The Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament return to Matlacha Saturday, Nov. 13, with proceeds benefitting the Candlelighters of Southwest Florida, a charity that supports children with cancer or blood disorders and their families.
The tournament features door prizes, raffles, food, live music and silent auctions from noon to 4 p.m. on the day of the completion, with weigh-ins from noon to 3 p.m. and a ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. It’s organized by Gulf Coast Kayak and hosted by The Olde Fish House Marina, 4530 Pine Island Road, Matlacha.
Local sponsors have donated the Gold ($1,000), Silver ($500), Bronze ($250) and 12th place ($100) cash prizes this year. The Top Female Angler will win a Body Glove Performer iSUP. All anglers will have an equal chance of winning one of two Body Glove iSUPs as a door prize.
“This tournament just keeps getting bigger and better,” said Mike Hammond, Lee County Parks & Recreation’s Calusa Blueway coordinator. “Gulf Coast Kayak works hard to put on a great tournament for experienced and beginner anglers alike. The top angler will win $1,000, but you don’t even have to catch a fish to be eligible for one of the Body Glove boards. They really make this fun for all levels of anglers.”
All fishing will be catch, photo and release. Anglers must fish from paddlecraft on Lee County waterways. The tournament will begin at safe light Nov. 13.
Scotty’s Bierworks in Cape Coral will host the mandatory captain’s meeting and registration Friday, Nov. 12. All anglers must be present. Registration begins at 6 p.m. and the captains’ meeting is at 7 p.m. The entry fee is $50 per angler.
Race details and registration can be found on the Calusa Blueway Kayak Fishing Tournament Eventbrite.com page. Weigh-in updates will be posted on Gulf Coast Kayak’s Facebook Live page.
The tournament is named for the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail, which is managed by Lee County Parks & Recreation.