KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Anglers passionate about targeting permit can seek the wily sport fish during the 2016 March Merkin Permit Tournament set for Monday through Thursday, March 14-17.
The angler who catches the most inches of permit while fly-fishing on the flats earns the title of tournament grand champion. The tournament also recognizes the grand champion guide, first and second runners-up and their guides, and the angler and guide who score the longest single permit.
The tournament is to begin with a kick-off reception, rules discussion and dinner Monday, March 14, at Key West Harbour Yacht Club, 6000 Peninsular Ave. on Stock Island. The club serves as tournament headquarters.
Prior to the reception anglers can use Monday as a practice fishing day.
Lines are to be in the water from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, March 15-17. Teams with fish to score must check in with the scorekeeper by 6 p.m. each fishing day.
To count for points fish must be boated, measured, tagged, photographed on the measuring device provided and released alive.
A gathering with appetizers and a cash bar is to follow each day’s fishing at Key West Harbour Yacht Club, with awards presented after the conclusion of Thursday’s fishing.
The entry fee is $900 per angler. Licensed guides are allowed to fish as anglers in the permit challenge.
The tournament benefits the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and the Lower Keys Guides Association. Anglers also are encouraged to participate in a “permit tracker” fundraising contest to help support BTT’s Project Permit.
Tournament information and registration: www.marchmerkin.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Florida Keys fishing information: www.fla-keys.com/fishing
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Contact: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy
1-800-ASK-KEYS 800-275-5397 or 305-461-3300