Forty-five participants came from around the country to learn from the pros at the "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!" Keys University, held Oct. 21-23 at the Elks Lodge in Tavernier, Fla.
The event started on Oct. 21 with a Harbor Financial Services meet-and-greet social featuring networking, fundraisers and a Master Chef Appetizer Contest. The victor was David Kittrell of Islamorada, Fla., for seared tuna.
Events on the following day began with classroom presentations on fishing basics and offshore, bottom and inshore fishing, followed by lunch and hands-on fishing skills until 4 p.m. The speakers were Stu Apte, Allison Stattner and Capts. Gary Ellis and Lee Lavery. Skills such as releasing, conservation, knot tying, bait rigging, spin, fly and net casting, and gaffing grapefruits were offered for hands-on practice.
The day’s events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party hosted by Seaside Glassworks of Islamorada.
On Oct. 23, participants embarked on a fishing adventure out of Whale Harbor Marina in Islamorada, followed by a fish fillet demonstration. Fish caught or released included sailfish, mahi, yellowtail snapper, king mackerel, mutton snapper, red grouper, bonito, snook, bonefish, mangrove snapper and sharks. Oct. 21 was a bonus fishing day, featuring a double sailfish hookup.
Featured on national network TV, the series is supported by major partners that include the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, Mercury, Ranger Boats, Magic Tilt trailers, Penn, Humminbird, Minn Kota and Fish Florida.
The annual sponsors are: Freedom Boat Club, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort, Sunrise Resort & Marina, AFTCO/Guy Harvey, Future Angler Foundation, Seaguar and Harbor Financial Services. Keys-only sponsors were Calusa Cast Nets, Breezy Palms and Seaside Glassworks.
The final LLGF event of 2016 is a fishing adventure Nov. 19-20 in the Gulf Coast Everglades 10,000 Islands/Chokoloskee, Fla. Reservations are recommended immediately because of the limited availability of overnight lodging and fishing/kayak mothership charters.