Redbone Finale set for November

The final leg of The Robert James Sales Redbone Trilogy, based out of Islamorada, Florida Keys, is set for Nov. 2-4.

Redbone tournament

Redbone tournament

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., a fly angler shown here with a young CF patient Nicole Ellis, is one of hundreds of notables who have been a part of the Redbone Celebrity Fishing Tournaments across the U.S. helping raise awareness and money for cystic fibrosis / Newswire

The final leg of The Robert James Sales Redbone Trilogy fundraising series, targeting redfish and bonefish, is scheduled from Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2-4. All Redbone angling events fund research into the genetic disease cystic fibrosis and garner more than a million dollars each year to "catch the cure."

The Robert James Sales tournament events are headquartered at Islander Resort, mile marker (MM) 82.1 oceanside, and are set to begin Thursday, Nov. 1, with a welcome reception and early registration for anglers and guides.

Notables expected to celebrate 25 years of Redbone tournaments include NASA astronaut Bruce Melnick, former jai alai star Joey Cornblit, National Hockey League Florida Panthers coach Kevin Dineen, Jimbo Meador (the inspiration for the book and film “Forrest Gump,” according to tournament organizers), and MLB Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson.

“When we started these tournaments, we had no idea just how many remarkable strides would be made to increase the life expectancies of young CF sufferers,” said Gary Ellis, who founded the Redbone tournament in 1987 with wife Susan to help CF victims like their then-infant daughter Nicole. “There's still no cure and our tournaments continue in full force till there is."

The Redbone has grown from a small Florida Keys tournament in 1988, to nearly 30 competitions across the U.S. and internationally, raising over $16 million to help the research efforts of the CF Foundation.


Thursday, Nov. 1, anglers can register for the Superfly, a one-day, one-fly competition sponsored by The Fly Shop of Miami. Superfly action is to begin at 6:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, with a continental breakfast at the Lorelei dock, MM 82 bayside. Boats can depart at 7 a.m. and fishing continues until lines-out at 3 p.m.

The official Redbone starts with a 6-9 p.m. kick-off party and auction at Islander Resort. The auction closes at 8 p.m. Continental breakfast is served daily at 6 a.m. and boats depart at 6:30 a.m. After a 7 a.m. blessing of the fleet Saturday, anglers can fish Saturday and Sunday until lines-out at 3 p.m. Dockside parties are set for 3-5 p.m. both days at the Lorelei. Cocktails and an awards banquet are to start at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Islander Resort beach under the Redbone tent.

Points Race

In the points race, Frank Delucas of Plantation, Fla. leads with 1500 points after winning the 23rd annual S.L.A.M. Key West series opener (1,000 pts.), in Sept., and placing third (500 pts.) at the 22nd Baybone in Oct. In second is Baybone winner Ross Reeder, Miami, with 1,000 pts while S.L.A.M. and Baybone runnerups Wally Nowacki, Plainfield, Ill., and Bonnie Christ, Alexandria, Va., respectively are tied at third with 750 points for the Redbone series title. Points are earned in fly, bait and artificial categories by catching and releasing the two species: bonefish and redfish.


Price is $3,500 per two-person team or $3,000 for one angler to fish, including two days’ charter fees with a professional guide. The Superfly entry fee is $350 per angler also fishing the Redbone or $500 otherwise.