County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department launches Bridge-to-Bridge Bay Slam

Catch-and-release fishing tournament planned for Saturday, May 18

This is the gazebo at Phillippi Estate Park. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department will introduce the Bridge-to-Bridge Bay Slam, a catch-and-release fishing tournament for non-motorized vessels, on Saturday, May 18, on Sarasota Bay, county staff has announced.

The event will kick off with a pre-tournament meeting on Friday, May 17, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Phillippi Estate Park pavilion, which stands at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, a news release says.

Anglers will need to bring their own gear and kayaks to have the opportunity to fish for red drum, spotted seatrout and snook, the release points out. “Each angler must catch and release one of each species,” the release adds. The largest overall length of all three species combined will be the winner of the event, the release explains.

Fishing will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, “covering the expansive Sarasota Bay from the Coon Key Bridge and Ringling Causeway to Blackburn Point Bridge,” the release says. Photo submissions will be scored at 2 p.m., with results announced at 4 p.m., the release adds.

“This tournament offers a unique opportunity for anglers to showcase their skills and compete in a friendly environment,” the release points out.

“The event is supported by the generous donations” of Economy Tackle, Dolphin Paddle Sports, CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, All About Fishing, Kayaking SRQ and Paradise Adventures, the release says.

Registration is open, with a fee of $45 per angler. Anglers must complete registration by 5 p.m. on May 17 to secure their spots, the release notes. With entries limited to 100 anglers, the release explains, on-site registration will not be available.

The tournament will features three divisions to accommodate anglers of all ages the release says: Small Fry (ages 9 and younger), Junior (ages 10 to 17) and Open (ages 18 and older).

Scoring will be based on a catch, measure, and photo and release method, “promoting marine conservation and sustainable fishing practices,” the release adds.

For more information and to register, visit or call 311.

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