(Dec. 06, 2011 – ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys)… After winning the 48th annual Islamorada Sailfish Tournament Dec. 4, team Bodacious accepted the trophy from tournament angler and special guest Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski, skipper of the fishing vessel Kodiak from the popular Discovery Channel television show “Deadliest Catch.”
Islamorada’s Captain Taylor Walsh led Bodacious’ quartet of anglers – Tavernier residents Henry and Shay Danzig, and Islamorada’s Allen Wood and Nick Stanczyk – to release 22 sailfish during three days of fishing.
Entering the third day with 19 sails and a slight lead, the Bodacious team focused on location and patience.
“We knew we were in an area where there were fish,” said Henry Danzig. “We just stayed calm and waited our turn.”
The team released the day’s third and final sail at 2:54 p.m., just minutes before lines-out was called at 3 p.m.
Shawn MacMullin Jr. of Key Largo, Fla., also scored a memorable tournament win. The 11-year-old not only has fished the event five times, but his eight sailfish were caught and released in the shortest time. For that feat, MacMullin was named overall high-point angler and captured the junior angler title.
A lucky raffle drawing landed MacMullin a sailfish pendant valued at $500. Wichrowski, who fished the tournament on board My Reel Job, asked the boy to autograph the winning ticket and give it to him for good luck fishing back in Alaska.
Second place overall went to Contagious, out of Islamorada, with 20 releases. Captain Brian Cone led teammates Bill Keller of Islamorada, Travis Bennett of Tavernier, Fla., and Greg Toplin of Key Largo.
The team aboard Wound Up, skippered by John Dudas of Miami, placed third with nine releases. Anglers were Warren Sands of Pinecrest, Fla., and Miami residents Jeff Liederman and Robbie Ramirez.
Team Bodacious is to receive an invitation to the 2012 IGFA Offshore Championship in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the tournament win.
Overall, 261 sailfish were released, according to tournament organizer Dianne Harbaugh.
The Islamorada Sailfish Tournament is the first leg of the Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship. Next in the series is the Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, scheduled Jan. 20-22, with the final leg Jan. 26 at the IFC Sailfish Tournament.