On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Matlacha Mariners is holding its annual fishing tournament and fish fry, just for the fun of it. Past, present and future Mariners are welcome. Good fun, good food, good cause.
The Matlacha Mariners is a 501c (3), non-profit men's organization devoted to supporting the charities that help Pine Islanders in need. It also provides scholarships to college students who are residents of Pine Island and many other worthy causes.
To fund these important causes, the Mariners host several fund-raisers throughout the year.
Coming up on Nov. 23 is the much anticipated South West Florida Blues Festival featuring world famous national touring and Grammy-winning blues artists from around the country, as well as local favorites. This year the event will be held at the Sun Splash facility in Cape Coral.
On Feb. 22, the ever popular Seafood Festival and Car Show will be held. The festival provides a great opportunity to sample a variety of the best, local seafood the area has to offer; see the amazing award-winning show and custom cars; and enjoy a day full of live music, crafts and entertainment. Everyone is excited that this event is being moved to a better location as well. Events are no longer being held at the German American Club.
Next March, the Mariners will conduct the infamous Mullet Tossing Championship for the 23rd year in a row at the Matlacha Park.
The Mariners will also be assisting their sister organization, the Matlacha Hookers, in the upcoming Pine Island Fishing Derby held Sunday, Oct. 13, at the Ole Fish House Marina.
Members of the Mariners volunteer their time and energy throughout the year to make these events happen so many Pine Islanders can live better. It takes a lot of hard work, long hours and selfless dedication. The fishing tournament and fish fry is a way to thank the members for their efforts on a day where no one has to work and they can all get together for some fun.
The tournament is open to all men whether or not a member of the Mariners. The entry fee is a mere $20 per person and includes the fish fry (beverages are extra) and prizes for everyone.
The rules are simple. Fishing starts Saturday morning, whenever, wherever. Meet at Bert's Bar in Matlacha between 12:30-1 p.m. for lunch and awards. Weigh-in is at Seven Seas Bait and Tackle (across the street from Bert's). This is a fish and fillet event so bring all legal, edible fish. Sign-up applications are at Traders Hitching Post and Seven Seas Bait and Tackle in Matlacha or call Larry Scharnberger 239-313-0951.