Cheeky Fishing’s backing boosts Schoolie Tournament
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IFTD exhibitor Cheeky Fishing, which will be debuting its highly-rated Limitless reel at the show this week, is hard at work promoting the sport at grassroots level.
It is a sponsor of the annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament, a low barrier entry event designed to promote interest and growth in saltwater fly fishing.
Staged in Cape Cod, MA., the 2017 event marked its sixth year and during that time it has become the largest fly fishing tournament in the world. It provides a unique opportunity for anglers of all skill levels to cast flies at early season striped bass and vie for thousands of dollars in fly fishing prizes. It is competed for by teams of two and is wade fishing and catch and release only.
A sell-out 330 anglers – both veterans and rookies – travel from as far afield as Alaska in search of striped bass. With the number of female participants increasing, Cheeky Fishing ambassador Abbie Schuster of Kismet Outfitters kicked off the weekend with a Women’s Meet Up event. Attendees were able to practice and prepare by taking part in lessons in casting and knot tying and strategy discussions.
Over 6,000 inches of striped bass were caught and released during the tournament. Teams not only had to find fish, but also weed through future giants for bigger specimens. “There was nothing but good vibes radiating from those in attendance during the awards ceremony,” said Cheeky CEO Ted Upton. The winning teams took their places on the podium to a round of applause and claimed their monster prize packages that included cash, Cheeky Fishing reels, Costa sunglasses, Yeti coolers and much more.
Following the presentations there was a draw for over $10,000 in prizes, also provided by sponsors.
Just minutes after the event, attention quickly turned to the 2018 tournament. The record for the largest fish ever landed was set in 2015 when a 38-inch beast was landed – a record that still stands today and represents a challenge for next year’s competition.
With a full calendar year to prepare and refine skills, the 2018 field will be intent on unseating current champions Team Deceiver from their throne.
“Among the salt shorelines and scenic beaches of Cape Cod there truly is no better place to hunt down your personal best striped bass on the fly,” added Upton.
“Last, but not least, we want to extend a huge thank you to all of the great participants. We feel fortunate to host the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament each year. It is a privilege to have so many enthusiastic anglers come out to the event each year. And – of course – our fantastic sponsors. We could not do it without you.
“Keep an eye out for 2018 registration announcements in January. We hope to see you next year!”