13 November 2018
ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys – Doug Dragoo of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, won top honors at the Cheeca Lodge All-American Backcountry tournament that ended Nov. 10.
Guided by Captain Richard Black of Tavernier, Florida, Dragoo released four bonefish, 10 snook and 10 redfish on fly for the overall win as grand champion angler and winner of the fly division.
Grand champion team honors went to Colorado’s Paul McCulliss of Littleton and his son Brian McCulliss of Denver. Guided by Eric Herstedt of Homestead, Florida, the duo released 20 snook, 18 redfish, one bonefish and one tarpon. Paul McCulliss also earned the general division champion angler title with nine snook, eight redfish, one tarpon and one bonefish.
Each year the Cheeca Lodge All-American Backcountry Tournament honors Veterans Day by hosting two soldiers wounded in the wars in the Middle East.
U.S. Army veteran Al Hunter of Miami and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Eric Munoz of Homestead, Florida, earned the annual challenge’s second-place team honors. Guided by Captain Mike Makowski of Key Largo, Florida, the duo released 12 snook and five redfish.
The 16-angler field’s game fish totals over two days included 80 snook, 77 redfish, 16 tarpon, 23 bonefish and one permit.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Guides Trust Foundation, an organization committed to assisting Florida Keys fishing guides in times of crisis or injury as well as providing scholarship awards to local students.
The 2019 All American Backcountry Tournament is to be held Nov. 7-9.

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