Casting for Cats in Florida

Casting for Cats in Florida
Casting for Cats in Florida

Organizers of the Casting for Cats Ladies All-Tackle Backcountry Tournament are to celebrate a decade of fundraising to help control Upper Keys feral cat populations with the 2012 event Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15.

The all-release tournament based at the Islander Resort, mile marker (MM) 82.1 oceanside, targets some of Keys anglers favorite inshore fish species: bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish.

A kick-off party is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Islander, followed by a 7 p.m. rules meeting. A silent auction and Litter Box Dig for prizes are to take place from 6-9 p.m.

Fishing begins Saturday, Oct. 15, with breakfast from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Boats can leave the docks at Worldwide Sportsman, MM 81.5 bayside, at 7:15 a.m. Lines-in is set for 7:30 a.m. and lines-out at 3 p.m.

Female anglers earn points for catching each species using bait, artificial lures or fly tackle. A new Hells Bay boat awaits the angler who catches all five tournament-specific species and a sixth species from the junk-fish category (such as trout, ladyfish, shark or jacks).

Though a prize is awarded the overall grand champion, the real catch is the Cat-Fish trophy, a handmade sculpture of (what else?) a cat and a fish for the lady who scores the largest catfish.

The awards banquet begins Saturday at the Islander with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and presentations starting at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday?s silent auction closes at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the tournament and auction underwrite the spaying or neutering and medical needs of injured feral cats in the Keys.

Entry fee is $125 per angler. Additional social tickets are $20 and $30 for Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Tournament information:, 305-664-2012 or 305-393-6174.

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