Tourney benefits tagging and research

Bonefish won’t be the only gleam in the eyes of anglers participating in the Ocean Reef Club-Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited Backbone Classic on Dec. 2-4. Also in the cross-hairs will be tarpon, snook and redfish. Proceeds go to BTU, a non-profit charity that funds cutting-edge tagging technology that utilizes satellites, sophisticated transmitters and underwater listening stations.

Based out of Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida, anglers will be treated to two days of fishing the flats of the Florida Keys with veteran fishing guides. The Backbone, which derives the first half of its name for the backcountry of Florida Bay and the second half in honor of bonefish, brings together a spectacular array of events surrounding the daily fishing such as silent and live auctions, poolside cocktail parties, gala banquets and beach buffets.

The prestigious tournament is supported by some of the most prominent names in sport fishing and the marine industry, including Stu Apte, Billy Pate, Chico Fernandez, Sandy Moret, Mark Sosin, Guy Harvey, Curt Gowdy and many others. Glittering the lineup of anglers even further will be celebrities from the worlds of sports and media.

Ocean Reef Club, a private, member-owned club-community located on the northern tip of Key Largo, is the official headquarters for the tournament. Anglers and their guests may enjoy luxurious lodging, and amenities and activities such as kayaking, sailing, golf, tennis, spa services, beach lounging, scuba diving and nature walks.

All fish will be tagged and released. For a tournament brochure and other details, contact Lesa Crayne at 305-367-5857 or email