The March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament and World Angling are sponsoring a showing of “The Drake Fly Fishing Film Tour” at the Tropic Theater in Key West, Florida on Sunday, March 16th, 2014. The Show will be hosted by Will Benson. There will a reception for all ticketholders at 6:45 pm for a 7:30 pm showing of the films. All of the proceeds from ticket sales in excess of the showing’s direct costs will be contributed to Bonefish Tarpon Trust for permit research. It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.
DR. GREG SMITH WINS 2013 MARCH MERKIN
Dr. Greg Smith, of Buena Vista, Texas, won the 2013 March Merkin. He was guided by Capt. Scott Collins of Marathon, Florida.
Fishing conditions during the tournament were very difficult-high winds, cold air and water temperatures, and overcast skies. Only 1 permit was caught and it measured 29 inches. It was tagged and released.
In spite of the weather, the tournament was a financial success and $25,000 has been donated to the Jon Ain Memorial Fund at Bonefish Tarpon Unlimited for permit research.
The dates for the 2014 March Merkin are March 17th for the kick-off reception and dinner, and March 18th, March 19th, and March 20th are the fishing dates.
March Merkin Permit Tournament to Draw Fly Anglers March 11-14
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — 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
After a courageous battle Jon Ain passed away on November 28, 2012. He’s the reason so many of us love to fish for permit and he did tremendous things to make sure the fishery was protected. He will be greatly missed by so many in our fly fishing community and everyone who’s lives he touched.
The dates for the 2013 March Merkin are March 11-14th, 2013. March 10th & 11th are practice days and March 12-14 are tournament fishing days.
We also invite participants and guides to join us the evening of March 10th at the Tropic Cinema for the Fly Fishing Film Tour. Please check back here for details!
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Dr. Greg Smith of Galveston, Texas, caught and released four permit, earning 513 points to win the 2012 March Merkin Permit Tournament that ended March 15. Smith, who was guided by Captain Scott Collins of Marathon, Fla., was named the tournament’s grand champion angler.
Points in the flats-and-fly-only challenge were awarded for releases based on the length of the permit and for tagging the fish. Smith tagged all four of his releases and also was recognized for scoring the tournament’s largest single catch.
“This year the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Project Permit, supported by Costa Del Mar, provided special reward tags to be used on the fish,” said tournament organizer Jon Ain. “These fish will entitle the person who recaptures the fish, measures its length and cuts off the tag to call BTT to receive a $100 reward.”
The tournament’s first runner-up was Ricky Ricardo of New York, N.Y. Guided by Captain Scotty Irvine of Key West, Ricardo released one permit to earn 135 points.
Defending champion Mike Dawes of Victor, Idaho, was named second runner-up angler for catching one permit that scored 134 points. His guide was Captain Don Gable of Key West.
Twenty-five permit enthusiasts fished the tournament and released a total of 10 permit. Event proceeds benefited the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.
The dates of the 2013 March Merkin Permit Tournament are March 11-14.
The March Merkin will be hosting the Key West showing of The Fly Fishing Film Tour on March 11, 2012. Doors open at 7:30 PM, show starts at 8PM. Tickets are $15.00 and are available online at www.tropiccinema.com or at the door.
The March Merkin Permit Tournament will be held March 12-15, 2012 at Key West Yacht Harbor Marina. There will be an opening dinner and cash bar on March 12 followed by three days of fishing. Awards will be given on the last day of fishing following the last boat in.
2011 March Merkin Results
The sixth annual March Merkin, held at the Key West Harbour Yacht Club, ended on a high note last evening after 26 boats spent 3 days chasing the “Black Tailed Devils” from the Marquesas to the Content Keys with 10 fish caught. This fly fishing tournament for Permit, the most difficult flats species to corral on a fly, attracted a diverse cast of Permit fanatics from around the western hemisphere. The winner was Mike Dawes, a fishing guide from Victor Idaho who also won the Jackson Hole One Fly last summer. This was his fourth attempt to win the Merkin and he pulled it off going away with a Permit each day. His guide was Captain Don Gable of Key West and Victor. Second place went to Dr. Jon Ain, the tournament director, fishing with Captain Doug Kilpatrick, who had guided him to two prior championships in this most competitive of Permit tournaments. The second runnerup was Doug Behrman of Tallahasee, a prior Del Brown tournament winner, fishing with veteran Captain Kevin Guerin, a familiar winner on the Keys tournament circuit. They also won the largest fish award with a 29 inch fork length.
The Merkin was the site in 2010 of the kickoff of Project Permit, sponsored by Costa del Mar in conjunction with Bonefish Tarpon Trust. This represented the first ever attempt to tag Permit in order to answer basic questions about Permit population, growth rates and movements. This yearʼs tournament required anglers and guides to not only measure the fish before release but to tag them as well. The Merkin is a charity tournament benefitting Bonefish Tarpon Trust and the Don Hawley Foundation Tournament information is available at www.marchmerkin.com. Information about Permit tagging as well as scientific and conservation issues affecting Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit around the world can be found at www.tarbone.org