ISLAMORADA, Fla. — The Islamorada-based Fishing and Conservation Trust (IFACT), a public charity that exists to support and encourage conservation projects, churned out some positive results this week at the Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship. Two young anglers, Nick Cardella and Jacob Raskub, are products of the organization's stewardship program. Cardella has a strong showing in the lightweight tackle division while Raskub took top honors in the fly category.
The other objective of IFACT is to develop the future stewards of Monroe County's marine resources and recreational fishing through youth fishing tournaments, education and scholarships. Looks like they chose some wonderful subjects.
A man named pasta
Home to a vibrant, local art scene, Islamorada is an art lover's scene. Perhaps the hub of the artistic community is the Rain Barrel, a village of artists and craftspeople. Founded more than 20 years ago, this artist village is home to the studios and galleries of many artists. Although there are only 10 resident artists, more than 100 artists are represented here. You can also get an up-close look at how the art is created.
But for a little premium local flavor, the hot spot is the Keys to Life Galleries presented by Pasta Pantaleo. He has a variety of featured paintings of a number different saltwater species that are extremely fine in detail. Pasta (yes, that's his name) is also working on bronze sculptures.
So close to slamming
Bill Hurst and Capt. Bou Bosso tried their best to put together a five species slam in the light tackle division of the Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship, but they came up a quarter of an inch short Thursday.
Hurst caught bonefish, tarpon, permit and redfish during the three-day event and needed only a snook to complete the slam - one of each species - but could not land a snook that met the tournament's minimum size of 24 inches.
"We caught seven snook today," Bosso said. "The biggest was 23 and three-quarter inches. We could have put that fish in a stretcher and there was no way it was going to make 24 inches."
In the battle of the only competitors in the 32-angler married to each other, Carlos Duncan beat out wife, Leslie, for familial bragging rights.
The Duncans, of Houston, each competed in the fly division, Carlos qualifying for the Inshore Championship for the second time through the Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament and Leslie making the event for the first time through the Ladies Tarpon Tournament.
Leslie totaled 575 points, catching redfish and bonefish with Capt. Steve Thomas. Carlos had 875 points with tarpon, redfish, bonefish and snook fishing with Capt. John Donnell. Though he was tied with another competitor in points, by virtue of a tiebreaker with times, Carlos finished second in the division.