The event was to catch and check on the fish Mote has been releasing into Sarasota Bay
Last year’s red tide outbreak still leaves big blank spaces when the health of Sarasota’s coastal waters are in question.
The outbreak killed many native plants and animals in the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay — including the snook, star of Mote’s 13th William R. Mote Snook Shindig. Anglers headed out to the bay, tidal creeks and marshy areas to seek the snook and get a count of the fish in the water.
The spawning season was interrupted by the 2018 bloom, so Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium made a plan with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Coastal Conservation Association Florida to release juvenile snook into tidal-creek “nurseries.” That began in April 2019.
Winners for the event's overall fish caught (including redfish, sea trout and snook), most tagged snook, women’s, men’s and junior’s were announced. For most tagged snook, Ken Smith won by finding a snook released in 2017 that had grown 8 inches since release. Smith also won second place overall and outdoor bags and caps from CCA and a lure set and soft baits from Mirr-O-lure.
First place overall went to Jason Agriesti, who won a framed print by Steve Whitlock and a rod and reel from Bull Bay. Third place, Jen Castlow, won a Bonefish Grill Sarasota and Bradenton gift certificate. All three won Tervis tumblers with art by Whitlock.