Monday, July 22, 2024

Redbone Fishing Tournament lands in Belize to ‘Catch a Cure’


Three days of fishing with some of the best fly fishing guides on Ambergris Caye landed some Grand Slams and Super Slams, all while raising money for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) research. The 2018 Belize Redbone Superslam fishing tournament brought down 32 Anglers from across the United States of America (USA), and were hosted by El Pescador Lodge and Villas. After three days of fishing fun, 122 Bonefish, 8 Tarpon, 12 Permit and 30 Snook were caught and released. Taking the title of Top Guide was Luis “Junior’ Acosta, who alongside anglers Bo and Justin brought in both a Super Slam and Grand Slam in just one day.

The Redbone Tournament is an invitation only event, and started off 12 years ago with a small group of anglers rallying for a friend whose son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. To date, the tournament has netted over $10 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A total of 32 anglers make up the group now, and they must be invited by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures or the Redbone Foundation. The tournament began in the Bahamas, then headed to the Yucatan for three years, before heading back to the original location.
This year, El Pescador Lodge in Belize was the destination of choice. “We chose El Pescador because the high level of service and professionalism of the guide team,” said Ian Davis of Yellow Dog. “We also like the diversity of species [in Belize]. We can fish for the Super Slam which is a Bonefish, Permit, Tarpon and snook.” The tournament is Fly Fishing only, and all fish must be released alive – catch and release is extremely important for the future of Fly Fishing tourism in Belize.

On the final night of the tournament, a group dinner was held to celebrate the success of Redbone in Belize. A lively auction for a variety of items saw many anglers generously bidding, and at the end of the night, over $32,000US had been raised for the Redbone Foundation. On the recommendation of local fishing guides, the San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) was a guest of honor during the evening festivities. They were recipients of a $500US donation from Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures. Old Souls Fly Shop from New York matched that donation, bringing the total to $1,000US for the SPCS.
After all the festivities and celebration, prizes were given out to winners of the tournament. Overall winner, bringing in Super Slams, Grand Slams, extra points in Snook and Permit was Top Guide Luis ‘Junior’ Acosta. He guided anglers Bo and Justin and landed them on the winners’ podium as the Top Team. Taking a close second was guide Cesar Acosta, who missed the top prize by mere points. Clearly, fishing runs in the family! Individual prizes were also given out for the most tarpon, the largest permit, bonefish and snook, top teams and top anglers. Congratulations to all for a successful Redbone Tournament!

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