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Pound for pound

7/31/2008

ISLAMORADA, Fla. — An 8-year-old caught a 46-pound dolphin off the Florida Keys in July that weighed exactly the same as the young angler.

Mikey Capozzoli, an Islamorada second-grade student, was fishing on the Catch 22 with a group of anglers including Bud N' Mary's Fishing Marina owner Richard Stanczyk.

The boat was headed back to shore after a successful swordfish catch when Stanczyk's brother Scott, the boat's captain, spotted feeding birds and flying fish.

Moments later, anglers on board the Catch 22 were simultaneously hooked up to seven dolphin, all more than 20 pounds that are called "slammers" by Keys offshore anglers.

Young Capozzoli was one of those anglers.

"We had hooked seven slammers, all at once," Richard Stanczyk said. "We didn't realize Mikey had the biggest fish."

Capozzoli fought the fish for a hour, all the time jockeying for position to keep his line from tangling with others.

The 46-pounder, caught on spinning tackle with a live cigar minnow as bait, finally was boated after all the other fish were reeled in.

"I was tired, but real happy," said Capozzoli. "It was the biggest dolphin I've every caught."

Stanczyk said the youngster is a natural fisherman.

"He's an amazing little angler," he said. "He knows when to reel and when not to reel, and how to keep pressure on the fish.

"But the real amazing thing is that we hooked up and caught all seven slammers, including Mikey's big fish," Stanczyk added.