Twelve-year-old Leo Maass, a sixth-grader from Houston, Texas, caught six tarpon over three morning and evening fishing excursions to win the Robert-James Sales Redbone-at-Large Sunrise/Sunset Tarpon Tourney Tournament April 15 to 17 in Islamorada.
His guide was Capt. Taylor Powell of Miami and his teammate was his father, Alex Maass. The pair won the grand-champion team award.
Six-year-old Caleb Bokor placed first in the junior category. He fished with his father, Jim Bokor of Islamorada, and was guided by Capt. Richard Black of Islamorada. The young Bokor's tarpon weighed more than he did.
Leo Maass said he caught his first tarpon, which had an estimated weight of 50 to 60 pounds, the afternoon of April 16 using live bait on 20-pound test line. Powell said the tarpon jumped a few times and then it took them beneath a bridge a couple times. However, the fish stayed on during a 10-minute fight and the team was on the scoreboard.
The Maass team caught three of seven tarpon April 16 and three more than next day to bring the team total to six.
The runner-up team was retired astronaut Bruce Melnick and John Timura of Islamorada. They caught five tarpon while fishing with Capt. Scott Keller of Islamorada. Melnick landed two tarpon.
In all, anglers on 18 boats caught and released 25 tarpon in 13 hours of tournament fishing.