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 15-17 at the Elks Lodge, Tavernier, FL. Participants came to learn about fishing and practice their skills on the water, catching 160 fish and releasing 109 for a total of 269 fish in the Fishing Fever Tournament.
Winners of the LLGF Fishing Fever tournament were:
Top Offshore: Diane Odell, Cocoa Beach, FL 25 lb. Wahoo on Sea Horse with Capt. Rick Rodriguez
Second Place Offshore: Robin Hinote, Avon Park, FL 14.5 lb. Mahi on Doghouse with Capt. Jesse Cromer
Top Offshore Release: Joni Craig, Gainsville, FL sailfish on Phoebe with Capt. Frank Drudi
Top Inshore: Dawn Miller, Punta Gorda, FL 32 inch snook on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales
Second Place Inshore: Julie Mayer, Taneytown, MD 30 inch redfish and Dawn Miller, Punta Gorda, FL 30 inch snook, both on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales (tie)
Top Junior Angler: Anabelle Goulart, Belle Isle, FL – blackfun tuna
The University kicked off on Friday with a meet-and-greet social featuring networking, fundraisers and a Potluck Appetizer Contest.
Saturday’s events began with classroom presentations on fishing basics by Capt. Lee Lavery, offshore fishing by 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, net casting and more were available for hands-on practice.
Saturday events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party hosted by Seaside Glassworks, Islamorada, FL.
On Friday and Sunday, offshore or inshore, participants embarked on a fishing adventure out of Whale Harbor Marina, Islamorada, FL and other locations, followed by a fish fillet demonstration. Fish included sailfish, mahi, wahoo, blackfin tuna, yellowtail snapper, snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, sharks and more.
Betty Bauman, Founder of Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing commented, “This event was designed for beginners who can win a prize in our Fishing Fever tournament, even if it was their first fish ever caught or released.”
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, Penn, TACO Metals, Lowrance and Fish Florida. Largest Annual Sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, ICOM, CCA Florida STAR, Bob’s Machine Shop, AFTCO, Costa, Smith Optics, Frogg Toggs, Hubbards Marina, Star Brite and Future Angler Foundation. Local sponsors were Breezy Palms, Seaside Glass Works and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Fishing Report: “Caught” can either be landed or released. Seas on Friday were a moderate chop, on Sunday they were flat. 160 fish were caught, 109 were released for a total of 269 fish.
Friday Oct. 15 Full Day Fishing – Offshore:
Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: 1 mahi, 7 blackfin tuna. Released: 1 wahoo, 2 skipjack tuna, a shark, 4 jack crevalle.
Dog House/Capt. Jesse Cromer: 13 mahi, 3 blackfin tuna. Released: 25. Robin Hinote, Avon Park, FL took 2nd place offshore with her 14.5 lb. Mahi.
Phoebe/Capt. Frank Drudi: 15 mahi, 1 blackfin tuna. Released: Sailfish estimated at 65 lbs. by Joni Craig, Gainesville, FL winning first place release, her first sailfish ever.
Kay Kay IV/Capt. Don Chittick: 18 yellowtail snapper, 31 vermillion snapper, 1 amberjack, 1 almaco jack.
Friday Oct. 15 Full Day Fishing – Inshore:
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: 5 snook, 1 redfish, 2 mangrove snapper, 2 trout. Released: 15 snook as well as other species. Lori Limberg, Odell, IL caught her first inshore grand slam with redfish, snook and trout! Dawn Miller, Punta Gorda, FL caught a 32 inch snook, winning first place inshore. She also caught a 30 inch snook, tying for second place inshore.
Fintastic/Capt. Mike Patterson: Released: 5 snook, 2 mangrove snapper, 10 total including other species.
Sunday Oct. 17, ¾ day fishing – Offshore:
Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Diane Odell, Cocoa Beach, FL got first place offshore with her 25 lb. wahoo. The catch included 9 mahi, 1 blackfin tuna, 4 skipjack tuna and an almaco jack.
Dog House/Capt. Jesse Cromer: 1 eight lb. blackfin tuna and 2 yellowtail snapper.
Costa Morada: 1 blackfin tuna, 1 shark release
Marlin Darlin/Capt. Jeannie Towne: Barracuda
Reelaxin/Kelley McMann: One 15 inch mutton snapper and 36 inch barracuda (released).
Sunday Oct. 17, ¾ day fishing – Inshore:
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: 19 releases including 6 snook, 2 redfish and a 35 inch goliath grouper by Lori Limberg, Odel, IL. Julie Mayer, Taneytown, MD caught a 30 inch redfish, tying for second place inshore.
Capt. Jeremy Mathis/Ankle Deep Charters: 5 releases including a 27 inch snook and 5 lb. jack.
Fintastic/Capt. Phil Leonard: 4 redfish and 8 mangrove snapper kept. Released: 12 snook, 3 redfish, 2 sharks and other species.