Gold Cup Tournament

Past Grand Champions

Gold-Cup-Trophy2018 Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament Champions

Angler: Roger Fernandez
Guide: Steven Tejera

Islamorada, Florida – The 55th Annual Invitational Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament took place June 18th-22nd among 25 Anglers and their Guides. Spirits were high as several teams started off strong during the five-day event. Unusually great fishing weather for this prestigious week of Tarpon fishing on the Fly led to some great results.

Talented Fly-Anglers were able to pull in a whopping 111 fish during the five-day stretch, consisting of 71 Release and 40 Weight Fish. Teams of Anglers and Guides compete for various trophy and sponsor-donated items. The real honor is for the overall winning team to have their names added to the 55-year-old perpetual trophy. The historic GCTT trophy is showcased locally at The Florida Keys Outfitters.

2018 Grand Champion Angler, Roger Fernandez of Pinecrest, FL, and his Guide to Grand Champion, Capt. Steven Tejera, earned their title with a whopping total of 7,127 points. They set the bar high on Day 1 with 1 Release and 3 Weight Fish (71.7,79, and 97.1 lb.). The Fernandez and Tejera team remained consistent throughout the week by catching a fish every day, including a 124.9 lb. Weight on Day 2 and a 100 lb. Weight on Day 4. By maxing out their 5 Weight Fish limit, it offered them an opportunity to fish Day 5 for Releases. Through the years this is the scenario that all GCTT Teams hope for, but few have achieved. They were able to remain clutch and further solidify their victory by adding 3 more Release Fish to their total on Day 5. They had a total of 8 Releases and 5 Weight Fish for the week. Fernandez and Capt. Tejera now have one of the highest scoring weeks in the tournament’s 55-year history.

First Runner Up Angler, Co-Founder of YETI Coolers, Ryan Seiders from Austin, TX & and his Guide, Capt. Rob Fordyce, earned their 2nd Place Title with a total of 5,386 points. Team Seiders/Fordyce’s two Weight Fish Days on day 3 and day 4 put them back in the hunt. They had a total of 2 Releases and also maxed out on their limit of 5 Weight Fish (83.2, 85.6, 102.6, 89.8, and 117.4 lb.). In most years this performance would be enough to walk away with a GCTT victory.

Second Runner Up Angler, Sebastian Varney of New York, NY, and his Guide, Capt. Jeremy Fisher, earned a total of 4,516 points with a total of 2 Releases and 4 Weight Fish (106.9, 97.5, 107.9, and 79.3 pounds). This includes the team’s remarkable Day 1 performance of catching two weight fish averaging over 100lbs.

Angler Baker Bishop of Mt. Pleasant, SC and Capt. Craig Brewer caught the Largest Tarpon measuring 155 pounds. Not only was this the largest tarpon for the 2018 GCTT, it was personally the largest tarpon Bishop has ever caught which adds to the memories for this amazing year.

Angler Ed Young of Grapevine, TX and Capt. Richard Black won The Most Releases (on time) by catching their 8th Release Fish just hours before Grand Champions Fernandez and Capt. Tejera pulled in their 8th Release on the last day of the Tournament.

The 56th Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament will take place June 17th-21st, 2019. For additional information, including current results and sponsors, please visit the website at

Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament


2018 Roger Fernandez Capt. Steven Tejera
2017 Thane Morgan Dustin Huff
2016 Julian Robertson Joe Rodriguez
2015 Mark Richens Jared Raskob
2014 Thane Morgan Dustin Huff
2013 Rand Holstead Brian Helms
2012 Steve Ward Rick Murphy
2011 Greg Smith Bill Hagen
2010 Thane Morgan Craig Brewer
2009 David Dalu Scott Sollins
2008 David Dalu Scott Collins
2007 Tom Siska Glenn Flutie
2006 Tim Mahaffey Rick Murphy
2005 Andy Mill Tim Hoover
2004 Andy Mill Tim Hoover
2003 Andy Mill Tim Hoover
2002 Neil Hopkins Ken Collette
2001 Andy Mill Tim Hoover
2000 Andy Mill Tim Hoover
1999 Eizo Marahashi Ken Collette
1998 Eizo Marahashi Ken Collette
1997 Eizo Marahashi Ken Collette
1996 Glenn Flutie Paul Tejera
1995 Glenn Flutie Harry Spear
1994 Glenn Flutie Harry Spear
1993 Glenn Flutie Harry Spear
1992 Glenn Flutie Harry Spear
1991 Stanley Sherman Rob Fordyce
1990 Billy Pate Lee Baker
1989 Billy Pate Lee Baker
1988 Steve Chappell Nat Ragland
1987 Chris Parkening Harry Spear
1986 Stanley Sherman Joe LePree
1985 Sandy Moret Steve Huff
1984 Sandy Moret Steve Huff
1983 Billy Pate John Kipp
1982 Jimmy Bell, Jr Gary Register
1981 Sandy Moret Steve Huff
1980 Ben Hardesty Hank Brown
1979 Boyd H. Walker Roger Martin
1978 Jimmy Bell, Jr. Gary Register
1977 Jimmy Bell, Jr Gary Register
1976 Jack Kertz Cecil Keith
1975 Carl Navarre, Sr Ed Wightman
1974 Ben Hardesty Jim Brewer
1973 Billy Pate Hank Brown
1972 Al Pfleuger, Jr. Jim Albright
1971 Ralph Cuthbertson Clarence Lowe
1970 Jack Kertz Cecil Keith
1969 Carl Navarre, Sr Ed Wightman
1968 Cliff Stevens Dick Williams
1967 Ted Williams Jim Albright
1966 Bill Hammon Clarence Lowe
1965 Ted Williams Jim Albright
1964 Pete Siman Jack Muller