ISLAMORADA, Fla. They are among the top fly and light tackle "sight-casting" champion anglers from as far away as Sweden and Australia who will converge on the Florida Keys from July 13-15, to compete in the 10th annual Florida Keys Outfitters / IGFA Inshore World Championship in Islamorada.
The event, described by anglers and the media as the "super bowl" of inshore fishing, is the third in the 2010 Built Ford Tough ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series presented by Takemefishing.org.
Selected from a variety of nearly 40 qualifying tournaments held in 2009 across the U.S., the Bahamas, Belize, Sweden and Australia, is a field of 27 top anglers 12 in fly and 15 in light tackle.
They quickly responded to the invitations of managing partner Florida Keys Outfitters to compete in this three-day all-release championship.
From a drawing, each of the champion qualifiers will be paired with a premier Keys guide fishing as a team for tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook and redfish in the fly and light tackle divisions.
A grand champion will be crowned in each division.
Three-time winner Robert Collins of Naples and Islamorada, who won his titles with a spinning reel, will be focusing his skills for the second year in a row solely casting fly.
He'll have worthy competition including IGFA Trustee Carlos Duncan from Houston, who earlier this month won the Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Tournament.
The international field, which includes 19 men and eight women, will also hightlight Australian Peter Politis, winner the past two years of the Northern Territory's Barramundi Classic, Michael De Freitas who won the Trinidad Tarpon Thunder Tournament, and Nils Zackrisson, winner of the Pike Challenge in Sweden
"Last year the anglers and guides wholeheartedly embraced the new and separate light tackle and fly tackle formats," said tournament director Sandy Moret, owner of Florida Keys Outfitters. "Fishing right now is off the charts and this tournament promises to be one of the most outstanding competitions of the year.
"And looking ahead to next year we're hoping to have more international competitors."
Fishing and daily scorekeeping takes place from the World Wide Sportsman's Bayside Marina with The Islander Resort serving as the event's headquarters.
Both are located near mile marker 82.
The IGFA remains the inshore championships' sole nonprofit benefactor. A fundraiser and auction for the IGFA will be held at the event.
The championship will again be partnering with ESPN Outdoors and its televised Saltwater Series to be presented on other ESPN Outdoors multimedia platforms.
Daily tournament coverage will appear on ESPNOutdoors.com and on IGFA.org among others.
For more information on the FKO/IGFA Inshore World Championship and the event's qualifying tournaments contact Moret 305-664-5423, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete list of the champions, hometowns and tournaments they qualified is also posted on the tournament website at www.inshoreworldchampionships.com.