The 2013 Tournament was a great success.

Tournament Anglers Battle Fierce Conditions

Click to view the complete press release.

The All-American Backcountry Fishing Tournament at Cheeca Lodge began November of 2012 in Islamorada. This tournament is predicated by Cheeca’s legendary George Bush/Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament, hosted by President George H.W. Bush from 1994 to 2003. 

The goal of the Cheeca All American tournament is two-fold. The first is to further enrich the resort’s position as the premier resort fishing destination in Islamorada, “the Sport Fishing Capital of the World.” The second is to make this event the most impressive and celebrated Florida fishing tournament in the Keys by bringing Cheeca Lodge’s singular brand of casual elegance to every aspect of this event – from the trophies to the gift bags to the banquets.

2013 Backcountry Fishing Tournament Recap

Weather conditions were rough and windy during the 2nd Annual Cheeca Lodge All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament, but a tenacious group of 30 anglers fishing on 22 boats managed to release a remarkable 193 gamefish during two days of fishing.  Proceeds will benefit the George Hommell Jr. Florida Keys Habitat Fund set up by the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.


Grand Champion Angler and Guide:   Jim Bokor and Frank Ortiz

Grand Champion Team:   Rob Dixon and Kevin Willette, guided by Mike Makowski

Runner Up Grand Champion Angler and Guide:  Samuel Rose and Mike Hutchinson

Runner Up Grand Champion Team:   Stu Apte and Art Webb guided by Steve Thomas

Artificial Division Grand Champion Angler and Guide:   Stu Apte and Steve Thomas

Fly Division Champion Angler and Guide:   Art Webb and Steve Thomas

General Division Champion and Guide:   Rob Dixon and Mike Makowski

Guide to Fly Division Grand Champion:   Steve Thomas

Most Outstanding Catch Award:   18-pound permit caught by Jeff Sanders, guided by Lonnie Shaw

Best Photo Award:   Art Webb

Sponsors included Wells Fargo, BCF Boom Your Brand, Florida Keys & Key West, Costa, Frigid-Rigid, Executive Printers of Florida, D.O.A., Simms, Printing Plus, Bagley, Linens & More, Yo-Zuri, Green Turtle Wine & Spirits, Reef Safe, Cotee, Florida Keys Outfitters, Tommy Bahama, Floral Fantasy & Gifts and Blue Marlin Jewelry.