ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship is to return to Islamorada Friday through Sunday, Sept. 17-19. During the one-of-a-kind event, participating anglers spread out to explore the Florida Keys backcountry’s labyrinth of canals, water trails and mangrove mazes in search of seven species.
Up to 100 anglers of all skill levels are to join the tournament steeped in tradition and are certain to be tested as they enjoy the beauty of the Everglades. Lucerne was affectionately known as “Mr. Everglades” for his decades of experience in the region.
The tournament distinguishes the overall grand champion as an individual who catches at least four of the seven eligible species: black drum, bonefish, redfish, snook, snapper, tarpon and sea trout.
Kickoff, registration and a meeting for anglers and guides are to start at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at tournament headquarters inside the Islander Resort conference center, mile marker 82.1 bayside.
Friday evening’s highlight is an extensive silent auction that supports most important element of the tournament’s mission: raising funds to protect and preserve Florida Bay and Everglades National Park.
The public is invited to join Friday’s auction fun, mingle with participating anglers and guides and indulge in a two-hour open bar and variety of food.
Saturday and Sunday are fishing days from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and anglers must check in at either the Lorelei Resort & Marina at mile marker 82 or Don’s Bait & Tackle in Homestead, Florida.
Appetizers and cocktails are to be served Sunday evening at the Islander Resort starting at 6:30 p.m., followed by buffet dinner and angler awards.
General, artificial and fly division champions are to be named, as are an overall grand champion angler, team champion, largest species winner and top male, female and junior angler.
The registration fee is $700 per adult, $400 per young adult (ages 17-25) and $300 for junior and youth anglers (age 16 and under). Fees are determined by angler’s age as of Sept. 17, 2021. Nonangler ticket cost is $75 per person for each of Friday’s auction event and Sunday’s awards evening.
Tournament information: hermanlucernememorial.com
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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