There couldn’t have been a prettier morning to start the first annual Fish for Holly Sailfish Tournament in Islamorada, Florida. More than 200 anglers and crew members — most of whom personally knew the event’s namesake, Holly Given — assembled to help memorialize the legacy of the young woman from the Florida Keys who lost her life to domestic violence at just 26 years old.
The tournament, organized by Given’s mother Lucy, is making a difference after this tragedy by helping others who also suffer from the effects of similar circumstances. The Holly Given Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that dedicates all tournament proceeds and donations to providing scholarships and training to community members who need assistance with education, business and professional training.
Nine minutes after lines in, Capt. Hunter Barron, fishing with his family on Catch 22, released a doubleheader of sailfish that remained unchallenged until Capt. Jim Hendrix and the team aboard Dauntless one-upped them with a triple some 20 minutes later.
While this tournament seemed like you were either in them or you weren’t, Hendrix managed to capitalize throughout the day with another triple, a single, and an end-of-day double for the win.
At lines out, with a total of nine sailfish releases, Dauntless was declared the winner of the one-day shootout. Catch 22‘s double in the morning paid off as the team finished second with seven; Capt. Billy Chapman and his Island Boatworks team, Fishbone, finished in third place with five.
A total of 101 sailfish were released by a fleet of 56 boats.