FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach is hosting FGCU Spearfishing’s second annual 2015 Southwest Florida Lionfish Derby to promote control of the invasive lionfish species.
The weekend event will include a spearfishing tournament and a lionfish cook-off where local chefs will be competing for the best lionfish dish. The event is open to the public and will offer raffles and $1,500 in cash prizes. Entry fee for the tournament is $200 for four-person teams.
The event will begin Friday evening with a captains meeting at 6:30 with complimentary food provided by Matanzas on the Bay. There are still spots available. Spearfishing will take place Saturday from sunrise to sunset. The spearfishing tournament will range from Naples to Sarasota, ending Sunday with the weigh-in at Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach. The cook-off will take place Sunday afternoon along with the award presentation and raffle drawing.
“This event will feature a competitive tournament and delicious meals for the contestants to enjoy. Lionfish will be made available at no cost to the public depending on the catch,” said Glen Petrarca, general manager of Matanzas on the Bay. “We are excited for the opportunity to support invasive species control while also providing an entertaining weekend for the community.”
The $1,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winners of the spearfishing tournament based on total number of lionfish that were harvested. First place winners will receive $600, second place is awarded $400 and third place will be presented with $200. Additional $100 prizes will be presented for largest lionfish, smallest lionfish and most live lionfish.
For more information about the event, or to register for the tournament, click here to visit the 2015 Southwest Florida Lionfish Derby Facebook page or contact Cade Stokes at 863-634-8226 or FGCULionfishDerby@gmail.com.