The tranquil Florida Bay, known to anglers as “the backcountry,” is an environmentally-sensitive estuary, home to hundreds of species of marine life, including bonefish, redfish, snook, permit, sea trout and the mighty silver king tarpon. Chasing these trophies strung along the six islands that comprise Islamorada are thousands of anglers on flat and bay boats often accompanied by the world’s largest collection of tournament grade captains and guides.
“It’s truly the best place in the world to host a combination inshore and offshore sportfishing tournament,” said Captain Cliff Jensen, Director of Sport Fishing and Watersports for the Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, which is managing the Father’s Day Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival scheduled for June 16-19 2016. “Islamorada is where sport fishing and saltwater fly fishing were pioneered.”
The goal of the non-profit tournament is to raise $100,000 for marine sciences scholarships for Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Halmos College of National Sciences and Oceanography. The scholarship funds will be donated through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).
Presenting sponsor ($25,000) is C. Davis Electric, a longtime NSU patron from Broward County. To help achieve the goal Stu Apte, holder of more than 44 saltwater light tackle and fly rod world records, and local Captain Bouncer Smith, have graciously agreed to be auctioned to the highest bidding team for the inshore and offshore division (respectively.)
Angler House Marina will be the venue for launching inshore boats, and for a fishing seminar for backcountry tournament anglers. Host for the Blazing Mako Tournament and Festival is the historic Islander Resort, A Guy Harvey Outpost, where offshore anglers will launch, as well as home for the Conchservation Festival.
One of the tournament and festival highlights will be the lighting of a steel framed sculpture of a mako shark.
The Blazing Mako, which is being created by local Islamorada artist Pasta Pantaleo, is a signature of tournaments managed by Guy Harvey Resort Outposts, which has created a series of bonfire tournament events in the Bahamas over the past several years. The bonfire sculptures themselves have a conservation theme as artists have used recycled materials to create them.
In addition to the fishing tournament, expansive plans are underway for innovative art exhibits, live music (headlined by the Shane Duncan Band), conservation organization displays and local vendors, all showcased in a 100-tent “Conchservation Village” to be located at The Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort. Also planned are a series of watersport competitions, a Kids Pier Fishing Tournament, fishing seminars and a Rum Village.
For registration fees and auction information please visit www.blazingmako.com