Jim Bokor wins Mercury Outboards Redbone @ Large Little Palm Island Grand Slam
Catches four amazing Slams
to Dan Zicari’s three in two-day CF fundraiser
LITTLE PALM ISLAND, In the Fla. Keys,
– After catching a phenomenal four grand slams of fish, Jim Bokor,
Tavernier, did leave a few awards for the other anglers in the Mercury Outboards
Redbone @ Large Little Palm Island Grand Slam.
many, but he did leave a few.
went to runner-up Dan Zicari, Vero Beach, Fla., who himself had an amazing three
grand slams of bonefish, tarpon and permit.
award even went to Bokor’s wife Maryann (couples grand champions) who annually
teams with her husband at this, the sixth annual event. Beautiful paintings,
etchings and sculptures were awarded to the winners in the tournament, which
benefits cystic fibrosis cure research.
was probably the best two days of fishing I’ve ever had,” said Bokor. “I had a great tournament and so did Zicari.”
“The fishing was indeed outstanding,” agreed Capt. Gary Ellis,
tournament director and founder of the Mercury Redbone events.
“Even though Little Palm Island is not in the series points race, the
Bokor and Zicari competition is an extension of several years of ongoing
contests between these two gentlemen. What’s rewarding is how much the
participation of these guys has helped the charity in raising monies in our
fight to catch a cure for CF,” said Ellis.
Bokor is a 4- time (‘92, ‘93, ‘94 and ’99) series grand champion of the three main event Mercury Redbone series (Mercury SLAM, Mercury Baybone and Mercury/Cheeca Redbone) in the Florida Keys. Zicari lost the ‘99 series to Bokor by 50 points, but bounced back to become the grand champion of the 2000 series.
Bokor and Hoover’s strategy
who was guided by Capt. Tim Hoover, Marathon, gave a review of their fishing
strategy and tactics.
got a late start and immediately went tarpon fishing,” said Bokor. “We saw
one fishing rolling and followed him for a distance until I put a shrimp on his
nose and caught him about 8 o’clock. But it turned over cast and with a
falling tide we went to the ocean side where it was sunny, for bonefish. I
caught four by noon and Maryann caught one. But the clouds hit again and
that’s the way we ended the day.
we learned that Dan had a grand slam of fish the first day, Hoover joked that
‘Jim, the best you can do is get four slams, the worst nothing,’“ said
an earlier start the second day they again searched in three locations for
shrimp hatches where tarpon might be, but found none. Then in the fourth
location they didn’t find a hatch, but did find tarpon rolling.
In 15 minutes he had lost two but caught three.
Bokor now had four tarpon and four bonefish on his score sheet. They
headed for Key West for the permit, the final species needed for the grand slam,
arriving to the waters they wanted to be in at about 10:15. Within five minutes,
Bokor said, they saw two permit, hooking up and catching the biggest of the pair
measuring 33 inches.
fortunes continued as five minutes later he saw another fairly large permit, and
with an accurate cast of a crab, it was in the boat moments later.
He said they pushed back on the flat, and after several attempts he caught the third one. But another broke off as his line got caught in the bail. With clouds rolling it was nearly a three-hour wait and a few more spooked fish before they found a single permit feeding on the flat. Moments later it too was in the boat for a measurement, photograph and release.
“We had four of each species,” exclaimed Bokor. “It was superb
“Several more times I tried to get Maryann
to fish for another one for the couples award, but she was happy, she said, just
watching the interaction between me and Tim Hoover in stalking, catching and
releasing the fish.”
Other anglers applauded the competition.
have to hand it to them, that was great planning,” said Larry Sydnor, Ft.
Lauderdale, who himself teams with his wife Sharon in many of the Redbone
competitions and, like the Bokors, are supporting sponsors.
“They took the time, effort and planning to make the long
rides to where the fish were and catching them while they were in those
areas,” said Sydnor.
Three other couples were competing besides the Sydnors and Bokors.
Ambiance of Little Palm Island
said the fishing was so good it carried late into the evening as two guests from
supporting sponsor Rich Products caught two permit off the dock in their evening
two ladies were helped into a boat and they continued to fight the fish close to
midnight a half mile from the dock,” he chuckled.
ambiance of Little Palm Island is so special,” Ellis continued. “Last year
we got so caught up we fished through an evacuation notice for Hurricane Debbie.
We’re so self-contained and laid back here, by the time we heard about
the Monroe County evacuation order of the Keys, the threat of the hurricane had
solitude is the kind of feeling you get on Little Palm Island,” he added.
Lower Keys Fishery growing
two Mercury Redbone Slam events are the first tournaments in the Keys to promote
a grand slam fishing concept, said Ellis.
we started with the S.L.A.M. (Southernmost Light-Tackle Anglers Masters) in Key
West in 1990, and then the Little Palm Island Grand Slam tournament six years
later, someone has always caught a grand slam of fish each year at these
reported that among the 16 boats, 75 fish were caught and released among them 27
bonefish, 30 tarpon and 18 permit.
fishery here continues to grow as the premier destination and the crown jewel of
fishing in the lower Keys,” said Ellis.
can’t remember over the years anyone catching four slams or for that matter,
three,” added Bokor. “It’s
superb,” he repeated.
by such celebrities as sports hall of famers Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Curt
Gowdy and John Havlicek, the Redbone (REDfish and BONEfish) began as a small
local tournament in 1988 in Islamorada in the Florida Keys as a fundraiser to
help CF patients like tournament founders Capt. Gary and Susan Ellis’ young
daughter Nicole. Mercury
Outboards joined as a title sponsor 11 years ago. As the series grew, the world
leader in fuel efficient, low emissions marine propulsion dedicated increasing
manpower and money for the events.
14-year old Mercury Redbone series of events have spring boarded national and
international attention raising over $2 million dollars to find a cure for CF.
the Ellis’ tournament “footprint”, many CF Foundation chapters around the
country are beginning to include more Mercury Outboards Redbone celebrity
fishing tournaments in their annual special events. The CF Orlando chapter
organized its first year event in New Smyrna Beach earlier this year. That was
followed by an offshore tournament put on by the Palm Beach chapter, and then by
a flats fishing tournament in the Everglades organized by the Naples and Miami
final four events of the season includes the11th Annual Mercury
S.L.A.M. Celebrity Tournament, the opening event in the Redbone points series,
September 7 – 9 in Key West (for bonefish, tarpon and permit).]
newest event already booked with 40 boats is the first Mercury Redbone @ Large
Nor’East Grand Slam at Montauk, Long Island, New York, September 19 – 21.
Anglers will be fishing for blues, striped bass and false albacore in this
points series continues at Key Largo with the 11th Mercury Baybone
Celebrity Tournament, Sept. 28 – 30 (bonefish and permit) and then the 14th
Mercury/Cheeca Redbone Celebrity Tournament in Islamorada, November 2 – 4 for
redfish and bonefish.
are still openings at several of the fall events. For more information on
fishing the Mercury Redbone fall series of celebrity tournaments, please
call Susan Ellis at 305-664-2002 in the Florida Keys.
OUTBOARDS REDBONE @ LARGE
ISLAND GRAND SLAM
Grand Champion Angler: Jim Bokor, Tavernier, Fla, guided by Capt. Tim Hoover, Marathon, Fla.
Team Grand Champion Anglers:
Dan Zicari, Vero Beach, Fla, and Kal Blumberg, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., guided by
Capt. Mark Krowka, Davie, Fla.
Pro Celebrity Angler: Pat
Ford, Miami, Fla., guided by Capt. Tim Carlile, Sugarloaf Shores, Fla.
Couples Grand Champions:
Jim Bokor and Maryann Bokor, Tavernier, guided by Capt. Tim Hoover.
First Runner-up Angler: Dan
Zicari, Vero Beach, Fla., guided by Capt. Mark Krowka
Largest Bonefish: Jim Bokor,
guided by Capt. Tim Hoover
Largest Permit: Jim Bokor,
guided by Capt. Tim Hoover
Largest Tarpon: Dan Zicari,
guided by Capt. Mark Krowka
Most bonefish releases: Jim
Bokor (4), guided by Capt. Tim Hoover
Most permit releases:
Jim Bokor (4), guided by Capt. Tim Hoover
Most tarpon releases: Jim
Bokor (4), guided by Capt. Tim
Total Boats: 16
Total Fish Caught and Released
75 --- (27 bonefish, 30 tarpon and 18 permit)
Johnson Communications, at 480-951-3654