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Anglers compete in Redfish Challenge

September 27, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Early Saturday morning, 22 boats with 64 anglers left the docks for 8 hours of fishing for the start of Low Key Tiki's 7th Annual Redfish Challenge.

"This year offered some additional challenges with Hurricane Irma," Low Key Tiki co-owner Erin Smith said. "We have a few less boats and anglers, but to be honest, I'm thrilled we got to have the tournament at all."

Even though the weatherman predicted some rain before mid-afternoon, the weather cooperated until after the tournament deadline of 3 p.m.

Article Photos

The first place team, “Reel Tight,” featured Matt Mitchell, Mary Laser and Brad Agerton.

Photo provided

The winning team, "Reel Tight," with Matt Mitchell, Mary Laser and Brad Agerton, caught the biggest fish with two 64cm redfish, and a 43cm trout for a total of 171cm, winning a total of $1,800.

One fisherman revealed the secret of winning any redfish challenge.

"The secret to winning this thing is the boat captain the captain finds the fish and we catch them. Unfortunately we didn't win this time," the angler, who chose to remain anonymous, said.

The second place team was "Filthy Oars," featuring Scott and Carole Faircloth, Phil Christopher and Dave Irwin. The team landed a 64cm redfish, another 57cm redfish and a 43cm trout, to earn $900.

The third place team, "Mangrove Junkies," Jacob and Samantha Morin, Kyle Lee and Kyle Hudson

brought in a 61cm redfish, winning $500.

John and Erin Smith took over management of the Low Key Tiki restaurant in 2015.

"Although this is the seventh year Low Key Tiki has had a Redfish Tournament, this is also our second anniversary," Erin Smith said. "Just like last year, our music is provided by High Tide and food and a beverage are included for all those who entered the tournament."

The restaurant started to fill up shortly before 6 p.m. as High Tide began to set up.

"I'm really happy with the turnout considering we were forced to reschedule," Erin Smith said. "We're also very lucky Low Key Tiki and Pine Island didn't sustain damages like other towns in the state.

This year's sponsors were EZ Lawn Care, Lazy Flamingo, AJ Watson Land Surveying, Tammie's Total Care, Hanshaw Sales, Dynamic South, Island Coast Trailers, Affordable Healthcare Solutions, Woodward's Lawn Service, Monroe Canal Marina, Castaways Realty, Jensen's Marina & Cottages, Harris Dermatology, Mahalo Fishy Fishy and Mayday Mobile Welding.

The Low Key Tiki is at 3135 Stringfellow Road, St. James City. For additional information about the restaurant or its menu, please call 230-282-8454 or visit



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