The team of Islamorada-based Erik Ehlers, Jake Turek of Tavernier, Florida, Bill Neuzil of Naples, Florida, and Josh Jackson of Temple, Texas, released 13 sails for the win.
Placing second with 12 sails was My Sea Cin with Captain Raymond Baiz of Tavernier at the helm. Team anglers included Islamorada’s Steve Orton and Timmy Arce, Cory Nelson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Dylan Bryan from Crystal River, Florida.
Team Relentless, captained by Paul Ross, earned third place. Upper Keys anglers Kristy and Grayden Ross, Casey Yaworski and Tiffany Snodgrass released 11 sailfish.
Named the tournament’s grand champion angler, Mark Busch of Cleveland, Ohio, released six fish on time for the honor. Busch fished from Main Attraction fleet’s Main One, with Captain Marty Lewis.
Tournament organizers reported 71 anglers aboard 19 boats released 94 sailfish during the two-day competition.
The overall Florida Keys Gold Cup Series winner is to be announced after the conclusion of the series’ final leg, the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, Thursday, Jan. 27.
Monies raised from the Gold Cup Series benefit the Islamorada Charter Boat Association.