The Cheeca Lodge pool, Islamorada.

Event set for November 9-11, 2012.

Cheeca Lodge & Spa has announced the dates for the First Annual Cheeca Lodge & Spa All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament, an exclusive new addition to the roster of backcountry tournaments in the “Sport Fishing Capital of the World.” The dates are November 9-11, 2012.

Anglers will compete for trophies and prizes for releasing five different species of fish: snook, redfish, bonefish, tarpon and permit. All social events, including a spectacular All American Barbecue on the Beach, will be held at Cheeca. “Our goal is to make this event the most impressive and celebrated fishing tournament in the Keys by bringing Cheeca’s singular brand of casual elegance to every aspect of this event – from the trophies, to the gift bags to the banquets,” said Tournament Director Julie Olsen.
Fishing headquarters for this tournament is World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada’s premier headquarters for fishing in the Florida Keys. All participating boats will leave and return to the World Wide Sportsman marina during the two days of fishing.

“We are proud to announce that a major sponsor of the All American tournament is WELLS FARGO,” Olsen said. Proceeds will benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, an organization of concerned anglers and guides who are dedicated to conserving and enhancing global bonefish, tarpon and permit fisheries and their environments through stewardship, research, education and advocacy. Since its formation in 1998, BTT has grown to include members from over 20 countries.

The entry fee is $2,000 per angler and includes entry into all three social events for the angler, a guest and the angler’s guide and his guest. It also includes a continental breakfast dockside at World Wide Sportsman each morning.

The First Annual Cheeca Lodge & Spa All American Backcountry Fishing Tournament will kick off with an elaborate Welcome Reception and Cocktail party on Friday, November 9, 2011. Fishing hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11, 2012.

On Saturday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m., tournament participants will attend a spectacular All American Beachside Barbecue on the beach here at Cheeca. This event was an extremely popular component of the George Bush/Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament. President George H.W. Bush competed in this tournament, which was Cheeca’s signature event from 1994-2003. That tournament raised thousands of dollars for a number of different charities over the years, and received national print, website and television coverage.

The All American Tournament will culminate with a lavish Awards Banquet on Sunday, November 11. Awards for Grand Champion, Runner-Up, Grand Champion Team and winners in the Fly, Artificial and General Tackle Divisions will be presented in the form of 16 exclusive, signature trophies that will put this tournament in a class by itself, Olsen noted.

Cheeca’s fishing tournament history is impressive. In addition to the George Bush/Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament, Cheeca launched its Presidential Sailfish Tournament in 1989. That tournament has become the largest, most prestigious offshore tournament of its kind in the Florida Keys.
For more information, tournament brochure and entry forms, please contact Julie Olsen at (360)288-2436 PST or e-mail

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