Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Tournament Result

Tarpon fishing is challenging even in the best of conditions, but add inclement weather and competitors in the Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament in Islamorada, Florida this past week had even more odds stacked against them. Yet perseverance paid off for three Texas anglers, with Steve Ward winning Grand Champion, Thane Morgan first runner up, and Carlos Duncan coming in for third.

Read the full press release in the extended entry.

Twenty-five anglers competed for the 49th Annual Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament June 18 – 22, 2012 based out of The Lorelei in Islamorada, Florida.  Tarpon are caught on Fly Rod using 16lb Tippet and measured with the weight calculated by a formula. Eight weight fish, a minimum of 70 pounds were caught and released, and 36 tarpon a minimum of 4 feet were also caught and released.

A week of bad conditions challenged the full field of fly fishing anglers. In the end Steve Ward of Coppell, Texas was crowned the Grand Champion for 2012, fishing with Captain Rick Murphy of Homestead, FL. Steve and Rick caught 2 weight fish and 9 releases for a total of 3124 points. First runner-up angler is Thane Morgan of Amarillo, TX fishing with Captain Craig Brewer. Thane, the 2010 Grand Champion, caught 2 weight fish and 3 releases for a total of 2649 points. Second runner-up angler is Carlos Duncan, of Houston TX fishing with Captain Rob Fordyce, caught 2 weight fish and 3 releases for a total of 2417 points. Julian Robertson and Joe Rodriquez caught the largest tarpon, 119.9 pounds.  The most releases, 9, were caught by Ward and Murphy. Trophies were sculptures by Roge Fowler ( and Jorge Martinez (

Ward & Murphy will have their names engraved on the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament’s perpetual trophy on display at the Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada. They will join such legendary anglers as five-time grand champions Glenn Flutie and Andy Mill, four-time champion Billy Pate, three-time champions Sandy Moret, Eizo Marahashi and Jimmy Bell Jr., and a list of winners that includes baseball great Ted Williams. Murphy already has his name on the trophy as Guide to Champion Tim Mahaffey in 2006; many of  the pioneering guides of backcountry fly fishing whose also have their names are engraved on the trophy, including Jimmy Albright, Cecil Keith, Hank Brown, Nat Ragland, Jack Brothers and Stu Apte.

The 50th Gold Cup tournament will be June 17 – 21, 2013. For more  visit our web site

This entry was posted in Events. Bookmark the permalink.