Gold Cup Tournament

Past Grand Champions


The Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament perpetual trophy is on display at World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada, Florida. The names on this trophy read like the who’s who of saltwater fly fishing. The Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament began in 1964. The tournament was first held in Islamorada in the Florida Keys and has been hosted there ever since. The Gold Cup was originally a spin, plug and fly format and was started with the help of baseball hall of famer Ted Williams. The tournament was open to both men and women.

In 1972 the format changed to fly fishing only. The tournament has been won in the past by notable anglers like 5 time Grand Champion Glenn Flutie and Andy Mill, 4 time champion Billy Pate, 3 time champions Sandy Moret, Eizo Marahashi and Jimmy Bell Jr., 2 time winners Ted Williams, Carl Navarre Sr., Stanley Sherman, and Ben Hardesty, David Dalu and Thane Morgan.

Other participants included Joan Salvato Wulff, Joe Brooks and Al Pfleuger,Jr.. These anglers have been guided by the some of the pioneers of flats fishing like Jim Albright, Cecil Keith, Hank Brown, Nat Ragland, Jack Brothers, Stu Apte, George Hommell, Steve Huff, and Harry Spear. The tournament has evolved over the years into the premier tarpon tournament in the world.

Tournament History

2016 Champions: Angler Julian Robertson and Captain Joe Rodriguez

2016 Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament Champions

Angler: Julian Robertson
Guide: Joe Rodriguez

The 53rd Annual Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament in Islamorada, Florida again produced some great competition among 25 talented Anglers and Captains. The longest, continuously running Tarpon Fly Fishing Tournament is a five-day tournament where Angler and Captain Teams are awarded Weight Points for fish measuring over 70 pounds that are brought under control. Release Points are awarded for tarpon that are brought under control that are a minimum of four feet long, regardless of weight. Tarpon are catch and release only and weight is determined by a formula based on length and girth. Talented Teams were able to pull in 56 Release Fish and 25 Weight Fish during the 5-day stretch. Thursday marked one of the best fishing days in Gold Cup TT history with 14 Weight Fish and 14 Release Fish brought in on one day!

Teams compete for various trophy items but the real honor is having their name added to the 53-Year-Old perpetual trophy which is showcased at The Florida Keys Outfitters in Islamorada. Angler Julian Robertson, from New York City, and his Captain Joe Rodriguez scored a total of 6524 points, winning the 53rd Annual Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament. They met the five strap limit on day 5 to solidify their 2016 Grand Championship. The Robertson Rodriguez team scored fish measuring approximate weights of 101.2, 79.8, 74.3, 85.6, and 101.5 pounds. Due to their many, large Weight Fish on the last three days of the Tournament, they also won Awards for High Point Day Three, High Point Day Four, and High Point Day Five. They won the overall High Point Day Award, bringing in a total of 3185 points with three Weight Fish on the memorable Thursday. Team Robertson and Rodriguez also added seven Release Fish for the week, winning the Award for Most Releases simply by time. They beat out Team Morgan and Huff by catching their last fish first. Robertson and Rodriguez proved to be a talented pair and kept competition exciting this week. They sealed their legacy in Tarpon fishing immortality by finishing strong and having their names added to the Historic Gold Cup TT Trophy!

Angler Thane Morgan, from Amarillo, TX and his Capt. Dustin Huff of Marathon, FL took 2nd Place with a total of 4974 points. Their seven Release Fish, along with Weight Fish measuring approximately 103.2, 111.0, and 73.2 pounds built on their continued success in the Gold Cup TT. Team Morgan and Huff won the Grand Championship in 2014 and Angler Thane Morgan won the Grand Championship previously in 2010.

Finishing 3rd Place in 2016 is the Team of Baker Bishop of Charleston, SC and Capt. Craig Brewer of Islamorada. Bishop & Brewer scored a total 2669 points. Bishop is a two-time Golden Fly Tarpon Tournament Champion and Capt. Brewer was the Guide to the Grand Champion in the 2010 Gold Cup TT.

Angler Mark Richens and his Capt. Jared Raskob, both local to Islamorada, followed up their 2015 Gold Cup TT Grand Championship by taking the Largest Tarpon Award in the 2016 event. The fish measured approximate weight of 126.6 pounds.

The 54th Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament will take place June 19-23, 2017.

Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament


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