Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 37 Issue 20 • Sept. 6-12, 2007
now in our 37th season

Catch and Release for a Cause

September in New England is a wonderful time to be on the water, and this weekend, the Fourth Annual Nantucket Slam will add excitement to the beauty.

This all-inclusive, two-day competitive fishing tournament is designed to please both recreational and avid anglers.  Anglers may attend with or without their boats and will be supplied with all necessary tackle and equipment.

The Nantucket Slam is a catch-and-release tournament for bluefish, bonito, stripers, and albie.  To accommodate various boat sizes and styles of fishing, three different categories are offered:  Fly, Spin/Plug, and Trolling/General.  Prizes will be awarded for the largest and most fish per species, as well as for division champion, first runner-up, and grand champion.  To get a “Slam,”  an angler must land three of a designated species in the same day. 

Tournament captain check-in is Sunday, September 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Boat Basin; angler check-in is from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday at Harbor House Village, South Beach Street.  A welcome reception for all participants will be held Sunday evening.  Entry forms are available at Cross Rip Outfitters at 24 Easy Street.

Fishing begins Monday morning, September 10, at 8 a.m.  All lines must be in by 2:30 p.m.  Tuesday, September 11, the fishing tournament will again begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.  Scoring and awards reception will be from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Nantucket Angler’s Club on Old South Wharf.

This tournament is one of the events on the Redbone@Large Celebrity Tournament Series schedule, which is part of the larger collection of Redbone Celebrity tournaments that are held around the United States and the Bahamas.  Proceeds from this Nantucket tournament and from all events in the series go toward Redbone, Inc., a non-profit organization founded to “catch the cure” for Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Gary and Susan Ellis founded Redbone, Inc., after discovering that their  newborn daughter was diagnosed with CF.  After discovering all they could about CF, the couple proceeded to research ways to fight it.  In 1988, with the help of friends, they founded the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because, as they say on their website: “Money buys science, and science does save lives.” 

A  handful of anglers, fishing guides, and sports celebrities organized that first tournament in the Florida Keys village of Islamorada.  The group focused on just two of the available species: redfish and bonefish.  Hence the name “Redbone.”  The rules were simple: to win, the angler must catch and release at least one of each.  That first year they raised $16,000. 

During the following 19 years, the series has grown to include 25 tournaments, including freshwater, offshore, and flats fishing.  Redbone 2007 tournaments will continue in September after the Nantucket Slam with Mercury Baybone in Key Largo, Boomer Esiason FCA Montauk Slam on Long Island, and the Rocky Mountain Fly Celebrity Classic in Aspen.  Nine more will be held during October and November, including the Golden Isles Red Trout Celebrity Classic in Golden Isles, GA; the Mosquito Lagoon Red Trout Celebrity Tournament in New Smyrna Beach, FL; the Deep Water Cay Bonefish Classic in Grand Bahama Island,; and the Savannah Red Trout Tournament in Georgia.  For a complete listing, visit

When the Redbone was first established, children with CF rarely lived to attend high school. Today the median age of survival for a person with CF is 35 years.  We should not celebrate this achievement, since a single life is yet to be saved from this devastating disease, but it has become a sign of hope for a brighter tomorrow for individuals with the disease and their families.  Cystic fibrosis continues to be a critical health matter, as most individuals with the disease must battle chronic lung infections for their entire lives. At least one person dies from CF each day.

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