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Offshore Rodeo: Fishing tourney, Reggae party set for June 11

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

Spots are still available for a one-of-a-kind fishing tourney returning to Southwest Florida.

The 4th Annual Offshore Rodeo and Reggae Party Tournament will take place on June 11 at Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque and Salty Sam’s Marina on Fort Myers Beach, with the captain’s meeting on June 10. The registration fee is $250 per angler, which can be done up to day of.

Co-chair Angela Katz explained that most local tourneys are inshore competitions.

“It’s not something that’s happening every single weekend,” she said of the Offshore Rodeo event. “These guys will have to go out full-throttle for two or three hours to get to these fishing spots.”

There are 10 species of fish that the anglers can catch.

“It is all based on what’s regulation, what’s in season at the time,” Katz said.

This year, the fish hit list includes pompano, cobia, dolphinfish, grouper, hogfish, kingfish, tripletail, tuna, wahoo and snapper, with red snapper excluded. The anglers will submit their biggest catches.

“They can weigh up to four,” she said. “But no more than two of any one species.”

Over $18,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top finishers in two categories.

The anglers will be placed into the pro series or the amateur division based on their boat. The amateur division will be 500 horsepower or less, but anglers can choose to compete in the pro if they want to.

In the pro series, first place angler will win $6,000, with second and third place to take home $3,000 and $1,500, respectively. In the amateur division, the prizes will be $4,000, $2,000 and $1,000.

“We also offer a $100,000 mystery fish contest,” Katz said.

An exact weight will be picked before the competition. During the weigh-in, anglers pick one of their fish. If an angler’s catch matches the mystery weight – down to the ounce – they win the money.

The day of the tourney, check-in is 6 a.m. The weigh-on opens at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m.

All of the fish hauled in are filleted and cooked on site.

“That’s the event dinner that night,” she said.

An all-you-can-eat buffet, the dinner is included in the registration fee, along with a goodie bag. Spectator tickets are available for $25 or $15 for children ages 12 and under and include the dinner.

“We’ll have live music,” Katz said.

Local reggae band The Jungle Boyz will perform.

There will also be a live and silent auction, as well as raffles.

“We have jewelry, we have fishing equipment, we have vacations,” she said.

“We have a little bit of everything, from kids and animals, to sports and luxury,” Katz added.

A children’s tournament will kick off at 10 a.m., with registration starting at 9:30 a.m.

“It’s open to 80 kids 12 and under,” she said.

The cost is $25 per child.

“We call it a tournament, but it’s more like a derby and expo,” Katz said.

Local organizations, like the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, sailing club and more, will have booths and interactive displays set up. Each child will receive a trophy, T-shirt, and rod and reel to take home.

“The whole goal is to teach the kids to fish, but how to do it responsibly and take care of the environment at the same time,” she said.

The cost also includes lunch and a magic show.

As of Thursday, there were approximately 20 spots left for boats to sign up.

“They register as anglers, but they do need their own boat,” Katz said.

Organizers may be able to pair people up with a boat that is already participating.

On June 10, registration will open at 6:15 p.m. at the captain’s meeting. The meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. followed by dinner, which is included in the registration fee. All anglers are encouraged to attend.

Proceeds from the tourney will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Southwest Florida.

“It benefits a fantastic charity right here,” she said.

Over the last three years, the event has raised more than $190,000.

“We are very very proud of that,” Katz said.

This year’s goal is to raise $100,000.

To register for the Offshore Rodeo and Reggae Party Tournament, visit: www.rmhcswfl.org. Anglers can also contact Angela Katz at 239-980-3858 or Jeff Miloff at 239-565-0831.

Bootleggers is at 2200 Main St. and Salty Sam’s is at 2500 Main St.