Sharks, Strategies, and Surprises: The Spanish Fly Shark Tournament Recap

Good afternoon, ocean aficionados and sports enthusiasts! This weekend, the waters off the Florida Keys were more than just crystal clear—they were the arena for the ultimate test of skill, strategy, and a touch of luck in the renowned Spanish Fly Shark Tournament.

The big catch of the day (or rather, the big releases) went to the Calico Creek team, hailing from Massachusetts and the sunny Florida Keys. Captain Mike Barratta and his crew aboard the Calico Joe showcased an impressive marine mastery by releasing a whopping six bull sharks, clinching the top spot in the offshore division. Their secret bait? Bonita. Their strategy? Wrecks and reefs in the Gulf, despite battling high winds that could have blown their chances away.

Not to be overshadowed, the Don Tiburon team, led by Captain Kyle Kelso, made waves in the inshore division with their own sextet of bull shark releases. It seems the second day's charm worked wonders for them, flipping a fin at the elusive bull sharks that dodged their hooks on day one.

In a sea of stiff competition, the runner-ups also made their mark. Cowboy Cowgirl Sportfishing, with Captains Mark Baumgarten and John Payne at the helm, bagged second place offshore, while the Tail Chasin' team led by Captain Gabe Nyblad swam to second in the inshore division.

What makes this tournament a reel deal? Besides the thrill of the chase, it's all for a good cause. Organized by the Jose Wejebe Memorial Foundation, the event honors the legacy of the beloved charter captain and “Spanish Fly” TV personality by supporting conservation, education, and fulfilling fishing dreams.

So, as you sip your drink of choice, imagine the salty sea breeze and the thrill of the catch (and release). Here's to those making waves and conserving our marine life for future generations. Now, isn't that a refreshing way to start your day?