KEY LARGO, Florida Keys - Team Astra Sails, led by Captain Greg Graham, tallied 19 sailfish releases to take top honors at the two-day Billfish Championship, a main event of the Jimmy Johnson Fishing Championship Week that ended Saturday in the Florida Keys.
Graham's team earned a total of $416,250 in prize money for the victory, as well as an authentic, custom-designed Jimmy Johnson's NBC Championship ring for each team member.
Graham, from Ocean Reef in Key Largo, fished with Miami anglers John McTurk, Mike Levy, Brad Zimmerman, Will Osche, Steve Smith, Morgan Cadell and Andi DeYoung, as well as Madison Roberts of Tallahassee, Florida.
JC Cleare led his Miami team on Hellreyzer to second place with 17 releases, followed in third place by Captain Matty Tambor's team on Owl's Nest with 13 fish. The teams earned $265,250 and $132,250 in prize money, respectively.
Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, was named top angler in the Celebrity Pro-Am Championship. Tannehill released two sails fishing from Weez in the Keys captained by Chris Zielinski.
Frustrated Amateurs, with Alfredo Miranda at the helm, won the one-day Sportfish Championship with two kingfish. First-place prize was $4,500 as well as a Jimmy Johnson Sportfish Championship ring for each team member.
The total purse for the Jimmy Johnson Fishing Championship Week topped $1 million. Its three events attracted over 90 boat teams and 600 anglers and other participants including former NFL linebackers Twan Russell and Zach Thomas, among several other pro football players and University of Miami alumni.
The philanthropic event raised over $75,000 for charitable recipients that included the Community Initiatives Foundation, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting various fundraising programs throughout South Florida, Quantum House and Tranquil Shores Children's Foundation.