ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys – Captain Trevor Frins of Tavernier, Florida, led his team aboard Hillbilly Deluxe to the overall win at the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament that ended Jan. 22.
Team anglers Jess Jorgensen, Chris Trentine and Gus Solis of Tavernier and Parker Cox of Key Largo, Florida, paved the pathway to the winner’s circle with 10 released sailfish. Jorgensen was named top lady angler for tallying six releases.
Frins won the Presidential tournament’s outstanding captain award, while the outstanding mate award went to Hillbilly Deluxe mate Tyler Webb of Tavernier.
Second-place anglers Bill Danko from Maineville, Ohio, Jorge Corzo and Ryan Alexander from Miami, Florida, and Doug Mientkiewicz of Islamorada released eight sails. They fished aboard the Remix with Captain JC Cleare of Miami.
Islamorada’s Captain KC Spaulding and mate Cody Darby of Marathon, Florida, led their team to third place with seven releases on the Caribsea. Anglers were Kevin Taylor of Port Orange, Florida; and Kenny Spaulding, Lee Gahagen and Clint Rodamer, all from Islamorada.
Mark Busch from Westlake, Ohio, released five sails to take home the top male angler award for the second time in a row. He fished on the Main One with Captain Marty Lewis of Marathon, Florida.
The top junior angler title went to 16-year-old Grayden Ross of Tavernier, who released four sails fishing with his father, Captain Paul Ross, on the Relentless.
The 33rd annual tournament hosted 89 anglers on 24 boats. Ninety-six sailfish were released over the two-day event and 11 of those were tagged.
The Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament was the final leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup sailfish tournament series.
Hillbilly Deluxe received the Grand Champion Award for the three-tournament series. The team released four sails in the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament and two during the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament, combined with the 10 from the Presidential tournament for a total of 16 releases to win the series.
Team member Jess Jorgensen earned both the top angler and top lady angler awards in the Florida Keys Gold Cup with a series total of nine sails.
Next year’s Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament is to take place Jan. 19-21, 2024, according to tournament officials.