The first-class catch and release tournamentwas inspired by the nation’s 41st president, George H.W. Bush, an avid Florida Keys angler and a regular visitor to Cheeca Lodge. Ithonors a participating team of two veteran soldiers to unwind and join up to 25 competitor boats that target five tournament species — snook, redfish, permit, bonefish and tarpon.
A welcome cocktail reception and patriotic beachside banquet, rules meeting and auction kick off the weekend Thursday, Nov. 8, at Cheeca Lodge, the tournament's social event headquarters located at mile marker (MM) 82 oceanside. Tickets to attend the kick-off dinner and auction are available to the public with advance reservations.
New for 2018 is a Friday evening reception with cocktails followed by a presentation titled “A Passion for Tarpon” by world-renowned fly angler Andy Mill. The public is welcome to attend. Tickets for individuals not fishing in the tournament can be purchased in advance for $25 per person. Contact Lisa Thornhill at 305-517-4512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fishing is scheduled 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday, based from World Wide Sportsman at MM 81.5 bayside. The prestigious fishing event culminates Saturday evening with an awards ceremony and banquet.
Individual and team trophies are to be awarded for fly, general tackle/spinning/conventional and artificial lure divisions.
Entry fee is $1,500 per angler and includes admission to social events for up to four people, daily continental breakfast, boxed lunches for anglers and guides, and a gift bag. Guide fees are additional.
Proceeds benefit the Guides Trust Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to helping Florida Keys fishing guides meet their financial obligations in times of crisis or injury, as well as providing scholarship awards to local students.
Tournament registration and information: cheeca.com/all-american
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamoradaor 800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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