Rob Moher, Conservancy of southwest Florida vice-president of development and marketing stated, “We are deeply appreciative of all the hard work and leadership provided by the Tournament Co-Chairs Wayne Meland and Lloyd Liggett and the entire RedSnook Committee.”
Although not able to attend the event due to a previous commitment, Roland Martin, legendary angler and television host of the “Fishing with Roland Martin Show,” was honorary chair of the Tournament for the fifth consecutive year.
Tournament Co-Chair Wayne Meland explained his reason for supporting the event. “I have been involved with the RedSnook since its move to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida because the event is a perfect match for their mission. I believe the angling community now better understands the role the Conservancy plays in keeping our waters and our fisheries healthy.”
“The Tournament attracted more sponsors than ever before and the united forces and energy of all the people involved helped make this event a huge success,” stated Lloyd Liggett, Tournament Co-Chair.
The weekend began with a Kick-Off Party and Silent and Live Auctions hosted by the Naples Yacht Club with food provided by Outback Steakhouse with Whole Foods providing the organic beer and wine. The competition began on Saturday. Launch sites included Chokoloskee, Naples and Goodland. The competition continued again on Sunday and the event concluded with an awards ceremony on Sunday evening, October 23, at Northern Trust.
First place winners included:
1. Guided Bait Division First Place Winners: 3950 Points
William Sullivan and Chris Crossin guided by Capt. Bruce Jackmack
2. Unguided Bait Division: 3365 Points
Larry Birt and Robbie Biles
3. Guided Artificial Bait Division: 3535 Points
Keith Sullivan and Andrew Dolwick guided by Capt. Bill Faulkner
4. Unguided Artificial: 3730 Points
Jeff Ball and Derek Pruitt
5. Fly Division: 3200 Points
Aaron Adams and Steve Leisman guided by Capt. Kevin Mihailoff
In addition, awards were given for:
• Largest Snook: Alex Cabada guided by Capt. Vince Hemingway (41 inches)
• Largest Redfish: Bruce Botts guided by Capt. Pete Root (28 inches)
• Top Female Angler: Jessica Williams (2285 points)
• Top Junior Angler: Alex Zaiser guided by Capt. Roan Zumfelde (2285 points)
• Top Corporate Team: Florida Weekly, Jessica Williams and Sandy Wait guided by Capt. Joey Benko ( 3730 Points)
Allen Systems group sponsored the “Stars and Stripes” team of servicemen Dustin Chisum, Corey James, Matthew Badger and Dario Henaro.
Country song artist, Ashley Allyson, opened up the live auction with an a cappella rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” The 19-year-old grew up in Oakland County, Michigan, fishing freshwater since the age of three in Michigan’s more than 1,100 lakes. This was Ashley’s first foray into saltwater fishing and she found the redfish “feisty.
The presenting sponsor of the Tournament was The Johnson Meland Group of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Northern Trust and Naples yacht Club were co-sponsors. Century Link was the apparel sponsor for the 2011 Tournament with Arthrex sponsoring the angler awards. Other generous sponsors included RGM Capital, Comcast, Betty Maclean Travel, Naples Harbour Yacht Club, Florida Weekly, CRS Technologies, Heatherwood Construction, Outback Steakhouse Whole Foods and SW Technology. www.conservancy.org/
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Since 1964, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has focused on protecting water, land and wildlife through environmental education, policy, science and wildlife rehabilitation. 1450 Merrihue Dr., Naples, FL , (239) 262.0304, www.conservancy.org.