Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Championship Starts September 21

Anglers, guides, fishing celebs give back to Everglades National Park during the two-day tournament

The Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Championship kicks off in the Florida Keys this Friday, September 21, in Islamorada. The tournament began in 2000 and is named after the Homestead/Florida City community activist and legendary backcountry fishing pioneer. Everglades National Park has been designated as this year's proceeds recipient.

Anglers will fish for seven species set against the backdrop and intriguing beauty of Everglades National Park, while remembering the man warmly known as “Mr. Everglades.”

Bonefish, redfish, snook, snapper, tarpon, sea trout and black drum are the focus of the two-day tournament , with some 20 prizes destined for men, women and youth anglers in general, artificial and fly divisions. Anglers or teams catching at least four of the seven species are then in the running for the overall grand championship title.

Hell’s Bay Boatworks has been designated as this year's presenting sponsor.

"The Herman Lucerne is so unique,” said Hell’s Bay president Chris Peterson. “It not only financially supports the anglers’ needs within the Everglades National Park, it also stresses the skills on the Everglades angler by requiring the species to be caught and released from the sweetest backwaters to the saltiest flats."

On the tournament website, three $5,000 fishing packages, each offered by Hell’s Bay pro team members, were quickly snapped up. Flip Pallot and Chico Fernandez, both who fished the mazes of the vast Everglades with Lucerne, joined with TV show host Capt. C.A. Richardson, offering the fund-raising specials.

“Our core group over this past decade has been some 150 anglers and 150 guides who are passionate about protecting this park,” said tournament president Richard Trotta. Park Superintendent Dan Kimball said, “We plan to use these funds to support resource protection and to enhance anglers fishing experiences in the Park.”

Registration fees are $400 per adult angler, $350 per young adult angler age 17 to 25, and $275 per junior angler age 16 or younger. Social tickets are additional. For more tournament information and to register go to: www.hermanlucerne.com.