Thirty young anglers had a phenomenal fishing day July 28 as they caught 246 redfish and four bonefish while fishing the annual RedGhost Stalk based at the Islamorada Fishing Club. The RedGhost Stalk has two divisions, young adult for ages 17-25 and juniors for ages 9-16. There is a female category and fly category as well. The tournament benefits IFACT, the Islamorada Fishing and Conservation Trust, which gave $25,000 to area youth in college scholarships last year, according to Brooke Black, RedGhost organizer.
The winners in the young adult division were:
John McTurk, with Capt. Alonzo Sotillo, first place with 2,430 points; Jill Preihs with Capt. Dave Denkert. second; and Kelli Kleis with Capt. Kevin Kleis, third. The female grand champion was Preihs who caught a “slam” (a bonefish and redfish), and the fly champion was Brad Solis of Miami who turned 17 on July 27, the kick-off day of the tournament.
The winners in the junior division were:
Cyler McVay guided by Capt. Larry Sydnor, first place with 4,200 points; Colton Bechtel with Capt. Robert Collins, second; and K.C Spaulding guided by Capt. Bou Bosso, third. The female winner was Lina Hutchisson with her father Mike; while Spaulding captured the fly division.
Each year, sponsors step up to treat youngsters to this competitive day of fishing, while emphasizing fun and conservation. The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust sponsored the Conservation Award which went to Mike Shea guided by Maxx Dixon. The pair hopped into the water to save a gasping fish by reviving it with a swishing motion.
For more information about IFACT and the RedGhost Stalk, see www.redghoststalk.com.