■ BY MARCY SHORTUSE
On June 19 of this year, Billy Pfannkuch’s life changed dramatically as he and his best friend, Dylan Gonzalez, were involved in a very serious boating accident in the waters near Eldred’s Marina.
While Billy was seriously injured, Dylan’s injuries were extreme, and he passed away. To honor Dylan’s memory, Billy and Dylan’s friends and family have organized a special fishing tournament, which will also help to defray costs for Dylan’s family in the wake of this tragedy.
The tournament will be held on October 16, beginning at daylight and ending at 2 p.m. Anglers will set out from Eldred’s Marina. The cost for entry is $75 per angler, which includes a tournament T-shirt.
Additional T-shirts will be available for $25 each, but they must be ordered by October 1. Two to four anglers per boat are acceptable. A minimum $250 sponsorship is also required per team (which includes one parking pass and one shirt).
Make sure to turn your registration forms in as early as possible, as team/company names will be put on the shirts prior to the tournament. Winners will be the ones who catch the two biggest redfish and two biggest trout (judged by total aggregate weight).
A “mystery” fish will also be announced at the captain’s meeting, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. A party will follow the tournament with food and drink provided, but no alcohol is allowed on Eldred’s Marina property. No alcohol is allowed on the boats during the tournament, either. Boats are required to be at the weigh-in by 2 p.m. Fish must meet FWC regulations. All anglers must have a valid fishing license, and all boats must have current registration. For information or questions, contact Charley Surface at (941) 822-9497, Billy Pfannkuch at (941) 468-0348 or Dave McClarren at (941) 276-8229. You can also go to the tournament Facebook page. Just search “Dylan Gonzalez Memorial Tournament.” Entry forms can also be downloaded from the Facebook page.