The ninth annual Fillet & Release fishing tournament, once again benefitting Hope Hospice, a non-profit health care organization dedicated to providing care and comfort to every individual and their loved ones as they fulfill life's journey, will take place outside of Matanzas Inn, 414 Crescent St., Fort Myers Beach, Saturday, Sept. 14, and, with only one week left, those looking to join are still encouraged to sign up.
More than 50 boats are expected to participate in a one-day, light tackle, inshore fishing tournament, featuring a nice cash payout (based on the number of entries) and a guest appearance by the Seminole Indian Casino Immokalee's Zig Zag Girlz. Last year, the cash payout was $9,555. Anglers will fish for spotted trout and redfish during the tourney.
Additional prizes will be awarded to the angler who catches the largest slot redfish, the redfish with the most spots and a mystery fish that weighs the most.
The cost to participate is $250 per team, with a maximum of four anglers per boat.
The tournament schedule that day:
6:30 to 7:30 a.m. boat check-in
7 a.m. to 3 p.m. fishing tournament
4 p.m. dinner and awards ceremony
A?captain's meeting will be held the night before the event, Friday, Sept. 13, at 6:30 p.m., at Bahama Breeze, on the corner of U.S. Hwy 41 and Six Mile Cypress, in Fort Myers.
During the weigh-in, a raffle featuring lots of prizes for all types, as well as a silent auction, will be held, and after all of the fish have been weighed in, the dinner and awards ceremony will begin.
"Thanks for all of the support by everyone!" said Amy Andrew, event organizer. "This is such a great cause, and the more people that know, the more money we can raise for Hope Hospice."
For those not participating but curious about the venture, swing by Matanzas anytime that day to see all of the tournament action.
Vendors will be set up throughout that day, offering anything from fishing gear and nautical trinkets to handmade jewelry and other baubles. Some vendors participating include FishWare Outfitters and Anisa Stewart Designs.
And, if participating from out of town, a special room rate is available for tournament-goers at Matanzas Inn and The Harbour House, if there's still vacancy.
"Book your rooms now for the Fillet and Release. Receive a 15 percent discount when mentioning the event," Amy said. "Call Matanzas Inn, 239-463-9258, or The Harbour House, 239-463-0700, and don't miss out on all of the fun you can ever have fishin'!"
There is no limit on tournament entries, so print out your registration form and get them in! For further information on the Fillet & Release tournament, or to join, visit the tourney's Facebook page by searching "Fillet & Release for Hope Hospice," contact coordinator Amy Andrew at FilletAndRelease4Hospice.com or visit Hope Hospice's website, HopeHCS.org/Fish.