Davis, Harkavy and Stanley win Cheeca Backcountry Tournament

Wade Davis of Pompano Beach, Fla. fishing with Capt. Richard Black of Islamorada was the grand champion of the First Annual Cheeca Lodge Spa All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament while teammates Jeff “Storm” Harkavy of Coral Springs, Fla. and Steve Stanley were the team winners. They fished with Capt. Dave Denkert of Islamorada. Mitchell Howell of Plantation, Fla. and Stu Apte of Islamorada were among the more-than-proficient and respected competitors who participated during a windy couple of days, Nov. 10-11.

Anglers competed for James Harris artworks by releasing five species of fish: snook, redfish, tarpon, bonefish and permit. The latter two species were scarce, but several redfish were caught on fly, spin and bait and artificial lures.

All social events, including three dinners, were held at Cheeca Lodge, mile marker 82 oceanside. Fishing headquarters was World Wide Sportsman, more or less across the highway (U.S. 1) from Cheeca. The 22 anglers departed from World Wide Sportsman marina on 16 boats during the two days of fishing. Among the tournament sponsors were Wells Fargo, Reef Safe, Rapala and Florida Keys Outfitters.

Two “wounded warriors” fished the tournament through the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, which provides traumatically injured service men and women harmed in Iraq and Afghanistan with a program that utilizes the therapeutic experience of fly fishing (www.warriorsandquietwaters.org).

Proceeds benefitted the Bonefish Tarpon Trust, an organization of concerned anglers and guides who are dedicated to conserving and enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy.

For more information,visit www.tarbone.org or www.cheeca.com.

See slide show with individual category winner here: http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/cheeca-backcountry-tournament

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