Summer Slam tourney returns to Beach Saturday
The stage is set for any angler wishing to qualify for the Caloosa Grand Championship in November will have their last chance to cast at the 13th Annual Summer Slam Fishing Tournament at Pink Shell Beach Resort on Fort Myers Beach during the weekend of Sept. 23-25.
Event coordinator Ron Riley is still looking for teams to sign up and compete to catch the two heaviest redfish. A mystery fish, determined at a later date, will also be a part of the equation.
“We’ll be taking entries up until the very end,” he said.
Summer Slam tournaments have featured as many as 50 to 60 teams but, in recent years, 20 to 40 teams have participated.
If interested, any angler can fill out an online registration form at www.caloosacatchandrelease.com or call Riley at 671-9347.
The Summer Slam is the second leg in the Caloosa Tournament Series. Teams will compete for large cash payouts, trophies and, of course, the all-important bragging rights.
“The Caloosa Tournament Series is the oldest in Southwest Florida,” said Riley. “The Caloosa Catch & Release was the fist public fishing tournament in Southwest Florida and second in all of Florida.”
Pre-tournament action begins on Friday, Sept. 23, when teams will check-in at the hospitality suite at the Pink Shell. Bahama Breeze Island Grille will be serving cocktails for the anglers on site and official Summer Slam tournament gear will be passed around as participants get to mingle with fellow anglers, sponsors and friends from all over Southwest Florida.
The Captains meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Pink Shell. The get-together will cover all of the rules, and the Beach resort will sponsor dinner.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, teams will check-in early and receive ice and Culligan water before being allowed to leave at 5:30 a.m. for the 7 a.m. start. The weigh-station, on the bayside of the Pink Shell Resort, will open at 3 p.m. and remain open until 5. You must be in the weigh-in line by 5 p.m. in order to qualify.
Once your fish have been weighed, anglers will relax before the awards dinner where the 13th annual Summer Slam winners will be announced. Teams that scored points will be invited to fish the invitation-only Caloosa Grand Championship on Nov. 4 and 5 at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva.
Riley would like to see any angler take his chance at the annual tournament.
“The bottom line is that this tournament is really non-intimidating. It’s a fun fishing tournament, which is comprised of not only some of the best fishermen but also people who have never fished in a tournament before,” he said. “No one ever feels like they are not good enough or have a chance.
“What I like best about the Summer Slam is that it is only one physical day of fishing. I don’t care if you are competing against the top professional guide in Florida; the reality is anyone can get lucky on any given day. That’s the fun part of this event.”
For all tournament rules and updated information, visit www.caloosacatchandrelease.com or call Riley at 671-9347 or Kristi Riley at 850-1707.