Mavericks Once Again Take S.L.A.M. and S.L.A.M. Superfly!
by Capt. Mark Krowka
Only three anglers slammed at the 2012 Robert James Sales S.L.A.M. Redbone Celebrity Tournament. Frank Delucas of Plantation just happened to add five tarpon and four permit to his silvery trio to claim Grand Champion Honors. The weather was postcard perfect for this year’s first leg of the Redbone Series trilogy. Lower Keys tarpon and permit made good showings, but bonefish were in unusually short supply. The shortage of the normally plentiful speedsters kept scores down as most boats reported single digit (or worse) shot counts at the elusive grey ghosts.
Delucas, on the bow of an 18′ Mirage HPX, shot out of the gate with a strong start on Day One, carding 4 permit, 3 tarpon and one bonefish. He lost two other bones, which under the S.L.A.M. format would have been worth 600 extra bonus points for the two additional slams. He added 3 tarpon and one permit on Day Two for a 1,200 point first place total. Frank also took home trophies for High Point Angler Day One as well as Most Permit Releases.
Second Place was earned by Capt. Jared Raskob and Wally Nowacki with 2 bonefish, 2 permit and one tarpon. Nowacki won High Point Angler Day Two with a slam of his own.
Last year’s winners at the one day S.L.A.M. Superfly, Capt. Justin Rea and Cal Collier Jr. made it back to back Superfly victories with a 4 tarpon and one bonefish performance in Justin’s 17′ Mirage HPX. Because of nearly slick calm conditions and the weakest tides of the month, Collier wisely chose lighter 8 wt. equipment and smaller flies, even going down to a hook size #4. Frank Delucas nailed a fine 17 pound permit and one tarpon to finish First Runner-Up to Collier.
The S.L.A.M. and S.L.A.M. Superfly totally showcased the versatility of the 18′ Mirage HPX. In Redbone tournaments of old, It was almost assured that two boats would be deployed to perform many different tasks. Over the course of three days we shifted gears, sometimes hourly, to accommodate the weather, sunlight and tides. Frank and I live-baited and caught tarpon under corks, threw the fly to tailing permit and rolling tarpon, dropped shrimp to mudding bones, “V”- waked baits to laid up poons and watched permit crunch crabs like potato chips. All stealthily and successfully pursued from the same 18′ HPX.
As the 25th anniversary of Redbone is celebrated, volunteers, participants and celebrities continue to work hard to “Catch The Cure” for Cystic Fibrosis. For info on the upcoming Baybone and Redbone events and for next years’ trilogy contact Gary and Susan Ellis at 305-664-2002 or www.redbone.org.