Prowling the shallow Florida Keys flats seeking silvery permit, anglers can vie for elite titles during the 2015 March Merkin Permit Tournament. The fly-only challenge is scheduled Monday through Thursday, March 16-19.
The angler who catches the most inches of permit earns the title of tournament grand champion. The tournament also is to recognize the grand champion guide, first runner-up angler and guide, second runner-up angler and guide, and angler and guide who score the longest permit.
Participants wishing to hone their skills and knowledge of Keys waters can arrive early and scout the area Sunday and Monday, March 15 and 16. For early arrivals, the Fly Fishing Film Tour is set for Sunday at Key West’s Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St.
The tournament is to begin with a kick-off reception and dinner at 6 p.m. Monday at Key West Harbour Yacht Club, 6000 Peninsular Ave. on Stock Island. The club serves as tournament headquarters.
Lines are to be in the water from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, March 17-19. Anglers with fish to score must check in at the scorekeeper table by 6 p.m. each day.
To count for points, fish must be boated, measured, tagged and photographed on the measuring device provided and released alive.
Appetizers and a cash bar await anglers each evening at Key West Harbour Yacht Club. Awards are to be presented following the final day’s fishing.
The entry fee is $850 per angler. Licensed guides are allowed to fish as anglers in the permit challenge.
Tournament information and registration: www.marchmerkin.com