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Guy Harvey Outpost to Host Fun Back Country Fishing Tournament
Once upon a time in Everglades National Park, one of the very few fishermen intrepid enough to explore the remote and mosquito-infested waters of Hells Bay was park ranger Herman Lucerne. His deep back country angling adventures overcoming extreme heat, hungry gators and venomous snakes reaped rich rewards, among them huge snook. And this induced other fishermen to muster their courage and follow in his wake– chief among them Dr. Lloyd Wruble, a Miami oral surgeon.
Lucerne died in 1992 while working on his home after it was battered by ferocious Hurricane Andrew. In 2000, Wruble created the Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Tournament to honor his friend’s memory and dedication to the park’s abundant fisheries.
The Sept. 16-18 tournament, presented by Hells Bay Boatworks, is the largest back country fishing event in the Keys– expecting 68 teams and 112 anglers based at the Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada. Anglers will catch, measure, photograph and release seven eligible species–tarpon, snook, sea trout, bonefish, snapper, and bass OR black drum. Top honors will go to the angler notching the greatest number of inches of all seven using bait, artificial lures or fly rod. Last year’s grand champion was James Lytle fishing with captain Larry Sydnor.
The tournament awards no prize money– only original local artwork. But there are numerous prize categories and plenty of swag. Proceeds benefit projects at the park, which last year received $50,000.
Tournament coordinator Kellie Trotta says there are three main reasons for the tournament’s continued success:
“Not only do we throw a great kick-off party and have a great ditty bag, but we welcome the kids and families. And it’s for a great cause,” she said.
The public is invited to attend the Sept. 16 kick-off party, raffle and auction and the Sept. 18 awards banquet for $75 per person for each event. The theme is Mardi Gras, with executive chef Andy Niedenthal serving up plenty of NOLA favorites.
Reservations for the parties close Sept. 9. Go HERE for more information.
To make lodging reservations at the Islander, visit GuyHarveyOutpost.com.