Islamorada hosts 'Casting for Cats' ladies tournament

ISLAMORADA, Fla. — The Casting for Cats Ladies All-Tackle Backcountry Tournament, whose 2007 awards ceremony included a guest appearance by a juvenile Florida panther, is slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17-18, at the Islander Resort, mile marker (MM) 82.1 oceanside.

Benefiting feline-friendly causes, the tournament targets Keys anglers' favorite inshore fish in an all-release format.

A kick-off party is set for 6 p.m. Friday at the Islander, followed by a rules meeting at 7 p.m.

The single day of fishing begins Saturday, Oct. 18, with breakfast at the Islander from 6:30 to 7:15 a.m. Boats can leave the docks at Worldwide Sportsman, MM 81.5 bayside, at 7:15 a.m. Lines in time is set for 7:30 a.m.

Female anglers can earn points for catching bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish using bait, artificial lures or fly tackle. Points also are awarded for ladyfish, sharks, jacks and spotted sea trout (also known as speckled trout).

Though overall grand champion honors are to be prized, the real catch is the Cat-Fish trophy, a handmade sculpture of (what else?) a cat and a fish. The prestigious Cat-Fish trophy awaits the lady catching the largest catfish.

The awards banquet begins at the Islander with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and presentations starting at 7:30 p.m.

A silent auction is slated for 6-10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Islander Resort. Tournament director Sharon Mahoney-Ellenwood said proceeds from the tournament and silent auction are used to underwrite the spay or neuter and medical needs of injured cats in the Florida Keys .

Entry fee for the tournament is $125 per angler. Additional social tickets are $20 and $30 for Friday and Saturday, respectively.

For more information, call (305) 664-2012.