Hometown Angler Triumphs at Dolphin Tournament
Randy Sterling Sr. of Key West, Fla., took first place in the 18th annual Big Pine and Lower Keys Dolphin Tournament that ended June 12.
Sterling, who fished aboard Reel Conch guided by his son, Captain Randy Sterling Jr., earned the top spot and $10,000 for a dolphin weighing 44.8 pounds.
Second place went to Wayne Burri of Big Pine, who caught a dolphin weighing 41.05 pounds. Burri fished aboard Doubled Up with Captain Josh Gilmartin.
Darren Threlkeld of Ramrod Key, Fla., placed third with a dolphin weighing 35.4 pounds. He was guided by his uncle, Captain Larry Threlkeld, on the boat Strike Force.
The tournament?s top female angler was Nicole Batnaru of Summerland Key, Fla. She caught a 30.85-pound dolphin while fishing on Step Lively with Captain David Lively.
In the junior division for anglers ages 15 and under, Taylor Williams of Venice Beach, Fla., took first place. Fishing on Sand Shaker skippered by her father, John Wllliams, the 9-year-old angler caught a 22.05-pound dolphin.
Additional prizes were awarded to the anglers who caught the heaviest tuna and wahoo. Donnie Roberts of Marathon, Fla., was recognized for a 15-pound tuna, while Misty Matthews of Lake Placid, Fla., took top wahoo honors with a fish weighing 22 pounds.
The tournament drew 165 participants fishing on 65 boats.