More than 40 aspiring anglers came from Florida as well as other states to learn from the pros at the award winning “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!®” Keys University, October 23-25 at the Elks Lodge, Tavernier, FL.
Winners of the LLGF Fishing Fever tournament were:
Top Offshore: Jan Morris, Rotunda West, FL 23.26 lb. wahoo on Sea Horse with Capt. Rick Rodriguez
Second Place Offshore: Noelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL 13.8 lb. King Mackerel on Blue Chip Too with Capt. Skip Bradeen
Top Inshore: Noelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL 30.5 in. snook on Ankle Deep Charters with Capt. Jeremy Mathis
Second Place Inshore: Anita Laico, Singer Island, FL 31 in. snook on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales (top prize was for those fishing 2 days)
Top Inshore Release: Anita Laico, Singer Island, FL 40 in. tarpon on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales (top prize was for those fishing 2 days)
Top Junior Angler: Anabelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL
Top Party Boat: Vivian Villanueva, Cooper City, FL on Captain Michael
The University kicked off on Friday with a meet-and-greet social featuring networking, fundraisers and an incredible Master Chef Appetizer Contest. First Place went to Nancy Rudick, Pompano Beach, FL for Deviled Eggs.
Saturday’s events began with classroom presentations on offshore, bottom (Capt Jeanne Towne) and inshore fishing, followed by lunch and hands-on fishing skills until 4 pm. Skills such as releasing, conservation, knot tying, bait rigging, spin casting, fly casting, net casting, gaffing grapefruits and more were available for hands-on practice.
Saturday events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party with food and fun hosted by Seaside Glassworks, Islamorada, FL.
On Sunday, participants embarked on a fishing adventure out of Whale Harbor Marina, Islamorada, FL followed by a fish fillet demonstration. A total of 180 fish were caught, with 101 released. Fish included sailfish, mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna, yellowtail snapper, king mackerel, tarpon, snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, sharks and more. On Friday was a Bonus Fishing Day.
“It was the best day of my life!” exclaimed Jan Morris, a novice anger who was not expecting to win the Top Offshore prize.
Featured on national network television and more, the series is supported by major partners including Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Take Me Fishing, Vamos a Pescar, Mercury, Magic Tilt trailers, Shearwater Boats, Power-Pole and Fish Florida. Largest Annual Sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, Sunrise Resort & Marina and Future Angler Foundation. Local sponsors were Breezy Palms, Seaside Glass Works, Dog House Sport Fishing Charters, Calusa Cast Nets and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Fishing Report: “Caught” can either be landed or released. Even with rough seas due to a tropical system, there were 180 fish caught, 101 released.
Friday Oct. 23 Full Day Fishing
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: The ladies caught large 3 jack crevalle ranging from 27 to 30.5 inches, the largest caught by Noelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL to clinch the Top Inshore award. They also caught a sea trout, 2 mangrove snappers, 5 ladyfish and 3 catfish.
Fintastic/Capt. Phil Leonard: The ladies caught 3 snook up to 22 inches, a redfish, 16 mangrove snapper and a barracuda. The largest snook was released by Stacey Hammes, Berlin, NJ.
Sat. Oct. 24 Offshore:
Blue Chip Too/Capt. Skip Bradeen: The ladies hooked 3 sailfish! One came to the leader for angler Noelle Goulart, who also landed the second place offshore for a king mackerel weighing 13.8 lbs. Two other kingfish were caught weighing 8-13 lbs. The ladies also caught 11 bonito, 3 rainbow runners and a yellowtail snapper.
Party Boat/Miss Islamorada: The ladies caught 7 yellowtail snapper up to 10 inches, 7 grunts and 2 porgies.
Sunday Oct. 20, ¾ day fishing.
Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Jan Morris, Rotunda West, FL got first place offshore with her 23.26 lb. wahoo. Overall the ladies caught 1 wahoo, 13 backfin tuna, 4 mahi, 2 skipjack tuna, 2 large barracudas and one bonito. Jenny Nopp, Islamorada, FL caught a 13.45 lb. mahi, the third heaviest offshore fish. Holly Smith, Key Largo, FL caught a 11.2 lb. mahi.
Dog House/Capt. Jesse Cromer: Ladies caught 8 yellowtail snapper. Pam Ford, Weston, FL caught a 28 inch cero mackerel and Dawn Miller, Lehigh Acres, FL caught a 25 inch king mackerel. They also caught ballyhoo and blue runners.
Captain Michael: Fishing with the Penn Passion combo she won at LLGF, Stephanie Gauthtier, Palmetto Bay, FL caught 2 mangrove snapper, a yellowtail snapper and a kingfish. They also caught a total of 6 grunts.
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: Anglers released two tarpon from 31 to 40 inches and caught a 31 inch snook. Anita Laico, Singer Island, FL caught the 2nd place 31 inch snook, first place was based on 2 days of fishing.
Capt. Jeremy Mathis/Ankle Deep Charters: Ladies caught 9 snook, 4 jack crevalle and a mangrove snapper. Noelle Goulart caught the first place snook at 30.5 inches for those fishing two days.