Shark challenge set to kick off at Cape Harbour
Are you man enough?
That’s the challenge posed by this weekend’s “Are You Man Enough Shark Challenge,” a two-day epic fishing tournament that starts and finishes in Cape Coral waters.
Entering its fifth year, the tournament has moved from Fort Myers Beach to the Cape, because organizer Capt. Jack Donlon said he wanted bring the excitement of big time fishing to the place he lives.
“I have my roots here and I love the Cape,” Donlon said.
Donlon said the shark challenge is a two-day fishing competition that seeks out the top five the first day, so they can come back the following day for a sudden death finale.
Registration for the tournament was $550 for any team and vessel size.
The most unique part about the tournament, according to Donlon, is that the teams takes a cell phone video of the shark while catching it and send that video back to the SharkFest, so attendees can watch the catch on a stadium-size screen that stands more than 40 feet high.
Donlon said there is no chance that teams would be able to fake video of their catches because of a “secret method.”
The tournament, he explained, is “fishing like a rockstar” due to audience that will be watching the excitement of the catch on the jumbo screen at Cape Harbour Marina.
Seventy sharks were caught last year, ranging from 4 feet, which is the minimum size, to 14 feet. Donlon said the anglers are allowed to fish everywhere in the gulf, which typically ranges from 2 feet deep to 100 feet.
It does not matter how far the fishing teams go out, he said, as long as they are back at the marina with one foot on the dock by 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
This time of year, bull sharks, hammerheads and black tips are the most common sharks caught, according to officials. The shark, Donlon said, is the single most exciting fish on the entire planet to catch.
The popularity of the tournament has grown over the years, Donlon said, with anglers making their way to the Cape from not only all over Florida but also from places such as Missouri and Pennsylvania.
Focus on family-themed entertainment has also grown over the years, and a Kids Zone with multiple attractions, games and rides is available for families for free.
“People just need to bring some sunblock, maybe a few chairs and an appetite for family fun,” Donlon said.
A free Kids Fishing Derby is another family-friendly highlight. Kids have to sign up for the free rods and reels on Saturday, and the derby is at 10 a.m. sharp Sunday morning. All the kids who don’t get free rods and reels will still have free bait available for them.
This two-day event takes place at Cape Harbour Resort. For more information, visit www.AreYouManEnoghSharkChallenge.com or call 239-542-9777.
Breeze reporter Meghan McCoy contributed to this report.