Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caye Caulker Angler Wins Tres Pescados

Team Anglers Abroad, Haywood Curry and guide Ken Coc from Caye Caulker take 1st place in the 2nd annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament held Thursday August 12th through Saturday August 14th. Along with winning the event’s 1st place trophy, Ken Coc won the “Top Guide” trophy and Haywood Curry will be going to Islamorada, Florida in July 2011 to compete in the IGFA Inshore World Championships representing Belize.

With 14 Pro and Amateur teams registered and set for the competition, 7:00 am on Thursday August 12th arrived and the official start at the pier in Central Park was underway. All of the teams were required to be at the pier each of the 3 days of the event for the 7:00 am start to receive their team’s daily ID number that was required to be in every fish photograph entered for the competition. By 4:00 pm all teams were required to check in back at the tournament headquarters in Central Park.

With volunteers Ben Popik and Tina Winkler checking in anglers and reviewing release photos on the fly, day one results produced over 466 inches of Bonefish and 27 inches of Permit. No tarpon were released on the first day although several were caught and either not landed or under the tournament limits. One team, Shake-N-Bake, had a grand slam this first day that would make anyone proud but unfortunately the tarpon were under the tournament limit.

In the Pro Division, team Shake-N-Bake guided by George Bradley edged out the Anglers Abroad team with guide Ken Coc by 29 points to take the day 1 lead. Both teams had two of the needed species for a slam with a permit and several bones each. Team TFO guided by Cesar Acosta took 3rd place for day 1.

From 3:00 until 6:00 pm tournament events in the park included the Cast-Off ran by Dick Gentry with the community, team members and guides competing for the chance to win a custom built Belize fly rod and other prizes. Entertainment with steel drum and traditional drumming music was provided by Tanya and Zack, two local San Pedro artists that wowed the crowd with their talents on the drums while the San Pedro Lions Club were on hand to providing the drink concession.

Marcie and Ken Schinnour resurrected last year’s mini-rod fly fishing game for the kids with 27 inch miniature fly rods and working reels. This event was free for all to enter and ran by Jovan Ayuso and Pablo using a piece of Velcro attached on the end of the fly line and the opposite sticky piece on “fish” cards in the “table pond.” The mini casters tossed the mini rods hoping to snag a card in the pond and win one of many prizes provided by Supper Buy, Casa Pan Dulce, D Sea Store, A&R, Tech Transylvania, and Tres Pescados Fly Shop - a great game to introduce the kids to fly fishing.

The evening event for Day 1 was the presentation from Green Reef by Mito Paz on the efforts Green Reef has undertaken during the past year with creation of the new Sport Fish Program designed to conduct research, educate, and provide recommended management methods to help protect and preserve the sustainable sport fishing of the 3 grand slam fish. Green Reef has partnered with the international organization Bonefish Tarpon Trust.

Day 2 presented a similar weather pattern with many Tarpon hooked but not landed except for one team. With 355 inches of Bonefish released and 55 inches of Permit released team Anglers Abroad closed out the Grand Slam on this day with 3 tarpon and had just become the team to beat.

With Team Anglers Abroad taking over the lead with 311 points, team Fly Guyz moved up to 2nd with 246 points while team Shake-N-Bake’s 180 points edged out team TFO for 3rd place on day 2.

Day 3, the final day and the pressure is on to perform to take down team Anglers Abroad. With four other teams having both Permit and Bonefish on the board, day 3 was all about Tarpon. A tarpon release for any of the four teams would mean the win would come down to total inches released. All of the teams still had a chance as seen in 2009 when team Fly Treks came in with a Grand Slam the last day to take second place.

As the teams returned to tournament headquarters in Central Park it was soon apparent the day was a Bonefish day. As team after team reported in with bonefish and even a permit it became evident that no tarpon were released to take down the current leader, team Anglers Abroad. Anglers Abroad was the last team to check in. When Haywood Curry approached the headquarters table he but one question, “Anyone get a Tarpon?” No one had. Haywood Curry and Ken Coc had just become the 2010 champs.

In the Amateur Division we only had one entry this year, team Bad Boyz and they hooked several big tarpon but none were landed but bonefish were their release fish.

The Awards Banquet was hosted by the San Pedro Lions Club at the Lions Den. With sponsors, anglers and guides attending the trophies and winnings were handed out. Team Anglers Abroad (Haywood Curry and guide Ken Coc) took home $3,500 for the Pro Division 1st Place, team Fly Guyz (John and Sam Hart with guide Abbie Marin) won $2,333 for the 2nd Place Pro Division, and 3rd Place winners team Red House (John Winkler with guide Darrell Castenanos) headed home with $1,166. Tean Bad Boyz (Mario Graniel and Alejandro Rodriguez) for the Amateur Division took home $1,500.

The Pro and Amateur names and the Top Guide name will be added to the Perpetual Tres Pescado Slam Tournament located in the San Pedro Town Council office.

One of the key areas of this event is to raise awareness and funds to help the protection, education, research and enforcement of the catch-and-release for the bonefish, tarpon and permit. All of the team members in the event helped to gather census data for the tournament. The funds raised from the many sponsors that supported this event allowed the tournament to hand over a $6,000 check to Green Reef in support their ongoing Sport Fish Program effort needed to protect the over $60 million dollar resource that these 3 fish represent to Belize.

To see the complete 2010 tournament results, to sponsor or sign up for the 2011 event, or to learn more about sustainable sport fishing in Belize got to

Team Anglers Abroad (Haywood Curry and guide Ken Coc) took home $3,500 for the Pro Division 1st Place

Team Fly Guyz (John and Sam Hart with guide Abbie Marin) won $2,333 for the 2nd Place Pro Division

Team Red House (John Winkler with guide Darrell Castenanos) headed home with $1,166 for the 3rd Place Pro Division

Team Bad Boyz (Mario Graniel and Alejandro Rodriguez) for the Amateur Division took home $1,500.

Green Reef presented with $6,000 check from Tres Pescados

Top Guide Award went to Ken Coc guiding the Anglers Abroad Team.

Youth Casting competition 1st Place went to Byron Lara from San Pedro with 69 feet.

Women's Casting competition 1st Place went to Hillary Johnson with 43 feet.

Men's Casting competition 1st Place went to Cezar Acosta from San Pedro, Belize with a distance of 99 feet.

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