For over 20 years the Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge has combined community and families with fishing and fundraising. Presented by the Rotary Club of Key Largo, the 2021 tournament is to test anglers of all ages Friday through Sunday, Sept. 24-26.
The popular catch-and-release tournament raises money for scholarships awarded to Florida Keys students as part of the statewide Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program. Proceeds from tournament entries as well as silent auction and raffle ticket sales are integral parts of the family-fun event.
A public kick-off party for anglers and supporters is scheduled Friday, Sept. 24, at Doc’s Diner, mile marker 99.7 in Key Largo. The event typically features bar drinks and appetizers starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by a captains and anglers meeting.
Anglers can hit the shallows to fish for trout, redfish and snook as soon as kick-off festivities end, continuing through 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26. An awards dinner and live and silent auctions are to follow at 6 p.m. at tournament headquarters, the Key Largo Civic Club located at 209 Bay Drive. Trophies are to be awarded for overall adult and junior backcountry champions, junior and kids division winners and top professional guide, and for the largest total combined species and largest fish of each species.
Florida Recreational Fishing License Exemptions
Entry fees on or before Sept. 23 are $135 per adult angler, $60 per junior angler and $30 for kids age 12 and under. Fees include social events. Nonanglers wanting to attend the Friday and Sunday social events can purchase tickets for $20 and $45, respectively. After Sept. 23 fees increase by $25 for anglers and $5 per night for social events.
The 2021 event is limited to 70 anglers, so organizers encourage early registration.
Bridge Fishing the Florida Keys
Proceeds help fund scholarships for college-bound Upper Keys students and adult vocational residents. Students pair with a mentor between seventh and 12th grades to qualify. The state of Florida matches funds raised to provide the scholarships.
Event information and registration: keylargorotary.org