Captain’s Blog – April 10, 2010 – Marathon Florida Keys – The 2nd annual 7 Mile Marina Marathon Sharkathon proved to be a colossal test of angler skill and dexterity in the pursuit of six species of shark.
The all-release tournament awarded points for mako, tiger, hammerhead, bull, black tip and lemon sharks. Minimum qualifying size was five feet, and there were various rules regarding tackle and equipment, including single-hook rigs only, mandatory use of non-offset circle hooks, no electric reels and maximum 50-lb. test. Each boat was provided a measuring device. In addition to calling in hook-ups and releases, the teams were required to photograph each catch with the measuring device visible.
For the one-day tournament, a total of 28 qualifying sharks were released: 1 hammerheads, 7 blacktips, 2 bulls and 18 lemons. The $5,000 top prize went to Team Axman consisting of Capt. Jack Callion and anglers Buck Bielik, John Ryan and Pat Lynch. They racked up an impressive 1,500 points with 1 hammerhead, 3 blacktips and 2 lemons. Capt. Chris Morrison repeated his performance from 2009 to take second place once again. His Team Carnada included anglers Bill Fay, Rachel Bowman and Shelby Bentley. They scored 1,400 points with their 2 blacktips and 5 lemons. The team was rewarded with a check for $3,000. Third place and $2,000 went to Team No Slack with Capt. James Platt Jr. and anglers John Harrison, John Callion and B.J. Meyer. They caught 5 lemons to amass 1,000 points. Fishing with Team SeaSquared, Jason Bell took home the trophy in the Junior Angler Division. The top three teams also received custom plaques created by Collectors Corner in Marathon. A perpetual trophy will reside at the 7 Mile Marina.
Anglers from throughout Florida and as far away as Michigan and Colorado assembled for the event. The awards banquet, hosted by Fat Buoyz Bar & Grill, featured raffle and 50/50 drawings, a live auction and entertainment by the Blue Brothers Soul Band.
The goal of the 7 Mile Marina Marathon Sharkathon is to provide an exhilarating fishing experience while benefiting deserving charities that enhance the quality of life for the community’s children and active duty military. Grace Jones Day Care Center and Forgotten Soldiers Outreach both received a donation of $5,000.
A great part of the success of the tournament is attributed to the generosity of its sponsors and the many local businesses who donated door prizes, as well as the efforts of its volunteers, including Jill Bell, Jamie Callion, Peggy Bielik, Gina Hipson and Christy Johnson. Special recognition goes to Baker Hookouts for providing a de-hooker for each team as well as multiple raffle prizes and to Capt. Spider Branch for his Casting for Charity Contest.
The 7 Mile Marina is located at MM 47.5 Gulfside, just east of the 7 Mile Bridge in Marathon. For more information and pictures from the tournament, please visit www.7milemarina.net.