the end of the first day, the Key Hopper team took home the Lobster Trap Art trophy for the Most Releases in the Guided division with a total of 20 releases.
They continued on their winning way with 18 releases, and were awarded most releases once again for the second day. The team cleaned up with first-place trophies from the Lobster Trap Art Gallery in Islamorada and a custom fishing rod and reel. Junior Angler Asher Cockerham landed the largest snapper, a 1.4 pound Grey Snapper and was also awarded Grand Champion Junior Angler for his 18 releases over the two days.
First runner-up team was Captain Lain Goodwin of Dirty Waters Charters from Key Largo, fishing with Greg Moffitt of Tavernier and Ocean City, Md., along with Captain George Clark from Key Largo. The team released a total of 35 fish over the two days: 10 Snapper, 8 Jacks, 3 Redfish, 4 Snook and 10 Trout.
Ron and Donna Lee Farrow from Merrimack N.H. fished with Captain Bill Harbaugh of Tavernier aboard the couple’s boat, the Donna Lee. The team released 32 fish including 10 Snapper, 10 Jacks, 1 Mackerel, 10 Trout and 1 Triple Tail taking home the second runner-up awards.
Tournament Director Dianne Harbaugh founded the Islamorada Classic Series as tournaments devoted to promote fishing for anglers of all ages. The tournaments use a combination of weight and release points that encourages responsible utilization of our resources. The tournament committee thanked The Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar for the exceptional food and service, the Lobster Trap Art Gallery for a spectacular array of awards, and everyone who participated in the 2015 Spring Classic.
Proceeds from the tournament benefit The Good Health Clinic and Voices for the Florida Keys Children.
The Islamorada Fishing Classic is looking forward to next year for the Winter Classic in February, the Spring Classic in April and the addition of the Summer Classic in July. For more information, visit the website: http://www.islamoradaclassic.com/ or find it on Facebook.