SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Six barracuda, four bonefish and three permit releases earned top team honors at the recent Sugarloaf Showdown for guide Aaron Snell of Key West, Florida; Key West angler Tony Murphy and Dave Chouinard of Palm Harbor, Florida.
The trio amassed 3,300 points for their releases and earned the title of grand champion team in the tournament that ended Nov. 2 in the Lower Florida Keys. In addition to the overall victory, they were named high-point team for all three target species and Snell took the title of grand champion guide.
The second-place team consisted of guide Eric Ryan and angler Rob Kaufman, both of Key West. The duo released three bonefish, two barracuda and two permit, ending the showdown’s two fishing days with 1,400 points.
The third-place award went to Key West guide Scott Irvine and angler Collin DelBosque. They ended the tournament with 1,300 points after releasing three bonefish, three permit and one barracuda.
The challenge drew 48 participants on 22 boats. Presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association, it was a fundraiser for the Guides Trust Foundation, which provides funds to assist fishing guides who are recovering from an illness or injury.