SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys— Angling teams are to pit their skills against the Lower Florida Keys’ wiliest in-water inhabitants during the Sugarloaf Showdown, a fundraising fishing tournament scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 5-7.
Presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association, the tournament raises money for the Florida Keys Guides Trust Foundation. The foundation provides funds to assist fishing guides who are recovering from an illness or injury.
Participants must use either spin or fly tackle to pursue the catch-and-release tournament’s target species of bonefish, permit and barracuda. A maximum of three fish of each species can be scored per team per day.
Awards await the three teams with the highest total points that represent catches of all three species. If no team catches all three, the team with the highest point total representing two species will be declared the winner.
Other prizes include individual awards to the high-point angler in each target species.
According to tournament organizers, participants are to follow Monroe County COVID-19 health safety protocols throughout, including social distancing and wearing facial coverings when appropriate.
Final registration and check-in for the Showdown are slated for 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Sugarloaf Marina, located at 17015 Overseas Highway adjacent to the Sugarloaf Lodge. Anglers can pick up their tournament bags and rules and discover and bid on quality gear at a silent auction that continues throughout the challenge.
Fishing is scheduled to begin with a mandatory 6:30 a.m. check-in with the scorekeeper Friday and Saturday, with angling scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All boats must be back and teams checked in with the scorekeeper by 5:30 p.m. each evening.
An outdoor barbecue at Sugarloaf Marina is to follow Saturday’s fishing at 5:30 p.m. The awards presentation is set for 6 p.m. and the silent auction is to wrap up at 7 p.m.
The entry fee is $250 for a two-person team or a team consisting of two anglers plus a guide. Competition is open to all anglers and guides, but only two people on each team are allowed to fish.
Event information and registration: sugarloafshowdown.com