LOWER FLORIDA KEYS, Florida — Casting skills are to eclipse kicking skills in the Florida Keys as anglers target barracuda, flats fishing’s “big game,” in an annual pre–Super Bowl challenge that can be as intense as football’s big game.
The 2022 Cuda Bowl is set for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 10-12. The all-release tournament is designed for anglers fishing in poleable depths of water with fly or spin tackle.
Events are to begin with a kick-off party, captains meeting and rules discussion at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at South of the Seven restaurant at the Sugarloaf Lodge, 17075 Overseas Highway at mile marker 17 on Sugarloaf Key. Registrants can pick up their tournament bags and enjoy appetizers and a cash bar.
Fishing is scheduled Friday and Saturday and anglers must check in to report their catches in person at South of the Seven by 5 p.m. each day.
A social gathering with a cash bar and appetizers follows Friday’s fishing, and an awards ceremony is scheduled at 6 p.m. Saturday. Both are to take place at South of the Seven.
Prizes await the participants who catch the highest total inches of barracuda in the fly and spin divisions.
Other awards recognize the top lady angler, junior angler, most barracuda releases and largest individual barracuda. The Ben Gravett Team Trophy, named for the late angler and longtime tournament participant, awaits the team that tallies the highest combined inches of barracuda.
Tournament rules allow licensed guides to fish as anglers. The entry fee is $600 per boat with a maximum of two anglers.
Tournament information and registration: cudabowl.com