STOCK ISLAND, Florida Keys — Anglers passionate about targeting permit can seek the wily sport fish during the 2018 March Merkin Permit Tournament set for Monday through Thursday, March 12-15.
The angler who catches the most inches of permit while fly-fishing on the flats earns the title of tournament grand champion. The competition also is to recognize the grand champion guide, first and second runners-up and guides, and angler and guide who score the longest single permit.
The tournament is to begin with a 6 p.m. kick-off dinner and rules meeting Monday, March 12, 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 13-15. All boats with fish to score must return to the dock and check in by 6 p.m. each day.
Anglers and guides can enjoy appetizers and a cash bar beginning at 6 p.m. daily.
To count for points, fish must be boated, measured, tagged and photographed on the measuring device provided and released alive.
Awards are to be presented following the final day’s fishing. Other activities include a large silent auction.
The entry fee is $1,000 per angler. Licensed guides are allowed to fish as anglers.
The permit challenge is hosted by the Lower Keys Guides Association, a nonprofit organization of professional fishing guides dedicated to sustainable fisheries management and a flourishing sport-fishing community.
Tournament information and registration: marchmerkin.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing