postponed 14th Mercury/Cheeca Redbone Celebrity Fishing Tournament is
Nov 30 – Dec. 2 dates set for famed catch & release event
ISLAMORADA, In the Florida Keys — The 14TH
Annual Mercury Outboards/ Cheeca Redbone celebrity fishing tournament,
interrupted by Hurricane Michelle, has been rescheduled for Friday through
Sunday, Nov. 30 - Dec. 2.
the possible approach of the then category 4 hurricane, the bulk of the 240
anglers, celebrities and volunteers who were non-residents were ordered to
evacuate the Keys before the start of the first day of fishing, Saturday, Nov.
tournament is the crown jewel in the “triple crown” Mercury Redbone series
of Fla. Keys flats tournaments to help raise money to find a cure for cystic
fibrosis. The other two celebrity tournaments, held earlier in the fall,
included the 12th Mercury SLAM in Key West and the 11th
Mercury Baybone in Key Largo.
are getting positive response with the rescheduling of the Redbone,” said
founder and tournament director Capt. Gary Ellis.
“A number of anglers from as far away as Illinois, Wisconsin, New York,
California and Arizona have called and indicated they are ready to get back into
said the spirit of the South Florida communities has been high as well.
“We’ve gotten a lot of encouraging calls,” he said. “The newspapers here
in Islamorada and communities throughout the Keys said they’ll get behind us
to make it a success. That type of camaraderie is part of the history of
Islamorada and the Keys people.”
said the events’ silent and radio auctions, with over 300 items, have also
been rescheduled at the Cheeca. The silent auction will begin on Nov. 30 to Dec.
1, and the radio auction Dec. 1 on Easy 96.9 (WKEZ-FM) from 2 to 9 p.m.
of the top items in the silent auction will be a 17-ft 8-in Hell’s Bay Whipray
skiff powered by a Mercury 60 hp 4-stroke valued at $31,000.
Ellis said the starting bid will begin at $22,000.
said he hopes to soon have dates set for a special reception, dinner and art
auction at Pierre’s with actress/artist/fly-fisherwoman Jane Seymour that was
also postponed because of the storm.
autographed posters by Ms. Seymour will be given out with the $100 entries into
the Mercury powered Action Craft boat raffle. The May 2002 drawing for the
boat/motor/trailer is limited to 1,000 tickets.
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 released at the boat. The tournaments, each with targeted
species for that locale, are expanding nationwide to over a dozen sites with the
addition of the Mercury Redbone @ Large series. They have raised over $2 million
for CF research funding. For more
information about the series please call the Redbone offices at 305-664-2002.