LOWER FLORIDA KEYS, Fla. — Casting skills are to eclipse kicking skills in the Florida Keys as anglers target barracuda, flats fishing’s “big game,” in an annual pre–Super Bowl challenge that can be as intense as football’s big game.
The 2018 Cuda Bowl is set for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 1-3. The all-release tournament is designed for anglers fishing in poleable depths of water with artificial flies and lures.
Events are to begin with a kick-off party and captains meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at My New Joint above the Square Grouper Bar and Grill, mile marker (MM) 22.5 oceanside on Cudjoe Key.
Fishing is scheduled Friday and Saturday, and anglers must appear by 5:30 p.m. each day for check-in at Hurricane Hole Marina, 5130 Overseas Highway at MM 4.5 oceanside.
A social gathering with a cash bar and appetizers follows Friday’s fishing, and an awards ceremony is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Both are to take place at Hurricane Hole.
Prizes await the participants that catch the highest total inches of barracuda in the fly and spin divisions, as well the winners’ guides. Each angler can count three fish per day toward the total.
Other awards recognize the top team and lady angler, most barracuda releases and largest individual barracuda.
Tournament rules allow guides to fish as anglers. The entry fee is $300 for one angler on a boat or $350 for two.
Tournament information: cudabowl.com
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing/