02 May 2022
MARATHON, Florida Keys — More than 600 anglers on nearly 80 boats hit the waters off the Florida Keys during May’s opening weekend for the annual Tom Thumb Bull and Cow Dolphin Tournament, one of the Middle Keys’ most popular fun-fishing events.
Overall boat team winners Contagious, led by Captain Brian Cone of Islamorada, Florida, earned over $16,000 in cash and prizes. Team anglers Don Deleon and Rob Deleon from Miami, Florida, and Keys residents Travis Bennett and Andy Cone posted the largest combined weight of a bull and cow dolphin fish — 58.6 pounds — for the win.
Contagious also swept a $1,000 prize for the heaviest combined weight of three dolphin at 102.4 pounds, and the tournament’s prize for the single largest dolphin at 40.8 pounds.
Naples, Florida, anglers Brian Weaver, Oni Ferrero and Sam Pence placed second overall with Marathon residents Cody Darbie and Clint “Digger” Rodamer, earning $3,000 in cash and prizes for a 54.2-pound bull and cow combo caught while fishing on Dream Weaver.
The top female angler title went to Jill Paglia for her 27.2-pound fish caught from the Executive Decision from Ocala, Florida.
Islamorada’s Andy Cone garnered the top junior angler title with a 23.6-pound dolphin.
According to organizers, the tournament’s family-friendly, all-skills-welcome format enables the top prize payout to increase as more boats register. Each year a guaranteed grand prize of $10,000 cash goes to the team that catches the largest bull and cow dolphin fish combined, with the amount rising and building excitement as registrations increase.

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