Boca Grande guides were running hot for the Raymond James Classic this year, which was hosted by the Gasparilla Inn & Club on May 3 and 4. Capt. Sandy Melvin and Capt. Mark Becton both took honors.According to tournament officials, more than $97,000 was raised for cystic fibrosis research through the tournament this year.
The Grand Champion team included winning angler Ron Walker, his partner Michael Vaughn and their guide, Melvin. Walker caught the first slam, which includes a snook, redfish, tarpon and trout.Angler Gary Head, on the boat with Becton, another local guide, also caught a slam and tallied the most points for the event.
Steve Waechter had the largest trout, while Don Blair, the second member on the team guided by Capt. Dave Chatham, had the largest tarpon. Jamie Graff, with Capt. Todd Gilbert, caught the largest snook and Dr. Mark Beatty with Capt. Mike Bowles brought in the largest redfish.
Harry Katica with Capt. Al White caught the most trout; Franklin McLarty, with Capt. Todd Gilbert, caught the most snook; Toin Federico, with Capt. Ryan Rowan, caught the most redfish and Stephann Cotton, with Capt. Mike Bowles, caught the most tarpon.
Angler Dick Felthousen, with Capt. Jamie Allen, won the Fly Division. Preston Puryear, with Capt. Wayne Kerry, won the Live Bait Division, and Brad Butcher, with Capt. Les Hill, won the Spin/Plug Division.
“Mark showed great sportsmanship during the tournament, he even provided us with the bait that allowed Ron Walker to catch the first slam,” Melvin said. “It was a great tournament. He kicked our butts by catching the most fish. We were just lucky to catch the first slam.”
May 1 through 3 will be the dates for 2013.
The Fingers O’Bannon Tournament was also held recently, on April 27 and 28. The winning team included Capt. Joey Burnsed, Dan Stegmann, Ben Stegmann and Joe Szalay. The second place team included Capt. Johnny Bylaska, Bruce Strayhorn, Lizbeth Benacquisto, Jenna Parsons and Maria. Parsons had the largest snook for women, as well.
The third place team included Capt. Charlie Coleman, Ken Marsch and Scott Marsch.
John Downes had the largest snook for men.
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Notify me of follow-up comments
Click for a larger view