Fishing & Boating News

Reel McCoy Team Reels in Victory at Islamorada Sailfish Tournament

by: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy,

(Dec. 09, 2010 - Islamorada, Florida Keys) Anglers aboard the Reel McCoy, skippered by George McElveen, released 16 sailfish during three days of fishing to earn top honors at the 47th annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament that ended Dec. 5 off the Florida Keys. McElveen's team consisted of a trio that has fished the tournament together for three years -- Larry Amoyette from Silver Springs, Fla., Fort Lauderdale's Sean Smith and Kieran Ferrer of Islamorada -- joined by Islamorada's Justin Miller. "We had lots of action on kites and sight-fishing," McElveen said. "Ballyhoo were plentiful out there to feed on. We used live ballyhoo, lots of goggle eyes, and just caught everything that bit." Amoyette, who landed six of the team's fish, said he loves Keys sailfish tournaments like the Islamorada challenge. "For anyone who's had the excitement of catching their first sail, it's completely different and so much more exhilarating," he said. "We really enjoy tournament fishing." Second place went to Team Kalex, scoring 15 sailfish under the guidance of Captain Alex Adler. Teammates were Anthony Delduca of Naples, Fla., Josh Ardis and Jim Verner of Marathon, Fla., and Joe Flynn of Greenwood, S.C. Relentless placed third with Captain Paul Ross at the helm. Jimmy Hendrix of Tavernier, Fla., with Fort Lauderdale anglers Jimmy David, Debbie David and 11-year-old James David, released 13 sailfish. Young James David was named the tournament's high-point junior angler. Team Reel McCoy is to receive an invitation to the 2011 International Game Fish Association Offshore Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Tournament organizer Dianne Harbaugh said the Islamorada competition drew 27 boats and 92 anglers who released 205 sailfish. The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is the first leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship. Next in the series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament scheduled for Jan. 20-22, followed Jan. 27 by the IFC Sailfish Tournament.