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Despite rule changes, great turnout for Low Key Tiki Redfish Challenge

September 12, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Low Key Tiki held its 8th annual Redfish Challenge over the weekend under unusual circumstances. No one was permitted to keep their fish.

Late last month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a ban on redfish and snook in areas where there are occurrences of red tide and algae blooms.

"Even though the rules changed because of the ban, we had a great turnout this year," Low Key Tiki co-owner Erin Smith said. "We had 30 boats and 87 anglers. We provided a measuring tape to every boat and the anglers would take a picture of their fish and the tape. We received over 40 redfish pictures and 26 snapper pictures. All fish were quickly released after the pictures were taken."

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The band High Tide provided musical entertainment for the Redfish Challenge at the Low Key Tiki.

The 1st place team was Hakuna Matata: Redfish #1, 32.5 inches; Redfish #2, 31.75 inches; Snapper 12 inches. Total 76.25 inches.

Finishing 2nd place was Fisch: Redfish #1, 29.5 inches; Redfish #2, 30.00 inches; Snapper 13.5 inches. Total 73.00 inches.

Taking 3rd place team was Blackbeard: Redfish #1, 30.25 inches; Redfish #2, 29.00 inches; Snapper 13.25 inches. Total 72.50 inches.

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Businesses that "donated to the cause" included The Great White Grill, Kinetic Touch, Papa John's, Kathryns Salon and Spa, Hooked Island Grill, Becky, Doc Watson's, Moose Lodge, Old Florida Outpost, Calusa Tales, 10 Twenty-five, Miceli's, Dante's, Chuck's Auto, Joanne, CW Fudge Factory, Elks Lodge, Nauti Tiki Seasoning, Mellow Mangrove Charters, Tropical Hair Gallery, St. James Auto, Lowes 0592, Lowes 2361, Mike Smith, JJ Taylor, Glitter up Designs, Suncoast Beverage and Florida Coastal Fabricators.

Sponsors for the special event included Monroe Canal Marina, Mayday Welding, Lazy Flamingo, Dynamic South INC, The Wing Nuts, Jensen's Marina, Castaways Realty, A.J. Watson Land Survey Inc, Island Coast Boat Trailers and Marine Center, Dynamic Construction, Hanshaw Sales, Kinetic Touch Massage and Wellness, Pine Island Realty Beth Sweet, Nauti Tiki Seasoning, Island Lawn Care, The Great White Grill, Affordable Health Care Solutions.

"In spite of the redfish and snook ban, we had a wonderful day and raised a lot of money," Smith said. "We gave out more than $5,000 to the three winners," Smith said. "First place, Hakuna Matata won $2,500, second place Fisch won $1,500 and third place Blackbeard won $550, plus we raised over $3,000 for Captain's for Clean Water with our raffles. I want to thank everyone for their contributions this year."



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