Guides and Chase a $10,000 Prize and Trophies During the Inaugural Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival in Islamorada

Non-Profit June Event Presented by Nova Southeastern University and Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts to Fund Marine Science Student Scholarships

By John Bell

The tranquil Florida Bay, known to anglers as “the backcountry”, is an environmentally-sensitive estuary, home to hundreds of species of marine life, including top gamefish– bonefish, redfish, snook, permit, sea trout and the mighty silver king tarpon.

Chasing these backcountry trophies strung along the six islands that comprise Islamorada are thousands of  anglers on flat and bay boats often accompanied by the world’s largest collection of tournament grade captains and guides.

“It’s truly the best place in the world to host an inshore fishing tournament,” said Captain Cliff Jensen, Director of Sport Fishing and Watersports for the Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, which is managing the Father’s Day Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival scheduled for June 16-19 2016. “Islamorada is where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly fishing were pioneered.”

Angler House Marina will be the venue for inshore boats to launch as well as fishing seminar for backcountry tournament anglers.  Home to over 30 backcountry captains, the Angler House Marina includes some of the top fly fishing guides in the country. The Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival, named for Nova Southeastern University’s mascot—the mako shark— has designated a $2,500 entry fee (three anglers) for inshore competition. Whether fishing offshore or backcountry, teams are eligible for the $10,000 first prize and the perpetual Blazing Mako trophy, not to mention bragging rights as a top tournament angler.  Jensen said tournament scoring will be based on a point system. These specially skilled guides employ techniques learned from some of the area’s fishing legends such as Ted Williams, Jimmy Albright, Cecil Keith and Stu Apte.

Situated between the saltwater wilderness of Everglades National Park and Florida Strait, the backcountry and bays continue to provide great fishing on light tackle, many anglers stalking the prized tarpon, whose season runs from April through July.

The fee is $5,000 per team (six anglers). To register for the inshore/offshore division go to

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