Viva La Vida Wins 23rd Annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament
ISLAMORADA, FLORIDA KEYS -- The “Viva La Vida” took top honors at the 23rd Annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, January 17-19, 2013. Anglers John Cole, Jimmy Fickling, Eric Darville and Travis Upchurch released nine sailfish, guided by Islamorada Capt. Nick Ewald. Ewald won the Outstanding Captain Trophy and angler Fickling took home Outstanding Mate honors as well.
Eighty-two anglers fishing on 23 boats competed, releasing 104 sailfish and reporting 125 hookups over two days of fishing. Four sailfish were tagged.
Cole, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based hair restoration doctor, said the key to their win was running for showers of sailfish and looking for the tell-tail signs of birds and baitfish to lead them to the hot spots. “I’ve got the best personnel and the best equipment, but this is definitely a team effort,” he said. “Winning the Presidential is huge.” Cole caught his first sailfish in 2005, and was instantly hooked on the sport. “Fishing a tournament like this is thrilling, with a level of excitement that lasts all day and quickly turns to pure panic when the fish show up.” Cole formed the Viva La Vida team in 2005, and is now in first place in the Florida Keys Gold Cup Championship.
The Presidential’s Grand Champion Angler was Peter Adrian, Miami, Fl, who released six fish aboard the “Four Aces.”
Second Place went to Team “Reel McCoy,” with anglers Larry Amyotte, Sean Smith, Eric Overhardt and Justin Miller. Capt. George McElveen and mates Miller and Eric Ehlers led their team to nine fish as well.
The “Silent Hunter,” with anglers John Callion, B.J. Meyer, Paula Marshall and Cody Darbie won Third Place, fishing with Capt. James Platt and mate Ely Hernandez. The Silent Hunter also caught nine fish.
Fourth Place honors went to “Four Aces,” also with nine fish. Anglers were Ignacio Quintana, Rob Ramirez, Jeff Lieberman and Grand Champion angler Peter Adrian, who caught six of their nine fish.
Team “Olympic Gold” won Fifth Place, with anglers Doug Mientkiewicz, Nick Carullo, Max Tower and Reggie Rodriquez. The Captain is J.C. clear and the mate is Fulton Ivy.
The Most Tagged Fish trophy went to Capt. Rob Dixon’s “Challenger II,” with anglers Jessie Laboef and Brian Devries tagging two fish.
Re: Viva La Vida Wins 23rd Annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament
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