Past Tournaments

2011 March Merkin Press Release

Idaho Angler Wins March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament in Key West

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Mike Dawes of Victor, Idaho, caught and released three permit totaling 78 inches to win the 2011 March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament that ended March 17. Dawes, who was guided by Captain Don Gable of Key West, was named the tournament’s grand champion angler.

Dawes’ permit measured 28, 26 and 24 inches. As well as points for his releases in the flats-and-fly-only challenge, he and Gable earned additional points for tagging the fish.

“I had a great angler on the bow of my boat,” said Gable, who was named guide to the grand champion and praised the event’s high level of competition. “This was our fourth year in the tournament, and I think angler-captain teamwork makes the difference.”

The tournament’s first runner-up was Jon Ain of Vail, Colo., and Sugarloaf Key, Fla. Guided by Captain Doug Kilpatrick of Summerland Key, Fla., Ain released two permit with a combined length of 46 inches.

Doug Behrman of Tallahassee, Fla., was named second runner-up angler for his 29-inch permit and also earned honors for scoring the tournament’s largest single catch. Behrman’s guide was Captain Kevin Guerin of Helena, Mont., and Summerland Key

Twenty-six teams of permit enthusiasts fished the tournament, with proceeds benefiting the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Don Hawley Foundation.

The 2010 March Merkin Invitational Permit Tournament is slated for March 15-18 in Key West. The new headquarters for the captain’s meeting, dinner and tournament start and finish are at Key West Harbour Yacht Club. The facilities will be better suited for our group gathering and for our cocktail hour after fishing.

Please note that all tournament spots are now filled. To get on the waiting list for the March Merkin please contact us.

All proceeds of the tournament after direct expenses will go 50/50 to Don Hawley Foundation and Tarpon Bonefish Trust.
March Merkin Tournament – March 15-18, 2010

Mike Allen of Key West and Capt. Will Benson win the 2009 March Merkin
The 2010 Merkin will begin with the Kickoff Dinner Monday evening March 15th. with fishing March 16,17 and 18. We are actively searching for a location for the dinner that would be less noisy with a larger single room. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Jacquie Horn has announced her retirement as the treasurer and all funds should now be sent c/o Shirley Ain at our address below.

Dave has sent in the paperwork in order to obtain tax exempt status for the March Merkin. This costs a bit of money to do but the advantage to all of us will be that when we obtain the status, we will be able to provide all anglers with letters of Donation for a good portion of your entry fee so that you can take a tax deduction for it.

As part of the tax free status, we will use 25 dollars from each of your entry fees to pay for your membership in the March Merkin organization. This will give you a vote in electing board members to insure the long term viability of the tournament. We are looking for volunteers who wish to be involved at any level in the organization and planning of the tournament so please let me know if you are interested in helping out.

The tournament fee for 2010 will be 650 dollars which will include your membership fee. This price is good till October 31st when it goes up to 750 dollars (Click here for the application).We do have a waiting list for anglers and would appreciate knowing asap if you plan to fish or not fish next year. If any of you have suggestions or possible contributions of items or trips for the auction, we would be most thankful. Looking forward to seeing you all in March.

checks should be made out to March Merkin Inc.
c/o Ain
17153 Buttonwood Drive West
Summerland Key Florida 33042

2009 March Merkin Results
2009 March Merkin Results

The 4th annual March Merkin Permit Tournament concluded today after three days of fishing by 25 anglers and guides who ranged from the Marquesas to Marathon in good weather conditions and lots of comraderie as monies were raised for the Don Hawley Foundation and Bonefish Tarpon Trust.

Grand Champion-Mike Allen

Guide to Grand Champion-Will Benson

1st Runner-Up-Jim Bouma

Guide to 1st Runner-Up-Greg Poland

2nd Runner-Up-Rob Luehrs

Guide to 2nd Runner-Up-Kris Suplee

Largest Permit-Mike Allen

Guide to Largest Permit-Will Benson

There were 14 Permit caught including the 2 that didn’t score points. The quote of the tournament belongs to guide Chris McCreedy who said “Nothing can ruin a good day of Permit fishing like the Permit”. Next year’s event will be the second week of March in Key West. If you are interested in getting on the waiting list for a spot please contact Jon Ain at