Twenty-five anglers competed for the largest tarpon on fly June 15 – 19, 2009 from the Lorelei, Islamorada, Florida Keys. This is the forty-sixth anniversary of the Gold Cup. Tarpon are measured with the weight calculated by a formula. Twenty nine weight fish, a minimum of 70 pounds were caught and released, and 102 tarpon a minimum of 4 feet were also caught and released.
The Grand Champion angler is David Dalu, of Charleston, South Carolina, fishing with Captain Scott Collins. David and Scott caught 4 weight fish and 22 releases for a total of 6660 points. First runner-up angler is Julian Robertson, of New Zealand, fishing with Captain Tad Burke. Julian caught 4 weight fish and 10 releases for a total of 6037 points. Second runner-up angler is Charles Duncan III, of Houston, TX, fishing with Captain Rob Fordyce, caught 5 weight fish and 7 releases for a total of 6016 points. The largest tarpon, 130.7 pounds, was caught by Julian Robertson. The most releases, 22, were caught by Dalu and Collins, this was a tournament record. High Point New Angler is Bill Bishop of Orlando, fishing with Tommy Locke of Boca Grande, releasing 2 tarpon. Trophies are sculptures by Roger Fowler. His work can be seen on his website fowlersculpture.com.
David Dalu and Capt. Scott Collins were second in the Hawley Tarpon Tournament & Charles Duncan III and Capt. Rob Fordyce were the champions 2 weeks ago. Capt. Tad Burke won the Women’s Fly Series the week before the Gold Cup with angler Kathy Hoar.
Dalu and Collins will have their names engraved on the Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament perpetual trophy for a second time, on display at the Worldwide Sportsman in Islamorada. Dalu 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.
Collins will join some of the pioneering guides of backcountry fly fishing whose names are engraved on the trophy, including Jimmy Albright, Cecil Keith, Hank Brown, Nat Ragland, Jack Brothers and Stu Apte.