Many events makeup 14th Mercury/Cheeca Redbone Celebrity Fishing Tournament

 Redfish and bonefish await fishermen for famed catch & release event;

Jane Seymour, Curt Gowdy, Ed Marinaro, Jimmy Johnson and Chris Evert among many celeb anglers helping to “catch the cure for CF”   


 ISLAMORADA, In the Florida Keys — There is still an opportunity to fish with a movie, TV, news or sports personality in the 14TH Annual Mercury Outboards/Cheeca Redbone celebrity fishing tournament, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2 - 4, in the waters surrounding Islamorada.

The Redbone is the crown jewel in the “triple crown” fall series of flats tournaments in the Fla. Keys to help raise money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

The tournament, expected to have nearly 70 boats, still has a limited number of openings for participants to fish with a celebrity (at $2,500) as well as team entries ($3,000 for two people).   For non-anglers, tickets are also available for all of the celebrity social functions at $125 per person.

Among the top celebrities fishing are Emmy Award winning actress Jane Seymour and her movie director husband James Keach, eight-time hall of fame sportscaster and American Sportsman host Curt Gowdy, actor (Hill Street Blues, Sisters) Ed Marinaro and twice Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson of the Dallas Cowboys.

Started in 1988, the Mercury/Cheeca Redbone targets the redfish and bonefish. Anglers score multiple points by catching both species. The fish are all measured, photographed and immediately released at the boat. 

The Redbone has granted more than $2 million to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Original artworks are to be awarded as prizes to the top anglers and teams, as well as champion anglers in the general, spin and fly divisions. Artwork is also presented for the most fish released and the largest fish caught and released in each target species.

The tournament’s grand champion angler will also receive a Rolex watch and advances to the IGFA/Rolex Inshore Championship in the spring..

Registration for the Redbone is slated for Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Cheeca Lodge Resort’s Pennekamp Room. Registration is to be followed by a cocktail reception, rules meeting for anglers and guides, kickoff dinner and live auction. Fishing is set for 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov 4.

The awards banquet is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday at the Cheeca Lodge.

For more information about the Mercury Outboards Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series, call Susan Ellis at (305) 664-2002.


Mercury Redbone series points standings: grand championship/gold Rolex

In the series points race, Jim Bokor, Tavernier, with a win at the Mercury Baybone and third place finish at the Mercury SLAM, leads with 1500 points going into the Redbone series’ final event.

Defending series grand champion Dan Zicari, Vero Beach, is second with 1,000 points from his win at the SLAM.

Considered long shots to win the gold Rolex and series blue jacket as grand champions of the series are Carter Andrews, Crooked Islands, Bahamas, and Tim Mahaffey, Miami, both tied in third place at 750 points. Joe Viar, Alexandria, Va., with 500 points, is in fifth place.  Point values of 1,000, 750, 500 and 250 are awarded to the top four anglers in each of the three fall series events.


Special one-day fly-fishing event precedes Mercury/Cheeca Redbone

The Seventh Annual Seamaster Superfly, a one-day, one-fly tournament, precedes the Redbone as fly-fishermen compete for a grand slam of fish.

Registration is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1st at the Zane Grey Lounge at World Wide Sportsman.

Fishing is Friday, Nov 2, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. A 5 p.m. awards ceremony will follow.


Chris Evert Celebrity Tennis Experience

            For a donation of $100 you can get coached by Tennis Hall of Fame’s Chris Evert at her annual clinic to help “net a cure for CF.” The clinic begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3rd at the Cheeca Lodge Tennis Courts. For more information call the Redbone office at 305-884-2002 or Cheeca tennis pro Tim Farwell at 305-664-4651.


Jane Seymour art auction and dinner for CF

There are still a limited number of tickets left for a private reception with Jane Seymour including cocktails, and a sumptuous four-course dinner with wine and an auction of her works of art on Saturday evening at Pierre’s.  Cost per couple is $500, which also includes a signed poster by Ms. Seymour and a $100 raffle ticket into the Redbone’s Mercury/ActionCraft Boat auction.  Ms. Seymour’s paintings will include originals, watercolors and limited editions.   


Many Redbone events open to the public

The public is invited to meet the celebrity anglers from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Lorelei docks at MM 82 bayside following the on-the-water action.

A silent auction with hundreds of items, will also take place throughout the weekend in the Pennekamp Room at the Cheeca Lodge. 

A very popular live radio auction on Easy 96.9 WKEZ-FM will also take place Saturday from the Cheeca from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Bidders can make their bids on a wide assortment of items including fishing tackle, trips, gift certificates from local merchants and restaurants, two tickets to Europe on American Airlines and a seven-night Caribbean Cruise.

There will also be a two-day Redbone Art Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds of the Lorelei.  Redbone clothing will also be offered for sale along with chances in two raffles for Mercury outboard rigged ActionCraft and Hells Bay Boats.



Celebrity watching

Besides Ms. Seymour, Gowdy, Marinaro and Johnson, other celebrities competing include two-time NASA space shuttle astronaut Bruce Melnick, anchorman Brian Nelson of "CNN News " and NFL Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks of the Oakland Raiders.  Other football greats include Gary Dunn (Pittsburgh Steelers), Mark Cooper (Denver Broncos) Jon Geisler and  Eric Laakso (Miami Dolphins).  Celebrity pros include TV show hosts Jose Wejebe, Andy Mill and legendary fly fisherman Stu Apte.

Major League baseball will be represented by Jeff Tam of the Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, former Fla. Marlin Bill Hurst and recently retired Red Sox Mike Stanley. Also competing will be artists from the Redbone Gallery including James Harris and Tim Borski.


Book Signing for CF

Bob "Bubba" Rich, a long-time competitor and sponsor of the Redbone tournaments, will be signing copies of his newly released book, "Fish Fights: A Hall of Fame Quest" (Lyons Press/Globe Pequot, August, 2001) during the weekend. All proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The amusing and entertaining book chronicles Rich’s quest for the prestigious South Florida Metropolitan Tournament Hall of Fame.  The author, who presides over one of the largest family-owned food businesses in the world, has been fishing the Florida waters and beyond for over 25 years.  He is only the second person to be inducted into the MET’s Hall of Fame, and he accomplished the feat catching the ten big-game fish in record time.  What is meant to be a lifetime achievement, Rich accomplished in just over a year.



Platinum Plus sponsors of the Mercury Outboards title sponsored Redbone series include Rich Products, Robert-James Sales and Rolex.  Platinum sponsors include Cheeca Lodge, Orvis, Seamaster Reels, Seacoast Supply Co., Actioncraft Boats, American Specialties, Redbone Rods by Hurricane and Hell’s Bay Boat Works.