The name of the tournament is almost as long as the five-day mental and physical challenge it represents: Mercury Outboards Bonefishing World Championship/Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish Tournament.
But for the top bonefish anglers in the world participating in the “Fall All-Tackle,” as it’s called in bonefishing circles, the length of the tournament is what separates the truly great bonefish anglers from the wannabes.
The 42nd annual event is set for Sunday through Friday, Oct. 12-17, in Islamorada. Only 25 anglers are accepted to compete — one angler per boat with a licensed captain.
The grand champion’s name is to be inscribed onto the Carl Navarre and Mercury perpetual trophies, and the champion is to earn an invitation to the Florida Keys Outfitters/International Game Fish Association Inshore World Championship to be held in summer 2009.
The prestigious All-Tackle Award awaits the angler who catches at least one bonefish using each of the four tackle options: fly, spin, plug and general.
All bonefish entered for division winners’ trophies must be a minimum of 8 pounds. There is no minimum weight requirement for catches that count toward trophies for most releases.
Bonefish counted as release fish must be a minimum of 18 inches long when measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.
All weight fish must be released alive, with the release witnessed by the tournament weighmaster outside tournament headquarters.
The Lorelei Restaurant Cabana Bar, mile marker 82 bayside in Islamorada, is to host all events and serve as tournament headquarters.
A rules meeting and cocktail party is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, with dinner to follow.
A continental breakfast is to be available to anglers and their guides Monday through Friday 6-7:30 a.m. Weigh-in, hors d’oeuvres and cash bar are scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. each fishing day.
A midtournament meeting for anglers, guides and tournament officials is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m.
The awards dinner is to start with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Entry fee is $1,000 per angler. Social entries are available for the kick-off dinner and awards banquet for $25 per person for each event.
For more information and registration, e-mail Charlotte Ambrogio at [email protected] or write to P.O. Box 1063, Islamorada FL 33036.