By Dan Carns
Well folks, here we are again getting ready to host the 17th Annual Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament albeit in an altered format from past events due to the ongoing pandemic. In addition to a virtual Captain’s Meeting the fee has been reduced and we’ve also added an exciting Team option for our corporate sponsors. For many years now we’ve held this tournament as a benefit event in support of the Candelighters of Southwest Florida whose mission it is to provide support, education and assistance to families of children with cancer and blood disorders. Unfortunately for them almost all of their out reach fundraisers have been cancelled this year so in hopes of giving them the most money we can raise this year, we’re handing out trophies and prize packages which may include a new kayak but is not assured as of this writing date.
This has become the premier S.W. Florida paddle sport fishing event and we know that locals relish the chance to compete with each other as well as those that live outside of our little paradise who travel a long way to compete in this tournament. As I write this the fishing around Lee County has been on fire and promises to heat up as we head to a little cooler weather and water for the fall run. Redfish are beginning to cruise the flats in good size schools and the snook will have already begun their slow migration into the inner canals all the while fattening up for ‘winter’ and the trout bite should be great. If your new to this event it is a Catch, Photo and Release (CPR) tournament and is really low key with a small entry fee and really gives anyone at almost skill level a chance to try their luck. Over the years I’ve seen anglers of every ability try their hand at this event and it really is a rewarding way to give back and have some fun at the same time.
A few tips if I may, first and foremost have all your gear clean, pre-rigged with new leader material and don’t try something you’ve never fished with on tournament day, also make sure you have a spare rod and reel in case of breakage. If you plan on using bait will they be open early and will they have it early, if not then reserve some ahead of time. Plan on giving yourself plenty of time to arrive and setup before launch so your not stressing about being late and make sure you can get back to weigh-in on time! Stay hydrated and fed as you will be power fishing for almost 8 hours under possibly hot conditions but also bring something to warm up in as last year proved to be a challenge to stay warm!
Regardless of your ability or skill level come out and join us for this great event!
It’s a Wild World-Get Out There!