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Michigan Angler wins Burdine's Fun Fish Event in Florida Keys

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The dolphin and tuna bite has been hot in the Florida Keys, and capitalizing on the seasonal fishery were several tournament anglers.

Chris Costantino of Ypsilanti, Mich., won $700 in the adult division of the Burdine's Waterfront Dolphin & Blackfin Tuna Tournament that ended June 29 in Marathon, the middle of the Florida Keys island chain. Earning first place with a 26.0-pound dolphin, the part-time Marathon resident fished on the Kaya with his daughter Amanda Costantino, 23, who took third place and $200 cash for a 25.2-pound fish.

The second-place prize of $350 went to Michael Genovese of Lantana, Fla., who also caught a 25.2-pound fish but placed ahead of Amanda Costantino based on time. Genovese fished on the White Marlin.

Ten-year-old junior angler Andrew Bronsord of Troy, Ohio, nearly swept that division, taking both the first- and second-place prizes for fish that weighed 19.4 and 16.6 pounds, respectively. He also caught the tournament's largest blackfin tuna at 9.2 pounds. Bronsord, whose winnings totaled more than $1,000, fished from the Tunaskin.

The family-friendly Middle Keys event attracted 33 anglers for the weekend fun.

The Keys are bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Straits of Florida on the other. Outside the coral reef, the water plunges to depths of 1,500 feet or more. Here, colorful dolphin fish teem just below the surface along mats of floating Sargassum grass or pieces of driftwood.

For more information on tournament fishing, visit www.fla-keys.com.

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