Written by: Capt. Jason Sullivan, Rising Tide Charters
The Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association hosts the Annual Swamp Guides Ball Fishing Tournament and Auction out of Islamorada, Florida. The event is an all-release snook, redfish, and bonefish tournament. This is definitely one of the most competitive tournaments in the Florida Keys. All the proceeds benefit the Don Hawley Foundation, which lends assistance to Florida Keys Fishing Guides during times of financial hardship. The foundation also supports game-fish research through various organizations.
This year Orvis was one of the sponsors, and I had the privilege of fishing with Orvis’s own Pete Kutzer and Tyler Atkins. We had a great time fishing the tournament, despite the weather being unfavorable to fly fishing. Winds were at out the northeast at 20-25mph on tournament day, but we stuck with the fly rods all day. Here is Tyler with his beautiful 30 inch Florida Bay redfish.