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Florida Anglers Earn Sugarloaf Showdown Win in Lower Keys

SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Guide Scott Brown of Sugarloaf Key and angler Honson Lau of Miami earned 2,050 points and the spin division grand championship in the Sugarloaf Showdown that ended Nov. 12 in the Lower Florida Keys.

The duo released six barracuda, four bonefish and three permit in the tournament, also taking high-point honors for their barracuda.

In the fly division, guide Nick LaBadie and anglers Jessyca Garlock and Ben Bortner, of Key West, Florida, released four barracuda and four bonefish to earn 800 points and the divisional championship.

The youth division grand championship was handily won by guide Pat Bracher and his daughter, Charley Bracher, repeating their previous divisional victory. Both from Cudjoe Key, Florida, they released four barracuda, five bonefish and two permit to amass 1,600 points.

Tournament veterans, the father and daughter also earned the runner-up title in the spin division.

The runner-up team in the fly division consisted of guide Brandon Cyr of Key West and angler Cody Rubner of Stuart, Florida. The duo released one barracuda and five bonefish, ending the Showdown’s two fishing days with 600 points. 

In the youth division, runner-up honors went to guide Will Benson and his anglers, daughter Alice Benson and son Luke Benson, of Sugarloaf Key, Florida. The trio scored 1,350 points for releasing three barracuda and three permit, and also took the high-point permit title.

Second runner-up awards went to Sugarloaf Key guide Luke Kelly and angler Sarah Kelly in the spin division, who earned 650 points; guide Max Hamlin and angler Dave Hamlin, both of Key West, in the fly division with 200 points; and guide Andrew Tipler and his daughter, angler Annabel Tipler, both of Cudjoe Key, in the youth division with 850 points.

The Tipler team also earned high-point bonefish honors for releasing five bones.

The challenge drew 66 registered participants on 27 boats. It was presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association to raise money for the association’s initiatives and the Florida Keys Guides Trust Foundation, which provides funds to assist fishing guides who are recovering from an illness or injury.

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