REDSNOOK TOURNAMENT RESULTS
1. Capt. Stoner/Ison/Kuhn (3955), 2. Capt. Maloney/Wajda/Latham (3885), 3. Capt. McCubbin/Lamonakis/Rowe (3600).
1. Hanks/T.Pruitt (4060), 2. Novinski/Krishan (3325), 3. Platt/Bechtol (2895)
1. Capt. Bostick/Meland/Kukk (3670), 2. Capt. Faulkner/Sullivan/Dolwick (3590), 3. Capt. Friday/McLean/Huling (3065).
1. D.Pruitt/Ball (3465), 2. Hill/McMahon (3180), 3. MClean/Sullivan (2750)
1. Capt. Chambers/T. Fulford/P.Fulford (3400), 2. Capt. Giampoali/Brown/Sherwood (3390), 3. Capt. Mihailoff/Preston/Adams (3320)
Jack Kuhn (35-inches)
Troy Pruitt (37-inches)
Thanks to events like Sunday's RedSnook Catch & Release tournament, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida can continue the work that it does protecting the marine habitats of Southwest Florida. According to Conservancy executive director Andrew McElwaine, this year's tournament helped raise approximately $125,000 for the organization's efforts to keep local waters clean and healthy.
"This has been one of the most succesful catch-and-release tournaments in the state, and one of the most successful charity tournaments of its kind anywhere," McElwaine said. "All of the funds raised from this will be restricted to either research of gamefish and their reproductive rates or our water quality work that we do with the state and the federal government trying to get our rivers and bays cleaned up. We could not do the kind of research that we do without this event."
"Today was outstanding," tournament co-chair Lloyd Liggett said. "This is a great event for the Conservancy, it raised a lot of money, and all the teams got two great days on the water. What else could you ask for?"
This year's tournament featured a field of 44 teams, the highest number of participants in the history of the event, competing in five divisions. Jack Kuhn and Mike Ison of Team BMO Bank, fishing with captain Jim Stoner, took first place in the guided bait division. Kuhn, who has won three of the last seven events, also claimed the top fish of the tournament for his 35-inch snook.
"The water out there was beautiful for fishing, very smooth and calm with a light chop in the afternoon. Great day to be on the water," said Kuhn, who found success using mainly ladyfish as the bait of choice.
Tournament veterans Doug Hanks and Troy Pruitt took first place in the unguided bait division thanks to Pruitt's 37-inch red, the top fish in that category. Wayne Meland and John Kukk, fishing with captain Andrew Bostick, claimed the top spot in the guided artificial division, while Derrick Pruitt and Jeff Ball finished first in the unguided division. Pat and Travis Fulford, fishing with Capt. Ken Chambers, eked out the win in the flyfishing category.
"We had fish all day long," Meland said. "Yesterday didn't pick up until mid-morning but today we were catching them from the time we started until the time we had to stop. I think we probably caught 50 snook today and about 25 redfish."
Along with providing participants with a world-class tournament experience, the event helps to bridge the gap between anglers and those tasked with protecting the environment.
"It helps build an alliance between sportsmen and conservationists," McElwaine said. "We think sportsmen were the original conservationists and so we need to keep that alliance strong so that when water quality issues arise the fishing community can help us address it."
"Everyone seemed to catch a lot of fish," Liggett said. "That means the habitat is improving."