As the 2013 Key West Fishing Tournament nears its kick-off challenge April 5-7, and continues through November 30 with anglers competing to catch nearly 40 species of fish, the tally of its 2012 winners is complete.
The 2012 Key West Fishing Tournament drew more than 1,500 entries from 659 participating anglers.
For the second consecutive year, an Alabama man was named the men's out-of-county master angler in the Key West Fishing Tournament. Ted Dasher of Birmingham, a tournament veteran who fished primarily with Captain Brian Bennett on the Short Hop, also took top honors in the unlimited division of the long-running tournament that spans eight months.
Dashers accomplishments in the 2012 tournament included catching the unlimited division's heaviest gag grouper at 31.8 pounds, cubera snapper at 28 pounds and horse-eye jack at 18 pounds. In addition, he scored a division-leading 17-pound mutton snapper, 39-pound cobia and 39.8-pound kingfish.
The men's in-county master angler, also for the second consecutive year, was Bob Harvey of Key West. Among other accomplishments, he racked up the most releases with 79, including 34 tarpon and 38 barracuda.
While the tournament's two most notable Pee Wee anglers may be small in stature, their accomplishments loomed large in 2012. Allyson and Matthew Poldy, 10-year-old twins from Oak Hill, Va., each have earned Pee Wee out-of-county master angler honors in past years.
In 2012, Allyson Poldy took the title after scoring the division's most releases at 26. Matthew Poldy earned an International Game Fish Association male small-fry world record for catching a 23.5-pound black grouper.
Longtime tournament participant Skyler Robinson of Ocean Beach, N.Y., was named junior out-of-county master angler, repeating his 2011 win, and took top honors in the spin division. His achievements included catching a 26-pound barracuda, 8-pound jack crevalle, 3-pound ladyfish and 4-pound sea trout on spin tackle as well as an 18-pound permit and 5-pound bonefish on 12-pound line.
Ten-year-old Preston Giacobbi of Key West earned the title of junior in-county master angler. He scored notable red snappers in three tackle classes as well as his division's heaviest red snapper at 8.84 pounds and heaviest yellowtail at 3.72 pounds.
Preston's mother Elissa Giacobbi, also of Key West, was named the women's in-county master angler for the second consecutive year. Her catches included division-leading cero mackerel in three tackle classes and a 24.8-pound black grouper and 16-pound kingfish that were the divisions heaviest. She also scored divisional records for a 1.75-pound sea trout caught on 20-pound line and a 2-pound sea trout on 8-pound line.
Nick Trapp of Grand Rapids, Mich., caught the tournament's heaviest fish a 58-pound amberjack while brothers Larry Langohr of Neenah, Wis., and Alan Langohr of Wayzata, Minn., tied for releasing the tournament's most permit with 30 apiece.
Captain Chip Veach of Key West, skipper of the Super Grouper, earned top overall guide honors in the general division. In addition, he led his anglers to the most general division releases at 118 and guided the most general division winners at 24.
Key West's Captain Bill Wickers III of the Linda D V scored overall guide honors in the light general division, as well as guiding his anglers to the most sailfish releases at 83 and most marlin releases with three.
Captain Kyle Kelso with Key West's Dream Catcher Charters earned the overall guide achievement award in the flats division. He also guided his anglers to the most flats division releases at 276.