Mark your fall calendar for the next big kayak angling tournament for Southwest Florida - the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival Fishing Tournament.
The fourth-annual tournament this year will feature cash prizes for the top three finishers in the catch-and-release event, which is scheduled for Oct. 31 as part of the 10-day canoe and kayak festival along the Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. Get details at www.CalusaBluewayPaddlingFestival.com.
Past tournaments have run two days with a pro and an amateur division. This year's event will feature a one-day competition for amateurs who catch and release snook, redfish, sea trout and other species. All fishing must take place on Lee County waterways.
Top prize is $500, based on 50 participants. The second-place finisher gets $300 with the third place garnering $200. In addition to cash prizes, there will be prizes from West Marine and Bending Branches.
The Prawn Broker Restaurant in south Fort Myers will host the captain's meeting Oct. 30. The awards ceremony and digital weigh-in will be at Randell Research Center in Pineland, followed by a celebration for anglers at the Tarpon Lodge, also in Pineland, on Oct. 31.
Tournament proceeds go to the Great Calusa Blueway and Randell Research Center. The Society for Ethical Ecotourism is organizing the event with assistance from Lee County Parks & Recreation volunteers and Kayak Excursions, a Fort Myers-based outfitter.
Registration forms and rules are at www.CalusaBluewayPaddlingFestival.com. Questions? Call (239) 433-3855 or (239) 233-0655.