LARGO, In the Fla. Keys ----Catching, photographing and releasing
six bonefish and four permit despite a weekend of heavy rains
and winds, Jim Bokor, Tavernier, ran away from the 31 boat field
in winning the11th Annual Mercury Outboards Baybone on Sunday.
Bokor, guided by Capt. Tim Hoover, Marathon, shared the lead on
Saturday with Tim Mahaffey, Miami. But Mahaffey was unable to
score the necessary points by catching a permit in Sundays
The Baybone, a celebrity charity fishing tournament for cystic
fibrosis (CF) funding research, is the second event in the fall
trilogy of Fla. Keys tournaments in the popular Mercury Redbone
series. The event is being held at the Westin Beach Resort.
"I had a phenomenal two days of fishing," said Bokor,
in finding the four elusive permit plus three more bonefish to
add to his Saturday catch of three.
Among his prizes Bokor won a Kendall Van Sant "Bonefish-Permit"
sculpture and a Rolex watch.
Former NFL Pittsburgh Steelers captain and lineman Gary Dunn,
Islamorada, was the only celebrity among the 14 there to catch
a bonefish and a permit, and was named celebrity grand champion
angler. He was guided by Capt. Tadd VanDemark, Key Largo.
First runner-up celebrity was two-time space shuttle astronaut
Bruce Melnick, Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral. Guided by Capt.
Craig Brewer, Melnick caught two bonefish on Sunday
Tavernier marine artist Tim Borski won the celebrity pro division
guided by Capt. Rick Murphy, Homestead.
Viar and Bonnie Christ, both of Alexandria, Va., won team grand
champion anglers titles guided by Capt. Andy Thompson, Homestead.
A total of 45 bonefish and 15 permit were caught among the 31
teams of anglers and celebrities.
Bokor, a four-time grand champion of the Mercury Redbone series
also took over the Redbone points series lead race with 1500 points.
Dan Zicari, Vero Beach, having won the Mercury SLAM in Key West
early last month is in second with 1,000 points. He failed to
gain any series points over the weekend.
"I caught a bonefish on Saturday and had eight shots at catching
a permit on Sunday, but just couldnt entice one to hit,"
said Zicari who needed the second species to help place him in
the series points race. Zicari was also the defending champion
of the Baybone.
In third place in series points are Carter Andrews, Crooked Islands,
Bahamas, and Tim Mahaffey, both tied at 750 points. Andrews was
the first runner up angler Sunday, guided by Capt. Tom Rowland,
Key West, and Mahaffey was second in the Mercury SLAM. Viar, with
500 points is in fifth place. Ernie Brady, Delray Beach and Kal
Blumberg, Ft. Lauderdale, are tied in sixth place with 250 points
The points series will conclude Nov. 2 4 with the
14th Mercury/Cheeca Redbone Celebrity Tournament in Islamorada,
for redfish and bonefish. The tournaments have raised over $2
million for CF research efforts. A field of over 80 teams of anglers
and nationally known celebrities is expected for that event.
The wins also advances Bokor, Dunn and Borski to slots in the
Rolex/IGFA Inshore Invitational Championship next Spring.
On Friday, as a prelude to the Mercury Baybone and again in rainy
weather, Bokor, guided by Capt. Hoover, caught five bonefish on
fly to win the Seventh Annual Seamaster Superfly, a one-day, one
fly tournament. Frank DeLucas, Plantation was second with four
bonefish guided by Capt. Tony Traad, Homestead. A total of 14
bonefish were caught on fly by field of 11 anglers.
Its the first time in the seven-year history of the Seamaster
Superfly tournaments that the same angler has won both the fly
tournament and the main weekend event in the Redbone series.
For information about the Mercury Outboards Redbone Celebrity
Tournament Series, call Susan Ellis at (305) 664-2002.
Mercury Outboards Baybone Tournament Results
Champion Angler: Jim Bokor, Tavernier guided by Capt.Tim Hoover,
Celebrity Grand Champion: Gary Dunn (former Pittsburgh Steelers
captain), Islamorada Fla.
Pro-Celebrity Grand Champion Angler: Tim Borski, Tavernier guided
by Capt. Rick Murphy, Homestead
Team Grand Champion Anglers: Joe Viar and Bonnie Christ, both
of Alexandria, Va., guided by Capt. Andy Thompson, Key Largo.
First Runner-Up Angler: Carter Andrews, Crooked Islands, Bahamas,
guided by Capt. Tom Rowland, Key West
First Runner-Up Celebrity: Bruce Melnick (two-time space shuttle
astronaut), Merritt Island, Fla. guided by Capt. Craig Brewer,
First Runner-Up Team: Ernie Brady, Delray Beach, Fla., and Mike
Stanley, Maitland, Fla, guided by Capt. Mike Ehlers, Islamorada
Spin-Plug Division Champion: William Stein, Metairie, La., guided
by Capt. Paul Tejera, Islamorada
Fly Division Champion: Tim Mahaffey, Miami, guided by Capt. Rick
General Division Champion: Jim Bokor, Tavernier, guided by Capt.
Tim Hoover, Marathon
Total Boats 31
Total Fish Caught: 60 (45 bonefish and 15 permit)