Anglers are invited to test their skills at the 2020 T-Rex Cast Off to Summer Offshore Tournament. The charity fundraiser will make its debut on June 13 at Rose Marina, located off Bald Eagle Drive.
Participants will vie for a share of the $11,000 in prize money to be split among the top three finishers. The first-place boat will receive $6,000, second–place $3,000 and third–place $1,500. They’ll be judged on the total weight caught of two legal-size red grouper and two snappers from any of three species: lane, mangrove and yellowtail. There will also be a $500 “money fish” prize for the heaviest legal fish caught, excluding a shark.
Only rods and reels can be used, although electric reels are excluded.
This will be the first year for the daylong event, which is sponsored by the Trevor Smith Memorial Foundation, which was established by his family to honor the memory of the late Marco resident who passed away in December of 2014 at age 30. The nonprofit provides annual contributions to organizations promoting children and family–related services.
For the last 5 years, the foundation has put on the “One Last Cast Tournament,” a backwater fishing competition typically held the third week in October in Goodland. The sixth annual installment is in the plans for 2020, but the foundation thought it would also be a good idea to add to its offerings this year.
“This will be the first time for kind of dipping our toes in the water for an offshore event,” said Wes Smith, who was Trevor’s brother. He started the foundation, along with their parents, Tom and Linda, his wife Naomi, and Shauna Fernandez, Jack Stroube, J.J. Stinchcomb and Drew Naeckel.
A much more elaborate affair with live music, food trucks, a children’s bounce house and a cornhole tournament had been in the works. However, the COVID-19 Pandemic dashed those plans. But Wes Smith said those changes will not dampen enthusiasm given the challenges of the last six months.
“It’s going to be kind of nice to get everybody together with all that’s been going on,” he explained. “We’re still going to social distance as best we can and adhere to everything that we need to. But I think everybody is itching to get out and do something that benefits the community and that gets them out, and they can have a little bit of fun doing it.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Youth Haven of Southwest Florida shelter in Naples and the Trevor Smith Community Fund. “We also do a lot of different things throughout the year, as we see the need for it,” said Wes Smith. “If somebody needs help with their bills after a catastrophe or if somebody in the community needs something specifically bought or taken care of, we kind of look at those on a case-by-case basis as they come up.”
For more information about the 2020 T-Rex Cast Off to Summer Offshore Tournament and to register, visit trexonelastcast.com or call 954-494-7109 or 248-8779.