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Register now for LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament

By Staff | Apr 12, 2018

Registration is open for the 22nd annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament.

Tournament Coordinator Dana Nicloy said the annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament started out with a group of guys who worked together sharing their enjoyment of fishing. After a while it grew, which then turned into a money making tournament for United Way.

“We like to raise money doing things we like to do. We have so many people that love to fish,” Nicloy said.

The benefactor for the tournament has always been United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties.

“So far, just through this tournament, we raised $450,000,” Nicloy said.

The 22nd annual LCEC United Way Fishing Tournament will take place Saturday, April 21, at D&D Matlacha Bait and Tackle. It is $65 per angler before Wednesday, April 18, and $75 thereafter. Students (with valid student identification) are also welcomed to join the tournament for $50 before Wednesday, April 18, or $55 thereafter.

A captain’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, April 20, also at D&D Matlacha Bait and Tackle.

“Last year we had about 283 anglers and we had close to 80 boats,” Nicloy said.

On average the tournament attracts between 70 to 90 boats and between 250 to 300 anglers.

“We fish for snapper, trout, redfish and snook. We pay out for each one of those,” she said.

The tournament also pays out for the grand slam, usually $600, which is the heaviest combined weight of a snook, red fish, trout and snapper.

“A lot of times people donate the money back. It’s all about the prestige of winning because it’s such a large tournament,” Nicloy said.

Anglers put their lines in the water at 7 a.m. the day of the tournament and have to be at D&D Matlacha Bait & Tackle for weigh in by 3 p.m.

“They can fish anywhere,” she said.

In addition to the tournament, the event also includes a big barbecue, silent auction and raffles.

“A lot of the wives and local people come out just to have barbecue,” Nicloy said.

Five dollar donations are requested from the public who wish to enjoy some barbecue.

The big ticket raffle item this year is a 2002 Ford F150 4×4 automatic with 86,000 miles. Some of the Ford options includes new tires, chrome wheels, A/C and bed cover. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or six for $25.

“It’s a used vehicle that is repurposed. Last year we had a Ford Ranger. We raised an additional $6,000 just raffling it off,” Nicloy said, adding that tickets are already being sold for the truck raffle.

There are other raffles with items ranging from $49 to $100 ($1 for one, or $6 for $5) and from $100 to $400 ($5 a ticket).

The silent auction includes such items as a beautiful original painting donated by Hillary Hemmingway, stays at various places, iPad and baskets. The auction will open at the captain’s meeting Friday night and conclude after the weigh in and award ceremony.

“It’s a great day for anyone. Between the raffle, food and weigh in, watching the fish come in, it’s always exciting. Everyone in the community can come out and enjoy,” Nicloy said.

She said the tournament benefits United Way because they cover the need of the community through it’s various programs offered through more than 90 agencies.

For more information about registration, sponsorships and raffles visit uw.lcec.net/SitePages/Fish.aspx , email contactfish@lcec.net, or call (239) 656-2122.