Miami angler Ross Reeder released six bonefish, one permit and one tarpon to win grand champion honors at the Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Celebrity Fishing Tournament that ended Sept. 8 in the Florida Keys.
Guided by Captain Dave Denkert of Islamorada, Fla., Reeder and teammate Wade Davis of Lake Worth, Fla., also earned the team grand championship. Davis contributed four bonefish and a tarpon to the team's tally.
Reeder praised Denkert's knack for taking advantage of weather and water conditions, saying it served him well, particularly on the tournament's first rainy morning.
"We caught a permit the first thing in the morning blind-casting a jig, which is almost unheard-of," said Reeder.
In addition to individual and team wins, Reeder scored the most bonefish releases and took top permit honors based on time.
The runner-up grand champion angler was Jim Bokor Jr. of Buffalo, N.Y., who released three tarpon, one permit and one bonefish. Fishing with Upper Keys guide Jared Raskob, Bokor also scored the largest number of tarpon releases as well as the biggest bonefish and biggest permit.
Veteran tournament participant Bonnie Christ of Alexandria, Va., was named the top female angler.
The S.L.A.M. drew 17 boats whose anglers released 26 bonefish, 12 tarpon and seven permit.
The tournament is part of an annual Keys trilogy of Redbone challenges that raises money for cystic fibrosis treatment and research. The series continues with the Baybone Celebrity Tournament Oct. 11-13 in Key Largo, Fla., and the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Nov. 1-3 in Islamorada. See www.redbone.org for more information on how you can get involved.
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