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History of the Tournament
The RedSnook Charity Catch and Release Fishing Tournament was born out of the need for a new source of fundraising coupled with the desire to bring a first class fishing tournament to Southwest Florida. The event drew from the idea that Collier County needed a unique and exciting philanthropic event drawing heavily from the County’s heritage as a fishing resort blessed with an abundance of natural resources. In 1993, tournament founders Dick Botthof and Tim Parry gave life to the idea that the YMCA could raise money with a fishing tournament, and they set out to create a world class event. By any measure, they succeeded in doing just that.
Organizers first canvassed the state of Florida to see how other tournaments operated. They learned that a successful tournament blends together philanthropy and fun. Recognizing the need for local expertise, founders included input from the earliest stages by local guides. The decision was quickly made to feature a two day guided format, and to target the areas most popular game fish, snook and redfish. As a result, the tournament logo was carefully designed to recognize the principal participants--anglers, guides, and fish. The tournament rules were established and the stage was set for a competitive and fun event.
For the first thirteen years of the tournament the YMCA of Collier County was the beneficiary of the event, however in 2007, the RedSnook was moved to benefit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and its Estuary Programs. The format was changed to allow for both guided and unguided divisions.
The RedSnook silent and live auction has grown over the years into a major source of revenue for the tournament. The auction team solicits auction items that not only interest anglers but everyone who attends the event. Their effort can be seen in the excitement generated at the auction that is traditionally held on the Friday night before the tournament begins.
From a humble beginning in 1993 of 40 anglers, the RedSnook now boasts over 80 anglers and continual improvements in the evening events, awards, and rules have kept the tournament fresh and exciting. Just ask any fishing guide in Collier County, and they will tell you that the RedSnook is the most prestigious fishing tournament in Southwest Florida. Several of our RedSnook winners have gone on win to the IGFA Inshore Tournament of Champions.
The combination of competitive fishing, exciting trophies, and fun events, coupled with the successful fundraising accomplished each year, ensures the RedSnook tournaments’ success.
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