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Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach hosted the 12th annual Fillet and Release Fishing Tournament, raising $36,000 to benefit Hope Hospice. A total of 104 boats participated in the light tackle, inshore fishing tournament on Sept. 24, raising a record amount for Hope Hospice. In addition to the funds raised through entry fees, the first place and second place teams also generously donated $5,000 and $1,000, respectively, of their winnings to Hope Hospice.

“This year’s Fillet and Release Fishing Tournament was another huge success, with Southwest Florida anglers coming together to help raise a record number of funds for Hope Hospice,” said Glen Petrarca, general manager of Matanzas on the Bay. “Hope Hospice does so much to care for those in need, and we are honored to support its mission by hosting this community event each year.”

Amy Andrew, event coordinator of the Fillet and Release Fishing Tournament, has led the annual event since its inception in 2004 to raise funds for Hope Hospice, a nonprofit organization that has taken care of many families, including her own. The 12th annual tournament marked Andrew’s final year leading the event.

“Happy to say that I went out with a bang my final year. Being able to give $36,000 to Hope Hospice is a great feeling,” Andrew said. “Over the past 12 years I have raised $129,540.00. I feel like I have done my part to give back for all Hope Hospice did for my family. I know my grandma and grandpa would be proud. Thanks to everyone who helped make the Fillet and Release for Hope Hospice such a successful event.”

The winning teams of the 2016 Fillet and Release Fishing Tournament include:

First Place: Reel Nauti Davis; Eric and Alexandria Davis

Second Place: Ferguson; Scotty Darna, Tyler Evenson, Robert Ball and Dylan Geraci

Third Place: Renegade; Dillon Massie, Brian Harris, Lisa Harris and Troy Gale

Redfish Calcutta: Reel Nauti Davis; Eric and Alexandria Davis

Mystery Fish: Team Shenanigans; Karl Butigian, Rick Jordan and Jeff Lindsey

Female Largest Redfish: Reel Nauti Davis; Alexandria Davis

Smallest Legal Redfish: Miley’s Diesel Service; Steve Miley, Donna Miley and John Judge

Winners were determined by the total weight of fish caught. Eligible species included redfish and snook, and all fish were released following the weigh-in.

Matanzas on the Bay and Petey’s Upper Deck are best known for waterfront views, fresh seafood and old Florida ambience and is located at 416 Crescent St. on Fort Myers Beach on Estero Bay. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as caters to special occasions and private parties. As part of its commitment to use as many locally sourced products as possible, Matanzas on the Bay offers fresh produce in partnership with Oakes Farm, rum from the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and draft beer from Fort Myers Brewery. Its upstairs sports bar, Petey’s Upper Deck, is popularly known for its Dave’s Dockside Pizza, named the best pizza on Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant is located adjacent to the Matanzas Bayside Inn waterfront accommodations, just steps away from the Fort Myers Beach entertainment district. Free car parking and boat dockage is available. To book your party or for more information, call 239-463-3838 or visit www.MatanzasontheBay.com.