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Inshore Kayak Classic returns

By Staff | Apr 8, 2013

The Southwest Florida Kayak Angler’s Association (SWFKAA) has scheduled its second Inshore Kayak Classic for April 19-20.

The event, which allows anglers to fish overnight from the captain’s meeting till the weigh-in the next day, is one of the largest kayak tournaments on the west coast of Florida.

“Last year we had 50 anglers,” said association president Bob Bramblet. “This year we expect close to 100.”

The captain’s meeting and weigh-in are slated for Lansdowne Street Pub in Bonita Springs and features food provided by the staff and live music by the Michael King Band. Anglers compete for cash and prizes, including a new Hobie Mirage Outback provided by Estero River Outfitters.

The event also includes a raffle and silent auction and all proceeds benefit Josh Stuller, whose family owns Estero River Outfitters. Dec. 3, 2004, is a day that forever altered Josh’s life. That day, a tragic motorcycle accident near San Carlos Park sent him into intensive care with severe neck and spinal cord injuries and collapsed lungs. He spent the better part of a year in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, which wasn’t easy for an outdoor, adventure-loving 18-year-old.

Nine years later, Josh remains paralyzed and suffers from constant pain. Yet he continues to help run the family business, which is the headline sponsor for this year’s event.

The captain’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19. At the conclusion, tournament staff will fire a signal cannon and anglers can fish from then till 1:30 p.m. the next day.

“It’s a unique format that works well,” said associaiton VP Jim VanPelt. “There is a lot of excitement and we already have people signed up from North Carolina and California.”

For more information and a complete list of rules visit www.swfkaa.com.