It won’t be long before anglers along the Emerald Coast can compete in the Navarre Fishing Rodeo.
The event, in its fifth year, is set to take place Oct. 7-8.
The tournament organized by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation highlights the abundance of fish that can be found in area waters and the different methods for catching them.
The competition is open to pier, boat, kayak and onshore fishing. Previous years have seen competitors of all ages casting a line and bringing up big catches.
A total of seven divisions and 20 fish categories will highlight this year’s rodeo, with organizers hoping to attract freshwater and saltwater anglers.
In addition to the open and junior divisions, there are several other divisions, including a kayak division where anglers on non-motorized vessels can compete in their own division for Spanish mackerel, King mackerel, snapper, flounder, redfish and trout.
There are also two “Slams” – where offshore division entrants will compete for the largest Spanish mackerel, King mackerel and snapper. Inshore participants will battle for the winning flounder, redfish and trout.
Also, with the growing efforts to reduce the lionfish population, there is a category in the rodeo for divers, who will focus on bringing up the most weight in the non-native species. These red-striped, spiky invaders make for good eating.
There is a mystery category as well. In that category, the species of fish and winning weight will be predetermined and released to anglers prior to the tournament.
Tens of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be handed out to the winners of the tournament. Last year first place for the open and kayak divisions were $125 cash, second place was $75, third place was $50 and the slam categories won Yeti Tundra coolers.
All participants in the fishing rodeo receive a Mojo long sleeve fishing rodeo tee and captain bags filled with a variety of fishing treats.
Door prize drawings for items donated by local businesses have landed fishers kayaks and more.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at http://www.navarrefishingrodeo.com/tickets.html. The cost to register in the rodeo is $45. Children 12 and under are free in the junior angler division with a paid adult registration.
Several nonprofit groups benefit from the event each year including Navarre Beach Marine Park, Take a Kid Fishing and Heroes on the Water.
For more information, call 850-939-1900 or visit navarrefishingrodeo.com.