Sixteen boats and 66 anglers participated in Low Key Tiki's Third Annual Redfish Challenge Saturday afternoon.
"Compared to last year we almost tripled the number of anglers this year," organizer Scott Adams said. "Everyone is so excited and happy to be here. And this great participation allowed us to almost triple the prize money."
The first place winner for the tournament was the Talon team with two redfish and a trout totaling 71.75 inches. Talon team claimed $2,000 in prize money. The Talon team consisted of just two members, brothers Matt and Jeff Burkee. Jeff came down from Sarasota to fish with his brother.
Talon team’s Matt and Jeff Burkee with the winning fish: two redfish and a trout totaling 71.75 inches.
"We had just a great time," Jeff said. "I would definitely do this again next year."
The second place winner was Salt Life team with two redfish and a trout totaling 70.50 inches. That team claimed $1,000 in prize money. The Salt Life team consisted of Wayne Cox, Robin Reichelt, Kerry Santos and Dan Sabo.
The third place winner was Dr. Horton Backwater Cartel team with two redfish and a trout totaling 70.5 inches. The team consisted of Patrick King, Jason King, Craig McMicken and Matt Hunt, claiming $450 in prize money.
The longest redfish measured 27 inches and was caught by the fourth place team Orange Blossom.
Billy Dutko, the weight master of the tournament, was excited about the great turnout.
"This is my second year at the tournament and we've had many more boats and anglers than last year," he said.
In previous years, the Low Key Tiki Red Fish Challenge benefited local charities. This year, Adams, and his wife, Barb, felt that they should hold a tournament that would benefit the fishermen.
"My wife and I discussed it and decided that this year's tournament would benefit the local anglers," Adams said.
All entry fees went to the prize money.
"This year was much better than last year," Adams said. "Last year 11 boats and 27 anglers participated in the Second Annual Low Key Tiki Red Fish Challenge. The first place winner was $750, second place $350 and third place $250. This year with more boats and anglers we were able to offer much more in prize money."
After the weigh-in, music was provided by High Tide from 4:30-8:30 p.m., and food and a beverage were free for all participants in the tournament.
Sponsors this year were Monroe Canal Marina, J&R Landscaping, Jensen's Marine, Castaway Realty, Mayday Mobile Service and Wing Nuts who provided the wings.
Talon team's Matt and Jeff Burkee with the winning fish: two redfish and a trout totaling 71.75 inches.