KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Paved For added a 23.1-pound wahoo Saturday to a blue marlin release on Friday and a 17.6-pound dolphin catch Thursday to take top honors at the Havana Club Key West Marlin Tournament in the Florida Keys.
Boat owner Rob Vollmer of Tampa released the marlin, while Trey Wakefield of Tampa caught the wahoo and the dolphin.
The team is captained by Rick Redeker of Pompano Beach, Florida.
Entering the final day of fishing Saturday, Paved For was atop the leaderboard, but Floridian angler Alan Jones of Parrish, Florida, released a marlin Saturday morning. That, combined with an 18.5-pound wahoo landed Thursday, gave Floridian a one-point lead.
Redeker made a conscious decision to abandon marlin fishing and ran the boat 13 miles to shallower water to target wahoo. The move proved fruitful.
“Our best shot (to win) was to catch a wahoo,” Redeker said, adding that owner Vollmer only decided to enter the tournament the day before last Wednesday’s captain’s meeting.
“It was the first time he has ever fished a tournament,” Redeker said of Vollmer. “We had good karma on the boat.”
Floridian ended up in second place and third went to Mary Jo, whose angler Chris Castro of Tampa released a marlin Thursday. The team was captained by Jason Johnson of Johnson City, Tennessee.
The marlin tournament, staged as a part of Key West's annual Hemingway Days Festival, attracted 225 participants fishing on 36 boats, according to organizers.
The 2019 tournament is scheduled for July 17-20.