Swamp Guides Ball to Celebrate Backcountry Angling Feb. 2-3 in Islamorada
The fun-filled backcountry fishing challenge known as the Swamp Guides Ball is set for Feb. 2-3, 2024, in Islamorada. The 34th annual all-release tournament targets redfish, snook and bonefish.
All anglers are welcome to compete and are not required to hire a professional guide to participate. Many Keys backcountry guides climb down from their poling platforms and pick up fishing rods each year to join the competitors.
Headquartered at the Safe Harbor Angler House, mile marker 80.5, the event benefits the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Foundation and the Guides Trust Foundation, organizations that assist fishing guides who can’t work because of serious injury or illness.
The registration and kick-off party are set for Friday, Feb. 2, at the host location. Activities begin at 5 p.m. with the pickup of scoring packets and measuring devices. Participants can check out the online silent auction and listen to live music by The Carousers.
The online auction is to feature fishing and boating gear, artwork, guided fishing trips and other items that appeal to anglers and landlubbers alike. Tournament organizers advise that participants and the public can start bidding on items when the auction link, 32auctions.com/SGB2024, goes live in mid-January.
Lines-in is set for 7 a.m. Saturday, Feb 3. Anglers can launch from anywhere between Key Largo and Marathon, excluding Flamingo. Lines-out is to be called at 3 p.m. and final check-in with the scorekeeper is set for 5 p.m.
The awards “Ball” begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Safe Harbor Angler House.
Entry fee is $400 per two-angler boat team and $200 for a youth team of two anglers age 17 and under.
Tournament information: fkfga.org/swamp-guides-ball/#!form/2024SGB