Are you ready for the most exciting tournament of the summer? If so, than it’s time to sharpen your hooks and re-spool your reels because the first annual The Gater 98.7 Anglers’ Summerlong Fishing Tournament is a great way to put some cold hard cash in your pocket. Presented by StingRay Tackle, this unique and dynamic tournament extends over a 12-week period and awards anglers for the heaviest kingfish, dolphin, wahoo, and swordfish. Best of all, participants have the chance to win over $150,000 in cash and prizes.
If you’ve ever competed in a fishing tournament than you know that Florida anglers are serious challengers. Some teams go to extreme lengths to come out on top and unless you’ve got the time and resources to devote, top competitors are tough to beat. The fun aspect about the Summerlong is that fishermen in all class boats are welcome to participate and you don’t need an experienced five-man crew to stand a fighting chance. You won’t find yourself next to quad outboard powered center consoles and gleaming sportfishers as the countdown to the Bimini start winds down. Leave from your favorite inlet and sleep in if you want. Because of its flexible schedule, format and requirements, anglers battle it out on a more level playing field. It’s all about fishing and having fun, with the chance of winning some great cash and prizes.
Competition starts May 14 and continues through August 6. Anglers who wish to participate can register on the Summerlong website (summerlongfishing.com) or through The Gater Radio 98.7 and Fox 29. Registration opens March 15. Registered anglers are permitted to fish out of the Fort Pierce, Stuart, Jupiter, Palm Beach and Boynton Inlets, but there are boundaries to be aware of, with a 25-mile eastern boundary from the coast and a 100-mile coastal boundary measured from Jupiter Inlet—50-miles north and 50-miles south.
The affordable $129 entry fee covers the angler’s participation for the entire 12-weeks of the tournament and is not limited to the number of days or times in which he or she may fish. In addition, competitors are free to change boats and fishing partners. Scoring will be based on the combined weight of the three heaviest fish. The aggregate total weight will take home the Grand Prize, which is valued at a minimum of $25,000 in cash and prizes. Twelve species-specific prizes (1st, 2nd, & 3rd) will be awarded with a guaranteed minimum first prize per species of $5,000, including additional sponsor giveaways. In addition to the aforementioned prizes, one IGFA record breaking prize of $100,000 will be awarded for the first entry to qualify and be accepted by IGFA as a new world record. This incredible opportunity is available for all records over 30lb. test, with fly fishing records not applicable.
The tournament culminates with a weekend festival promoted and organized by The Gater 98.7 and Fox 29 Television. The celebration offers the opportunity to meet competing anglers and sponsoring vendors from all over South Florida while enjoying great food, live music and amazing awards.
Seems too good to be true? All you have to do is register for the tournament and go fishing like you normally would, but with the opportunity to win some serious cash. Don’t think that the rewards come without some thorough rules and regulations. Due to the range limitations, no fishing in the fertile waters of The Bahamas is permitted. When it comes to qualifying your catch, competitors must present fish for weigh-in at an official station as soon as possible, but no later than 12-hours after landing the fish. There will be numerous weigh stations throughout St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties, but official stations may change from time to time and their weigh-in schedule may vary so be sure to check the SummerLong website regularly, or call the tournament’s hotline for the most up to date information.
Yet another initiative put in place to make the event more enjoyable is the fact that you obviously don’t have to bring a boat to the weigh-in, although the rod and reel used at the time of landing must be presented along with the eligible fish.
With $100,000 on the line for the first angler to break an IGFA world record, anglers must weigh their potential record breaking catch at a designated and approved IGFA weigh station. If an angler is fishing for an IGFA record and the tournament’s corresponding prize, it is his or her responsibility to abide by all current IGFA rules as published by the IGFA. All IGFA rules supersede the tournament’s rules and all anglers are encouraged to obtain and read the current IGFA rules and regulations before fishing.
Throughout the 12-week period anglers can enter a maximum of five fish per category, but only the heaviest fish per category will be counted towards the overall Grand Prize and an award will be given to the angler with the highest cumulative points across all species. While the Anglers’ Summerlong Fishing Tournament is designed to be a fun event, to ensure the integrity and fairness of the competition, tournament directors require mandatory polygraph testing of anglers and witnesses claiming prizes at any level. Failure to comply with this requirement for any reason whatsoever will lead to automatic disqualification.
The first event of its kind, The Gater 98.7 Anglers’ Summerlong Fishing Tournament is destined to be one of the most exciting events of the summer fishing season. For complete rules and regulations, visit summerlongfishing.com