Team ‘TightNUp’ Wins Top Prize in Key West’s VFW Fishing Tournament
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Team TightNUp earned top honors for a 35.6-pound dolphin fish in the 10th annual VFW Fishing Tournament that ended June 19 in Key West. Alexa Barket of Live Oak, Florida, caught the fish that clinched the tournament’s $5,000 prize for the team.
TightNUp was captained by Kevin Rowley of Big Pine Key, Florida.
The team also scored the third-place dolphin, a 12.1-pounder caught by Yomalie Sanchez Thon of Live Oak.
The second-place dolphin, weighing 30.4 pounds, was caught by Key West angler Justin “Willie” Woods of team Fish Whistle.
The family-friendly tournament featured cash prizes for the heaviest dolphin fish, tuna, snapper and grouper. Other cash prizes awaited the challenge’s top veteran, active-duty military member and first responder as well as senior, junior, pee-wee and female competitors.
The tournament drew anglers fishing on 56 boats. Proceeds are slated to benefit disabled or needy veterans and their families in the Florida Keys’ Monroe County.
VFW Tournament Final Results
(Class, Weight, Angler, Hometown, Captain, Boat)
Heaviest Dolphin: 35.6 lb., Alexa Barket, Live Oak, Florida, Kevin Rowley, TightNUp
Heaviest Tuna: 26.8 lb., Harrison Esquinaldo, Key West, Justin Woods, Fish Whistle
Heaviest Snapper (Red): 14.9 lb., Chad Steverson, Enterprise, Alabama, Chad Steverson, Sky Crab
Heaviest Grouper: 14.8 lb., Derek McQuaig, Key West, Eddie Rojas, Leonor
Pee-wee Division: 9.7 lb. dolphin, Shane Deno, Miami, Florida, Carl Deno, Halftime
Junior Division: 11.6 lb. dolphin, Noah Mercer, Key West, Andrew Mercer, Hillbilly Hookers
Senior Division: 8.6 lb. dolphin, Spencer Deno, Miami, Florida, Carl Deno, Halftime
Female Division: 8.5 lb. dolphin, Marilyn Deno, Miami, Florida, Carl Deno, Halftime
First Responder Division: 8.5 lb. dolphin, Carl Deno, Miami, Florida, Carl Deno, Halftime
Active Duty Division: 6.6 lb. dolphin, Sean Harris, Key West, Andrew Mercer, Hillbilly Hookers
Veteran Division: 10.8 lb. red snapper, Keith DelValle, Rockland Key, Florida, Steven Davies, Rockabutza