Fishing & Boating News
(May. 08, 2003 - ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys) Mike Gallops, a family physician from Naples, Fla., bested 31 other anglers to claim grand champion honors Wednesday, May 7, at the Rolex/International Game Fish Association Inshore Championship in the Florida Keys. The three-day tournament attracted top light-tackle anglers who won at least one of 47 qualifying events worldwide. A rotating-guide format had competitors fishing with a different captain each day while using fly, spin or baitcasting tackle. Gallops caught and released a total of 11 redfish, six snook and a bonefish. In 2001, he finished third and last year he was runner-up. "Consistency was the key," said Gallops, who used artificial baits to catch all but the bonefish. "I had three great guides over these three days who combined their strengths with mine." Gallops fished with Captain Larry Sydnor of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., during the final round. He also credited captains Jim Wilcox and Rusty Albury, both of Islamorada, for productive days in the first and second rounds, respectively. The runner-up grand champion as well as the overall release angler with the most points was Jim Bokor of Tavernier, Fla. The event's defending champion, Bokor caught seven redfish, two tarpon and a bonefish. Day-one leader Mitch Howell of Plantation, Fla., finished third, and one of the youngest competitors, Brooke Denkert , a 17-year-old Miami high school student, caught nine redfish and two snook to capture fourth place. "I knew coming into this tournament I was facing some of the world's best anglers," Denkert said. "I worked with three awesome guides and each helped me to better my score each day."
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