Permit is the target species for fly anglers on the flats during the 2013 March Merkin Permit Tournament scheduled Monday through Thursday, March 11-14.

The angler who catches the most inches of permit earns the title of tournament grand champion. The tournament also is to recognize the grand champion guide, first runner-up and guide, and angler and guide who score the longest single permit.

Participants wishing to practice their skills and increase their awareness of Keys waters can arrive early Sunday and Monday, March 10 and 11. Those arriving Sunday can watch the Fly Fishing Film Tour set for 8 p.m. at Key West’s Tropic Cinema, 416 Eaton St.

The tournament is to begin with a kick-off reception and dinner March 11 at Key West Harbour Yacht Club, 6000 Peninsular Ave. on Stock Island. The club serves as tournament headquarters.

Prior to the reception at 5 p.m. at the club, there will be a “Celebration of Life” service for the late Jon Ain, one of the co-founders of the tournament. The following morning at 8 a.m., his ashes are to be spread along the channel edge of the North West Ship Channel.

Lines are to be in the water from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, March 12-14. Boats must return to the dock by 6 p.m. each day.

To count for points, fish must be boated, measured and photographed on the measuring device provided and released alive. Extra points are earned for properly tagging the fish.

Awards are to be presented following the final day’s fishing. In addition to the other awards, there will be a new permanent Big Fish Trophy dedicated to Jon Ain.

The entry fee is $750 per angler. Licensed guides are allowed to fish as anglers in the permit challenge.

Tournament information and registration: www.marchmerkin.com or 303-888-4546

Image courtesy March Merkin

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