KEY LARGO, Florida Keys â€” Rock Star, owned by Jorge Piedra and skippered by Nelson Fonseca, tallied 13 sailfish releases to take top honors at the two-day Billfish Championship, a main event of the Jimmy Johnson Fishing Championship Week that ended Saturday in the Florida Keys.
With just two minutes remaining in the tournament, Fonsecaâ€™s team released their final sail for the win, earning them $64,000 in prize money as well as authentic custom-designed Jimmy JohnsonÂ’s NBC Championship rings for each team member.
Piedro and Fonseca fished with fellow Miami anglers Jorge Piedra Jr., Vinny Delgado, Juan Mendiola, Luis Perez, John Travalione, Jose Arias and Alex Dareda.
Scott Robins led his Miami team onboard Weez in the Keys to second place with 12 releases, followed in third place by Peter Adrian with 10 fish on 4 Aces, captained by Joe Turner.
Alex Gonzalez, former infielder with the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs, took top honors in the weekÂ’s Celebrity Pro-Am Championship. Gonzalez released two sails fishing from his own boat, Rally Cap.
Team All Lit Up, with Ken Lancaster at the helm, won the inaugural one-day Sportfish Championship. First prize was $5,000 as well as a Jimmy Johnson Sportfish Championship ring for each team member.
The total purse for the Jimmy Johnson Fishing Championship Weekâ€™s three events topped $311,500. The challenge attracted 59 boats and more than 300 anglers including former NFL defensive end Warren Sapp and wide receiver Randal Hill, in addition to several other pro football players and University of Miami alumni.
Over the last five years, the event has awarded $1.8 million according to organizers. This year recipients of over $30,000 included the Community Initiatives Foundation, dedicated to supporting various fundraising programs throughout South Florida, Quantum House and Tranquil Shores ChildrenÂ’s Foundation.
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