25th Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament

25th Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament October 6-8, 2023 will be the last

A local family favorite fishing tournament has announced its finale. After 24 tournaments, 2023 will be the final Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament, held in Naples October 6-8, 2023. The all-ages tournament includes the whole family with divisions for age 6 and under, youth, and adult, both guided and open. Anglers can launch from Chokoloskee, Goodland, Naples or Cocohatchee. The tournament targets Snook, Redfish and Spotted Sea Trout and is entirely catch-and-release. Each boat is provided with a digital camera, score sheet and tournament measuring stick to record the fish they catch. A coveted prize is also given for the longest total “trash can slam” of jack, ladyfish and catfish.

The Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament attracts anglers of all skill levels, and many families return each year for a weekend on the water fishing together. Anglers receive a tournament shirt, hat and bag with entry fees, as well as a Friday evening Kick-off Party with captains and anglers meeting at the Sunshine Ace Hardware downtown Naples and an exciting awards banquet Sunday evening at the scenic Naples Sailing and Yacht Club with raffles, a silent auction, and special speakers.

The popular tournament has been running in Naples since 1997 and has only been cancelled twice – one for Hurricane Wilma, and one for the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the tournament moved to the spring season after hurricane Wilma, 2023 has the tournament returning to its roots in October, which promises good backcountry fishing and more availability for local guides to participate. “We listened to our anglers and guides and chose to move our tournament back to the fall for better fishing and hopefully the best turn-out we’ve had yet,” said this year’s tournament co-chairs Matt and Katie Betz.

The tournament benefits the Gene Doyle Memorial Foundation, in memory of Gene Doyle, a Naples High School graduate whose legacy of love for adventure and the outdoors is carried on through the recipients of the Gene Doyle Adventure Scholarship. The scholarship awards Collier County high school juniors, seniors, and college freshmen with outdoor adventures such as kayaking, backpacking and mountaineering with Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School or Alaska Mountaineering School.

Register to fish or sponsor the tournament at GeneDoyle.org or email GeneDoyleFish@gmail.com

Photo captions: Families are encouraged to participate in The Gene Doyle Fishing Tournament, October 6-8, 2023. The 2023 tournament will be the event’s final year. Trophies are awarded for the largest tournament fish as well as the highest scoring team. The tournament also gives a prize for the “trash can slam” for anglers who catch ladyfish, catfish and jack. Learn more at genedoyle.org.