Angling teams can vie for victory by targeting bonefish, permit and barracuda while benefiting the charter fishing community during the annual Sugarloaf Showdown. Presented by the Lower Keys Guides Association, the catch-and-release challenge is scheduled Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.
The tournament is a fundraiser for the Guides Trust Foundation, which assists fishing guides who are recovering from an illness or injury.
Participants in the team event earn points by catching and releasing fish in the target species on either fly or spin tackle. Awards await the three teams with the highest total points that represent catches of all three species.
If no team catches all three, the team with the highest point total representing two species will be declared the winner. Additional awards are to be presented for the highest points earned for each target species.
Registration and check-in for the Sugarloaf Showdown are slated for 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, at My New Joint above the Square Grouper Bar and Grill, 22658 Overseas Highway on Cudjoe Key. A kick-off dinner, silent auction and mandatory rules meeting for all participants are to follow.
Fishing is set for 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The tournament awards celebration is scheduled after Saturday’s fishing at the Sugarloaf Lodge Tiki Bar, 17001 Overseas Highway on Sugarloaf Key. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are set for 5:30 p.m. and awards at 6 p.m., with the silent auction concluding at 7 p.m.
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The entry fee is $250 for a two-person team or a team consisting of two anglers plus a guide. Competition is open to all anglers and guides, but rules mandate that only two people on each team are allowed to fish.
Event information and registration: sugarloafshowdown.com
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 305-872-2411
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing