21 December 2020
SUGARLOAF KEY, Florida Keys — Angling teams can vie for awards while targeting the Lower Florida Keys’ wiliest species during the rescheduled Sugarloaf Showdown, a fundraising fishing tournament scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 28-30.
Presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association, the seventh annual tournament was originally slated for November 2020 but was postponed because of inclement weather. It raises money for the Florida Keys Guides Trust Foundation, which 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 permit, bonefish and barracuda. A kids division is featured for young anglers under age 12.
A maximum of three fish of each species can be scored per team per day.
Awards await the three teams in both fly and spin divisions 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 awards to the high-point participants in each target species.
According to organizers, tournament entrants are to follow Monroe County coronavirus health safety protocols throughout, including wearing facial coverings and social distancing.
Final registration and check-in for the Showdown are slated for 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Sugarloaf Marina, located at 17015 Overseas Highway adjacent to the Sugarloaf Lodge. Anglers can pick up their tournament bags and rules and bid on quality gear at a silent auction that continues through Jan. 30.
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.
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
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