Florida Keys Fishing Tournament Coverage
Islamorada Sport Fishing
contributing writer John Geiger.
You’ve got the wide open sea before you, and you need to catch
swordfish. Where do you start?
Capt.. Randy Towe let water temperature be his guide. A steamy 87-degree
pocket turned out to be the hot spot as his team beat 22 others to win
the second annual Islamorada Swordfish Tournament on Friday and
about 2,000 feet of water, his angling team caught seven swordfish over
the two-night tournament for 726.2 points. Two of those game fish were
more than 60 inches, jaw to fork, so they could be weighed in. The
heavier tipped the scales at 122 pounds, the other 105.
Although they were not the heaviest of the tournament, the combined
points for the five releases and two weighed fish gave the team an edge
over the second-place team, the red-hot, Miami-based “Get Lit” fishing
team, which finished with 527 points.
area a great bunch of fishermen,” said Towe. And I’m glad we pulled it
off, he said.
Ironically, with thousands of nautical miles in the Straits of Florida
to choose from, the two expert teams ended up fishing near each other
during most of the 15 hours of fishing time.
on his custom “Quit Yer Bitchin’” and Capt. John Mulcahy on the renown
“Get Lit” fished about 36 miles out in some of the warmest water in the
warmer the water the better,” said Towe. “Some nights you don’t find it
and you have no choice. But if you can find that higher temperature,
it’s a good barometer where you should start fishing.”
teams did not make long drifts, but stayed about 3 or 4 miles from the
warm water.. A southeasterly wind slowed their Florida Current float to
about 1.5- to 2 knots and kicked up some chop.
tournament started at 7:30 p.m. Friday. After lines out was called at
3:30 a.m., “Get Lit” was in first with five swordfish. Towe’s team
hooked up with had five, but lost two in the fights. On the second
night, Towe’s team hooked up with five and landed or released all of
them. One of those was the 121-pounder.
Lit” got skunked.
Towe’s boat were New Jersey anglers Dennis Dering, who caught three, and
13-year-old Dennis Dering Jr., who caught two and won top junior angler
award. Robert “Skinny” Morrison, of Islamorada, served as mate and third
angler, and caught two swords, one of which was the 121-pounder.
heaviest swordfish of the tournament -- a 160-pounder -- was weighed at
Holiday Isle Marina by the Naples-based team on the “Shock and Awe.”
Second heaviest was a 154.8-pounder caught on the “Miss Britt” out of
skipper was Towe and top mate was Morrison.
angler was Peter Miller on the “Get Lit.” He caught three swords..
total 22 boats, caught 30 swordfish. Twenty-three were released and
seven weighed in. Each release counted for 100 points. Legal-sized
swordfish weighed in counted for 1 point per pound.
year, the “Get Lit” team won second place. Capt. Ray Rocher was at the
helm when the team caught three swordfish to win top angler and most
the team winner in 2004 was Islamorada Capt. George Mitchell’s team on
“Snake Dancer.” They caught and released three swordfish, and weighed in
Islamorada tournament is the first leg of the three-tournament Florida
Swordfish Series. The second leg is the Miami Swordfish Tournament set
for Sept, 15. A third tournament is planned for the West Palm Beach
area. In addition to cash prizes in each tournament, the series winner
could pocket as much as $30,000, tournament organizers said.