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Ellis of Islamorada among captains inducted into IGFA Hall of Fame Feb. 15

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The Fourth Annual IGFA Legendary Captains & Crews Awards Ceremony Feb. 15, recognized captains and crews from around the world that have contributed to sport fishing by invention, outstanding catch or catches, or have set an outstanding example of their trade. Recipients are bestowed with the Tommy Gifford Award, named for the one of the greatest saltwater charter skippers of all time. A sold-out dinner was held at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla.

The 2014 honorees included Capt. Mike Benitez, Capt. Bill Hatch, Capt. Bouncer Smith, Capt. Dennis "Braazaka" Wallace, and Capt. Gary Ellis of Islamorada in the Florida Keys, co-founder of the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series with his wife, Susan, the proceeds of which benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The primary criteria for receiving the LC&C Award from the IGFA is that the captain or crew member must have provided leadership in their trade and have earned the respect of their peers, thus making a meaningful contribution to the sport of recreational angling over an extended period of time. The nominee must demonstrate that he or she has espoused the ethical angling standards stated by the founders of the IGFA. A representative balance should be created wherever possible between various aspects for the sport including but not limited to saltwater/freshwater, inshore/offshore, east coast/west coast/gulf coast, foreign/domestic, coldwater/warmwater.

To nominate a candidate, email Mike Myatt at



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