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Capt. Nick Ewald of Islamorada credited “young eyes” aboard the Viva la Vida with the victory in the 23rd Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament held Jan. 17-19, 2013. A college graduate for a year and a half now, Travis Upchurch of Islamorada utilized his eagle eyes to catch fish and to aid fellow anglers Dr. John Cole and Eric Darville in the successful catch and release of nine sailfish over two days of offshore fishing. Jimmy Fickling served as mate. (See http://www.vivalavidafishing.com)
Among the Presidential's 23 boat and team entries with 78 anglers, 104 sailfish were released, 68 the first day and 36 the second day, according to Jayanna Cohan, scorekeeper. Four sails were tagged for research.
Also catching nine sailfish and placing second, third and fourth on time, respectively, were last year’s Presidential winner Reel McCoy, followed by Silent Hunter and the Four Aces. Leading three boats with seven sails was Olympic Gold, which placed second last year, making them fifth based on time, followed by Catch 22 and Bodacious. Predator, Last Dance and Skip Jack rounded out the top 10 with six sails each.
In the Top Angler category, Peter Adrian aboard the Four Aces has 600 points, John Callion and Brandon Hopper are next with 500 points aboard the Silent Hunter and Last Dance, respectively, followed by Lynn Davis of the Predator and Eric Overhardt of the Reel McCoy with 400 each.
The Cheeca Lodge and Spa Presidential Sailfish Tournament is the second leg of the three-part Gold Cup Sailfish Championship which wraps up with the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament set for Jan 23-24.
For more information and photos, visit http://www.islamoradasailfishtournament.com.