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We just returned from our 3rd time fishing the Stuart Fishing League (will be referred to as SFL from here on out), and i feel like im ready to give feedback on my experience and insights in to the league.
The SFL is still in its fledgling stage but is already a staple amonst serious snook fisherman in Florida. We’ve met people at the captains meetings who came from places like Miami and Orlando to fish the tourney. The idea was spawned by Wyatt Cox, who started it up and it really started with a few guys talking shit over some beers and snook fishing. As it grows, so does the seriousness of the competitors, prizes, and judging. We love this tournament so much because, while it grows, it maintains its hometown, grassroots feel. Its still just a couple of guys who are passionate about snook fishing who meet up and kick things off with a couple beers and a BBQ. Entries are paid in cash. Things are done on handshakes and the honor system. Its what a good tourney should be.
As some of you may know, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the winner of the last tournament revolving around the video that was submitted for the fish. This resulted in a tightening of the rules for last weekends event. My thoughts are this: There was no attempt to cheat with the submission in question. Yes, it was a grainy video, but the fish was clearly visible, as well as the tape measurer and the markings showing the length of the fish. In any tournament, game, gambling, professional sport, etc, there will ALWAYS be someone attempting to cheat or circumvent the rules. Its unavoidable. It is my opinion that we should not let cheaters dictate how we fish a tournament or conduct ourselves in general. Now, this is not an indictiment on the SFL tightening the rules. I completely understand why they did it. I just feel that if someone wants to cheat, its on them. They have to live with themselves and when they lay their head down at night, they know what they did and who they are. They may get away with it, they may not. But at the end of the day, we can’t let a few bad apples control our lives.
At the end of the day, this is a great tournament and i encourage everyone to come and experience it at least once. Its so much fun to meet people in person and be able to put a face to the instagram name. To meet the guys who created NLBN, rub elbows with legends like Eric (snook crook) and other OG’s alone is worth the $30 price of admission. Team Snook Snacks will be at the next one and we hope to see you there!