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Aces' 34 sailfish releases wins 50th anniversary of Islamorada Tournament

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Anglers caught and released an incredible 330 sailfish during three fishing days in the 50th annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament that ended Sunday in the Florida Keys.

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First place went to Miami's 4 Aces team with 34 releases. Captain John Dudas of Miami led Miami anglers Peter Adrian, Christian Adrian and Robbie Ramirez, with Jeff Liederman of Key Biscayne, Fla., to victory and a check for more than $40,000, with the trophy sponsored by Caribee Boat Sales of Islamorada.

The teammates set a tournament release record as well as earning Peter Adrian the high-point angler award for releasing 16 sails. His 14-year-old son, Christian, released 12 to garner a junior angler title in his first-ever tournament.

Second place overall went to Islamorada's Catch 22 with 23 releases. Captain Scott Stanczyk led teammates Mike Slocum of Philadelphia and Kevin Clark and Sam Worden, both of Traverse City, Mich. The team earned more than $17,000 for its efforts. Mates were Hunter Barron and Sam Worden.

For the second consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale's Debbie David earned the top female angler award with six releases. She fished off the Relentless with Captain Paul Ross of Islamorada at the helm.

Return celebrity guest Captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski, skipper of the fishing vessel Cape Caution from the popular Discovery Channel television show "Deadliest Catch," presented trophies.

The 50th edition of the tournament drew 25 boats and almost 100 anglers, according to tournament director Dianne Harbaugh.

The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is the first leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship series. The series also includes the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament set for Jan. 16-18 and the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament Jan. 22-23, where the series champion is to be crowned.

Additional winners included:

High Point Mate - Trophy sponsored Yamaha Outboards
Mates: Jeff Liederman and Robbie Ramirez
Boat: 4 Aces
Total Released Fish: 34

Third Place – Trophy Sponsored by Mangrove Mike’s Cafe

Angler/Residence Randy Hamilton/Orange Beach, AL, Matt Maier and Tyler Carr/Pike Rose, AL, Rick Willis/Montgomery AL, Frank Juliano/Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Ben Ekblom, Tavernier, FL
Captains: Scott Stoky and Greg Eklund
Mate: Jordan Wolk and Ben Ekblom
Boat: Close Call fishing on the Cloud Nine
Total Released Fish: 20

High Point Angler – Trophy sponsored King Sailfish Mounts
& Bill Hirni Memorial Trophy

Angler: Peter Adrian
Residence: Miami, FL
Captain: John Dudas
Mate: Jeff Leiderman and Robbie Ramirez
Boat: 4 Aces
Total Released Fish: 16

Second Place Junior Angler- VMC Hooks

Angler: Shawn MacMullin Jr
Residence: Key Largo
Captain: Shawn MacMullin Sr.
Boat: Prime Time
Total Released Fish: 9 sail releases

Most Tagged Fish – Trophy Sponsored by Coral Bay Marina

Anglers/Residence: Brian DeVries and Kyle Bradley/ Grand Rapids, MI. Dan Flynn and Jesse LeBoeuf of Tavernier, FL
Captain: Rob Dixon
Mates: Dan Flynn and Jesse LeBoeuf
Boat: Challenger 2
Total Tagged Fish: 6 on time

Most Outstanding Catch – Trophy sponsored by Whale Harbor

Angler: Sherman Huffman
Residence: Cooper City, FL
Captain: Billy Bishop
Boat: Sally Margaret
Species: Wahoo 21.9 pounds

Largest Tuna – Trophy sponsored by World Wide Sportsman

Angler: Christian Adrian Junior Angler
Residence: Miami, FL
Captain: John Dudas
Boat: 4 Aces
Weight: 16.3 pounds

Largest Mackerel – Trophy sponsored by Caloosa Cove Marina and Hardware

Angler: Kenny Stiles
Residence: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Captain: Alex Adler
Boat: Kalex
Weight: 24.4 pounds

Largest Dolphin – Trophy sponsored by Barefoot Baits and Fishing Services

Angler: Kenny Longaker
Residence: Islamorada, FL
Captain: Robert Collins
Boat: Last Dance
Weight: 46.6 pounds

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