Catch & release still permitted during closure NOTE: This story was posted today on TampabayOnline.com by Special Correspondent Frank Sergeant The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission ruled this …
Multi-Species Fishing Tournament Helps the Everglades
A record field of 173 guides and anglers has signed up for flats fishing’s favorite rendition of a punt-pass-and-kick competition: the 2017 Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Tournament in Everglades National Park Sept. 15-17.
Contestants will try to catch, measure, photograph and release seven species over two days–snook, snapper, redfish, sea trout, bonefish, tarpon and either black drum or largemouth bass using bait, artificial lures or fly tackle. Grand champion honors will go to whoever checks off all seven or, in the event of a tie, measures the largest total of all seven. Trophies and artwork will be awarded in 22 categories. Proceeds will benefit clean-water initiatives in the park.
Event headquarters is the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada. The resort will host the pre-tournament silent auction, cocktail party, dinner, and captains’ meeting on Sept.15 and the awards banquet on Sept. 17. A raffle will be held for either a 150-horsepower Evinrude E-TEC G2 engine or $10,000 cash. Only 200 tickets will be sold for $100 apiece. Tournament registration is closed, but non-anglers may still purchase social event and raffle tickets by visiting www.hermanlucernememorial.com.
The tournament’s 2016 grand champion was Frank Delucas of Plantation, Fla.– the only angler in the field of 118 who caught all seven eligible species. He was guided by Captain Jared Raskob.
Celebrity anglers include Captain C.A. Richardson, host of Flats Class TV and Guy Harvey Outpost’s Program Director for the Outfitter; IGFA Hall of Famer and fly-fishing great Chico Fernandez; and shallow-water angler extraordinaire Flip Pallot.
The tournament was founded in 2000 by Miami oral surgeon and Everglades flats fishing expert Dr. Lloyd Wruble to honor his friend and fishing mentor Herman Lucerne– Glades conservation pioneer, former Florida City mayor, and innovative citrus grower.
Lucerne died in 1992 as he was repairing his home in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
His namesake tournament has raised more than $100,000 for Everglades National Park in the past five years.