UM Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Tournament

Former Miami Hurricanes reconnect during fishing tournament

 

Ray Lewis was among 60 former UM athletes who participated in Saturday’s event that benefitted several charitable causes.

scocking@MiamiHerald.com

Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, a two-time Super Bowl winner, didn’t win any prizes in Saturday’s UM Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Tournament in Islamorada. But you couldn’t tell it from the cheers that erupted and the flashes of cellphone cameras as the star former UM linebacker helped weigh seven dolphin to 31 pounds caught by his fishing team aboard the Tropicat.

“I wanted to come back and share with my brothers the importance of fellowship,” Lewis said. “It isn’t hard to bring me back home. We have a special knit family. This trip only bonds us closer.”

More than 60 former Hurricanes star athletes — including Warren Sapp, Ted Hendricks, Gino Torretta, Randal Hill, Melvin Bratton, Michael Irvin and Brett Romberg — were spread among the fleet of more than 90 boats gathered to fish, party and raise money for the UM Hall of Fame, as well as the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys. Lewis got to fish with his son Ray III, 18, who will play for the Hurricanes this fall. Both caught dolphin in the 20-pound class Saturday, and the father delighted in coaching his son.

“Come on, now, reel down and come up,” the senior Lewis directed. “You can do it, baby.”

The Tropicat’s fishing day was pretty slow until the last half-hour of the tournament when first mate Mario Valladares used binoculars to spot a small flock of sooty terns hovering in about 850 feet of water.

Captain Fritz Herman, standing high in the boat’s tuna tower, steered toward the birds and spotted a cruising bull dolphin beneath them. Herman directed Valladares where to pitch a live cigar minnow, and the fish ate it without hesitation. At least a dozen more dolphin of similar size appeared in the area, and most of the members of the Tropicat crew got to land fish.

“I like the ambience of it,” the elder Lewis said of offshore fishing. “It teaches you so much patience.”

The five-person team on A Salt Weapon took the top prize of $3,000 for a dolphin weighing 43.6 pounds caught by Michael Vera of Miami. Vera pitched a ballyhoo to the winning fish in 1,000 feet of water off Islamorada.

Following the tournament, anglers attended an awards dinner and auction at the Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Greg Shaughnessy, left, and Dillon Justice show off a large snook they caught and released using a SpoolTek lure in Jupiter Inlet.

    Outdoors

    New SpoolTek lure catches monster snook in dark of night

    There’s an oft-repeated bromide that nothing good happens after 2 a.m., but that’s not necessarily true when it comes to snook fishing. Snook angler extraordinaire/fishing tackle maker Dave Justice insisted that that’s when he, his son Dillon, 18, employee Greg Shaughnessy and I should test his latest innovation, the SpoolTek, for catching huge linesiders in Jupiter Inlet.

  • Fishing Report

    South Florida fishing report: Aug. 20, 2014

    Captain Jimbo Thomas from the charter boat Thomas Flyer out of Miamarina at Bayside reported that large schoolie dolphins have been pretty thick along a giant weedline that has been located between 20 and 25 miles offshore of Miami.

  • South Florida outdoors notebook: Aug. 20, 2014

    Bassbusters Florida will hold silver and gold division team tournaments Saturday and Sunday out of Roland Martin’s Marine Center in Clewiston. Register at 5 a.m. both days. Weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. For more information, call Chris Fickey at 941-232-9539.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category