The 19th Annual Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament

By: Dan Carns

Set for Saturday, November 12th, 2022. This is Florida’s largest and longest running Kayak Fishing Tournament. Last year had a record breaking 90 plus kayak anglers and a remarkable financial payout.

Scotty’s Bierworks in Cape Coral will again graciously hold the Captain’s meeting on Nov 11th at 7:30 PM. This is a mandatory meeting where the rules will be explained and measuring devices will be assigned. These Captain’s meetings are a fun time. Kayakers are a fairly laid-back group where you may get to make some new fishing friends or fire up some past rivalries.

Tournament day is Saturday, Nov. 12th, start time is 6:30 A.M. and all fishing must take place in Lee County waters, home of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. This 190-mile Paddling trail is a remarkable fishery where even a novice has a chance to place in the money spot and the trial is so big you may have your little piece of water to yourself all day!  Weigh-in will take place at the Olde Fish House Marina in beautiful Matlacha and will feature door prizes, food, live music, raffles, and silent auctions. This is a fun family event where you and your family or friends can watch the leader board as the anglers come ashore and register their catch!

This is a benefit tournament for The Candlelighters of Southwest Florida whose mission is to provide support, education and assistance to the families of children with cancer and blood disorders. The last couple of years have been a challenge trying to raise money for this noble cause and this tournament has become very important to their mission.

This year due to the popularity of this tournament we are using a professional online tournament app called FishDonkey that automatically uploads your catch all day and culls out the smaller fish as you go.

If this is your first tournament here in S.W. Florida, we are chasing what is called an inshore slam. This is a Snook, Redfish and Trout and you must catch all three to be eligible for the top three prizes. There is also a Top Lady Angler prize as well as a prize for the biggest of any one of the inshore slam species. Your $50.00 dollar entry fee gives you a shot at the top three spots paying out $1,000, $500 and $250 and includes a Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing shirt plus free beer at the captains meeting and food on tournament day! Every angler also gets a raffle ticket to win some other cool stuff.

This is a cool event for the novice angler as you are really fishing against yourself trying to upgrade each fish as the day wears on. Make sure you have all your gear ready, a backup plan if you need to re-launch and bring food and water as you may be fishing for 5-7 hours!


Get Out There-It’s A Wild World

Dan @paddlinandfishin