2017 Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament Champions
Angler: Thane Morgan
Guide: Dustin Huff
The 54th Annual Invitational Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament in Islamorada, Florida produced some great competition among 25 talented Anglers again this year. It was especially unique in that the 2017 top winning Anglers are all past Grand Champions. The 2017 GCTT will be remembered for a week of relentless weather. Strong winds and a lack of fish provided for difficult fishing conditions. Extremely talented Anglers were able to pull in only 31 fish during the five day stretch, 10 Release and 21 Weight Fish. Anglers and Guides compete for various trophy items but the real honor is having their names added to the perpetual trophy which is showcased at Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada, Florida.
Angler Thane Morgan, from Amarillo, Texas, won the Grand Championship for the third time with total of 2665 points. Thane got a great start the first day of the tournament by catching two Weight Fish that weighed approximately 78 and 87.4 pounds. Days two and three weren’t very exciting but on day four Thane brought a big fish in weighing approximately 101.1 pounds. Thane’s Guide, Capt. Dustin Huff, again proved the family talent of guiding his Angler to the Grand Championship for the second time since 2014. Dustin Huff’s father, Fishing Legend Capt. Steve Huff, won the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament Grand Championship on three separate occasions in the 80s. Thane also helped put another father/son name on the perpetual trophy in 2010 by winning the Grand Championship with Guide, Craig Brewer, whose father Jim won in 1974. In addition to this year’s Grand Championship, Thane Morgan and Dustin Huff wonHigh Point Day 1 with their two Weight Fish out of the five caught that first day.
First Runner Up Angler, Julian Robertson, from New York City and his Guide, Capt. Joe Rodriguez, earned First Runner Up with 2556 points. They had the second largest Weight Fish, weighing approximately 130.9 pounds, one weighing approximately 94.7 pounds, and a Release Fish. Julian and Joe proved their team talent as Grand Champions last year and it was a close call this year as they were only 109 points or 10.9 lbs. behind Thane Morgan and Capt. Dustin Huff.
Second Runner Up Angler, Steve Ward, from Coppell, Texas and his Guide, Capt. Doug Kilpatrick weren’t far behind with a total of 2332 points from two Weight Fish and a Release Fish. Steve Ward also has his name on the perpetual trophy as the 2012 Grand Champion.
Mark Richens from Islamorada, Florida and Capt. Jared Raskob caught the Largest Tarpon measuring approximately 135.3 pounds. Again, past Grand Champions from 2015.
The 55 th Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament will take place June18-22 nd , 2018. For additional information, including current results and sponsor information, please visit the website at www.GoldCupTT.com.