ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys Thane Morgan of Amarillo, Texas, won the grand champion award at the prestigious Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Tournament held June 2125 in Islamorada.
Morgan, fishing with Captain Craig Brewer of Islamorada, built a lead on the second of five fishing days and managed to hold off two other top tarpon competitors for the win.
Morgan scored 7,168 points for his three weight fish and the most releases of the tournament at 18. He also landed the event's largest tarpon, which weighed in at 144.5 pounds.
Tournament rules mandated that release fish must be a minimum of 48 inches long and weight fish must weigh a minimum of 70 pounds.
Tom Siska of Old Saddlebrook, N.J., earned 6,521 points to take second place. Tallying 10 releases and four weight fish, he was guided by Captain Glenn Flutie of Tavernier, Fla.
David Dalu, the two-time past tournament champion from Charleston, S.C., took third place with 6,302 points. He scored 13 releases and four weight fish while fishing with Captain Scott Collins of Marathon, Fla.
Twenty-five anglers fished the challenge, capturing 146 tarpon counted as releases and 31 counted as weight fish.