SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Anglers are to pit their skills against the Lower Florida Keys’ wiliest in-water inhabitants during the fourth annual Sugarloaf Showdown, a fundraising fishing tournament scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 2-4.
Presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association, the tournament raises money for the Florida Keys Guides Trust Foundation, which provides funds to assist fishing guides who are recovering from an illness or injury.
Organizers say benefiting the foundation is more important than ever this year, following Hurricane Irma’s unwelcome Sept. 10 arrival in the Florida Keys and the storm’s impact on Lower Keys areas.
The catch-and-release tournament’s target species are bonefish, permit and barracuda. 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 for the most catches of each target species.
Registration and check-in for the Showdown are slated for 4 p.m. Thursday at the Square Grouper Bar and Grill, 22658 Overseas Highway. A kick-off dinner, silent auction and mandatory rules meeting for all participants are to follow.
Fishing is slated for 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the action headquartered at the Sugarloaf Marina, located at 17015 Overseas Highway adjacent to the Sugarloaf Lodge.
The tournament awards party is scheduled after Saturday’s fishing at the Sugarloaf Lodge Tiki Bar. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are set for 5:30 p.m., awards at 6 p.m. and wrap-up of the silent auction 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
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 305-872-2411
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing