ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys - Robert Collins of Naples, Fla., won grand champion honors at the 2006 Islamorada All-Tackle Spring Bonefish Tournament. He released two weight fish (over eight pounds) on the first day of fishing, building a lead that held over the next two days.
Collins' two bonefish weighed 13.8 and 9.13 pounds, earning 1,888.5 points in the tournament's ascending bonus scoring system, where bigger fish earn comparatively bigger bonuses. He was guided by Captain Paul Tejera of Islamorada.
Collins earned an invitation to the Rolex/IGFA Inshore Championship, to be held in spring 2007. He won the 2005 Rolex/IGFA and is expected to defend his championship in the 2006 tournament slated for July 9-12 in Islamorada.
Fishing with bait, Collins also won the general tackle division and the largest bonefish prize.
Second place in the overall competition went to Jim Mooney of Islamorada. Fishing with Captain Greg Poland, also of Islamorada, Mooney scored 1,704 points with one weight fish caught on each of the last two days of fishing. His fish weighed 12.5 and 10.13 pounds.
Third place went to Tim Rahn, guided by Captain Bruce Stagg, both of Islamorada. Rahn had two weight fish plus five releases (fish over 18 inches in length) to total 1,500 points.
The fly division went to Richard Oliver of Kennebunk, Maine, fishing with Captain Billy Dahlberg of Islamorada. Oliver released one qualifying bonefish, weighing 8.2 pounds, for the win.
The largest permit was caught by Susan Grant of Long Key, Fla. Guided by Captain Robert Klein of Tavernier, Fla., Grant released a 30-inch permit.
High-point first-time angler was Jeff Bloodworth of Atlanta, guided by Captain George Wood of Islamorada.
There was no winner in the all-tackle division.
Twenty-two anglers scored 15 weight fish and 38 releases over the three days of fishing in windy conditions.