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Silent Hunter wins Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament with six sailfish

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Team Silent Hunter, led by Captain BJ Meyer of Marathon, won $5,000 as the top professional division prize at the annual Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament that ended April 6.

Cash prizes were awarded to both professional charter and amateur noncharter boat team categories in the Keys' community event. Produced solely by volunteers, the tournament benefits Hospice and Visiting Nurses Association of the Florida Keys.

Marathon-based anglers Jamie Koval, Ben Zdan, Cody Darbie and Jared Dieguez released six sails for the win in the pro division.

For second place and a $1,500 cash prize in the pro division, the Main Attraction team released five sails with Captain Marty Lewis of Marathon. He guided anglers Katie Chesney of Palm Beach, Fla., Marathon's Digger Rodamer and Mike Cansemi and Fred Chesney of Riviera Beach, Fla.

Reel Obsession was awarded third place and a $500 cash prize. Team anglers John Callion, Ethan Wallace and Suzy Moore, all of Marathon, released four sails. Captain James "Jamie" Platt was at the helm.

In the amateur division, the Hell's Angels team placed first with two sails, earning $1,500. Captain Tomas Torres led Marathon anglers Michael Schofield, Blaine Cownell and Ely Hernandez.

Runner-up in the amateur division, awarded $500, was team Hillbilly Deluxe with one sail.

A nine-boat field of 30 anglers fished the two-day tournament, a mainstay of the Middle Keys community, releasing a total of 30 sailfish. A check for $12,000 was presented to Hospice and Visiting Nurses Association of the Florida Keys.



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