S.A.F.E.R. - Florida Bass Fishing Tournament
While the fishing tournament on 4-27-2008 was a great hit once again, much of the support came from running this event for the seventh year in a row. Let's not forget the great cause at hand, saving the canals and achieving Everglades Restoration or as we say it "Restoration With Recreation". The event is put on by S.A.F.E.R. a 501 C3 non-profit organization, dedicated to preserving the fishery for sportsman.
The event when off with out a hitch of a problem, a total number of boats in the event was 29. This number was down from pass tournaments with 150+ boats, most related decline to increasing fuel cost. While others support that the high water levels in conservation area 3 caused declined catch ratios, which lead to anglers staying home. As always, the Everglades still had to prove why it is one of the best fisheries in the country. Even with the decreased number of boats and high water levels, it still took 19+ pounds for five fish to win the bass fishing tournament.
Before recapping the results, I wanted to point out a few things. S.A.F.E.R. was responsible for building a new tournament weight-in pavilion at Everglades Holiday Park which was a great hit among the fisherman present. Years of use from many groups and clubs alike, will surly befit many anglers. Pictures of the event and pavilion can be seen at the S.A.F.E.R. website.
The support is really appreciated for the many of you that just fished for the cause, many anglers even fished by them selfs. While many of the local marina's, boat dealers could not seem make it out, owner of BJ's Bait & Tackle Shop Mark Escobar took time away from his tackle shop to show support and picked up 2nd place big bass honers.
One of the amazing things was the lack of support of anglers that call this place home and even more so local fishing guides that claim to be professional. There are lots of fishing guides that "claim" to be supports, but none of them showed any interest in the support of this Everglades Resortortion event on Sunday. Yes, I mite be taking this a little personal because I am one, but I think it just simply shows how many real professionals we have in the area. Funny isn't, making a living fishing the Everglades...but not interested in the longevity. Not even the park guides support the even, which in the long run have the most to loose by the canals closing. Amazing to me, these guides will be the first ones to cry like babies to the FWC when they have no where to fish! Many of the guides from BassOnline did support the event as always. So, please keep this in mind when recommending or using a Bass Fishing Florida!
The fight continues, S.A.F.E.R. wants to thank all of the local anglers for there pass, present and future support of this great cause.
1st place, Tony Masiello, 19.07 lbs (BassOnline Guide)
2nd place, Belits & Belits, 18.51 lbs and big fish 7.03 lbs
3rd place, Nelson & Wellbaum, 16.01 Lbs
4th place, Alexander & Sithline, 14.72 lbs
5th place, Hicks. 13.02 lbs
2nd big fish, Escobar & Mouler, 6.30 lbs