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Red Grouper Bash

Two-day tournament April 7-8 starts at Sanibel Lighthouse, with children’s tournament at Moss Marina on Fort Myers Beach

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Mar 23, 2023

The Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club will hold its inaugural “Red Grouper Bash” fishing tournament April 7-8. The two-day tournament will begin for adults at the Sanibel Lighthouse, while the children’s tournament on April 8 will be held at Moss Marina on Fort Myers Beach.

The proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club, according to Fort Myers Beach Woman’s Club board member and incoming president Dawn Thomas. The club’s headquarters at Sterling Avenue on the beach was destroyed by Hurricane Ian and the club has been weighing options for a rebuild.

The tournament is being hosted by Alec Dilallo of the Fort Myers-based Off Duty Lifestyle and will include catered food, beer and liquor stations, raffles and live music.

The cost to enter is $500 per boat (for four persons, with a cost of $150 per each additional person). There is an additional charge of $300 per boat for those participating in the kingfish contest and an additional $100 per boat for those competing for Calcutta snapper.

The tournament will begin Friday, April 7, with a shotgun start out front of the Sanibel Lighthouse. Check-in will start at 5 a.m. According to the rules provided by Dilallo and Thomas, all teams must check in with the starter boat, which will be located at 34 Nortech with two pole flags located out front of the Sanibel Lighthouse Pier. Once checked in, all further questions or concerns can be handled via channel 69.

On Saturday, there will be a shotgun start time beginning at 6:30 a.m. with boats required to be back to the dock no later than 3:30 p.m. All vessels will need to be in sight of a spotter will be placed at Bowditch Point.

This tournament will be restricted to a max depth of 120 feet. No bent butt rods or electric reels will be allowed during the duration of the tournament.

Weigh-in will be measured off of the two largest grouper. Grouper chosen for weigh-in will be angler’s choice. Anglers will be allowed to carry a personal scale to help in deciding which fish will be weighed for each boat.

The rules further include the following:

• All teams in the money will have fish gutted to confirm no alterations have been made to the fish.

• A polygraph test will also be conducted for all teams in the money.

• The tournament will be regulated abiding by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conser-vation regulations which require that red grouper caught must be at least 20 inches long.