The Southwest Florida Kayak Angler’s Association Spring Snook and Redfish Challenge is in the record books. Some of the area’s finest anglers competed on May 12th in windy conditions for great prizes and the first place Native Ultimate 12 kayak.
The Angler’s meeting was held at Lansdowne St Pub in Bonita Springs. Old friends and new friends met and talked fishing while we went over rules. The format allowed fishing from the time the meeting ended, around 7:15 pm, till the next day at 3pm. The excitement was building until the cannon was fired, signaling the beginning of the tournament, and most of the anglers took off to their vehicle to begin a long night of snook hunting. The few that stayed behind enjoyed cold beverages in the outdoor patio of Lansdowne St and talked about strategies for the next day.
Saturday morning broke to mixed clouds and a nice breeze from the East. Back at Lansdowne St, the anglers started coming in around 1pm to check in their catches. They were treated to live music from the Michael King Band (yes, they performed “Fish On”) and great food from our hosts.
During the check in it became clear that the redfish were being shy, with half of the anglers missing reds from their aggregate. Almost all anglers scored snook from 17” to 32.5”. The largest redfish caught was a nice fat bull at 30”. At the end of the day there had to be winners, so the scores were tabulated.
Top Female Angler - Kasie Thornton 37.5”
Top Junior Angler – Dakota Wright 22”
5th Place – Andrew Wright 45”
4th Place – Joey Nicotra 45.5”
3rd Place – Doug Shallmoser 49” (Doug just swept the IFA West Coast Div)
2nd Place – Andrew Reschke 49”
1st Place – Preston Haytac – 55.5”
After the awards and prizes were given out, the raffle began. The club raised $300 for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Fallen Heroes Fund. Many sponsors donated lots of prizes including YakAttack, YakDaddy, Hook1, Mirrolure, Deep South Rods, Estero River Outfitters, and many more.
Congratulations to the winners and to all of the anglers who made this event a success!