Staff and participants celebrate after a day of fishing in 2019 at the Salty Shamrock.

By Faith Miller

This year marks the second annual Veterans Inshore Slam Fishing Tournament taking place on Saturday, October 10, lasting from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County Veterans Initiative.

The tournament is for anyone 21 and over and will be hosted by the Salty Shamrock in Ruskin and will include an after-party and trophy ceremony.

In 2019, more than 250 people attended the event with 12 teams of one to four people participating. Anyone with their own boats can sign up with normal registration, but if someone does not have their own boat, they can sign up to join a boat with a licensed captain. There is also the option of singles sign-up for those who want to make new fishing buddies.

This year, the event is hoping for 20-plus teams and 400-plus people. Money is raised through sponsorships, sign-up fees, raffle tickets and silent auction. Sponsorships are available to any individual or business and are available on the sign-up page on the website.

The money raised will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County Veterans Initiative. In the previous year, the event helped raise over $112,000, making a huge impact in the surrounding communities.

Captain Jarrod Wallach, who is in charge of the event this year, explained that last year, the event “made it possible to place a veteran in a much-needed home, the day before Christmas with his family.”

The tournament is for inshore slam fishing, meaning people take their largest redfish, snook and trout and combine to make the total length and enter it into the main category.

The tournament also offers smaller categories, including one for kayaks and other fun things like the largest catfish. The tournament has not currently been impacted by the coronavirus; however, if it was, Habitat for Humanity is looking into possible virtual options with virtual submissions and trophy ceremonies.

For more information and ticket prices, visit the tournament Facebook event page or the tournament website through www.habitathillsborough.org.