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Tony Horsley Fishes the 2009 Florida Keys World Championship
Posted on 08/26/2009
Virginia Anglers Club Member Tony Horsley carried the VAC colors down to the Florida Keys and fished the three-day 2009 Florida Keys Outfitters/IGFA Light Tackle Inshore World Championship. Tony was one of the only 15 anglers fishing this tournament, all 15 of which come from all over the world. To qualify, Tony had to win one of the 30 qualifying world wide tournaments in the U.S., Australia and the Bahamas in 2008. This is the first year the Inshore World Championship was divided into two separate events, a Fly Fishing Inshore World Championship and a Light Tackle Inshore World Championship. A World Champion was recognized for each of the two, separate events and came from the 15 anglers fishing each event. This was the first year for the new co-sponsor and two-event tournament formats. Fishing will take place Tuesday thru Thursday, July 7th thru 9th and is headquartered at Islamorada in the Florida Keys. Each of the 30 total participants drew a knowledgeable local guide who offered to participate in the tournament. The guide and angler fished together all three days, a change from past Championships where the anglers fished with a different guide each day. Tournament Director Sandy Monet is the owner of Championship co-sponsor Florida Keys Outfitters, a prominent saltwater fly fishing shop, school and organizer of numerous Keys tournaments. Sandy commented, “Teams should be able to develop a rhythm and work more effectively together without having to start from square one each day.” Each of the Inshore World Championships was an all-release tournament. Virginia Angler Club’s Tony Horsley strove to catch more “grand slams” than any other angler during the three days of the Light Tackle Inshore World Championship. A “grand slam” is a catch of each of the targeted species: bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook. After all five species are caught for a “grand slam”, anglers move on to catch their second “grand slam”. The angler with the most “grand slams” becomes the World Inshore Champion. To qualify for scoring, a fish must fall within a length slot included in the Florida Saltwater Fishing Regulations. Note: Slot lengths for “grand slam” species are as follows: Bone Fish – 12” minimum”, Tarpon (no minimum), Permit – 11”to 20”, Redfish (Drum) – 18”-27”, Snook – 28” to 32”. For the first year, ESPN Outdoors covered the World Championship. Television crews were on hand to film the angling and related events. The resulting footage will be presented on ESPN Outdoor’s Saltwater Series of programs. Additional information on the World Championships is available on the VAC web site and also at, or