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Whether a kayak angler experiences a life changing event or worst there is a loss of life event involved; someone or a kayak fishing club will organize an event to help for the cause or support for the family. In all situations it appears that the event is a fishing tournament to raise the funds for the cause. I participated in a benefit event that had a twist down in Merritt Island, Florida.

The benefit that I participated in was called “Redfish Chuck’s Family Traditions Benefit Derby”. Charles Levi, most commonly known as Redfish Chuck, was one of the hosts for Kayak Fishing Radio and of the founders of the Kayak Boondoggles that drew hundreds of kayak anglers to meet like mined anglers or those that were just starting out to learn about fishing from a kayak. Chuck also shared his love for the lagoon from Titusville to Merritt Island which included the wildlife, conservation, and drawing attention for the area’s environmental issues.

The organizers of the benefit decided that this would not be a tournament but used the concept of a scavenger hunt instead. They created three categories for individuals, teams, or families to participate in. These categories were: Fishing, Exploration, and Legacy for 31 tasks.

There were eight fishing tasks. Some of the tasks was to catch a redfish, a three fish saltwater slam, a combined freshwater/saltwater slam, a hero shot with a fish, any size tarpon on tackle, a fish caught in the dark, and all fish caught on a fly rod. Total possible points in this category were 200 points.

In the exploration category, these were related to sites in the area that Redfish Chuck enjoyed sharing with family and friends. This category could award the participate with 200 points as well. Some of the tasks was to find two of the three mangrove species, get a photo of some wading birds and a hawk or osprey, photo of a roseate spoonbill and a great blue heron, a photo of a wild 4-legged animal, visit the following areas: the Jolly Gator, The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island Conservation Area, and Viera Wetlands Park.

The legacy category is all about Chuck’s interest in the environment. Total points for this area were 200 points as well. Cleaning up a section of a shoreline by filling up a trash bag, enjoy a sunrise or sunset on the water or shoreline, share the event with the family or friend about the lagoon or the event, adopt a mangrove tree to be planted, and take part in a lagoon legacy interview with your thoughts.

This is a lot to do but the list was released the day before at noon and you had to complete the hunt by 1PM at the event that was hosted by Marker 24 River Front Grille. Not one individual managed a clean sweep on the list. Visiting the four places I would estimate that driving time is at 3 hours (140 miles). This does not include the time needed to search for birds, animals, or fishing.

Was this type of event being fun? You bet!! I did find this event to be more relaxing than a fishing tournament. I could introduce my fishing buddy to what Chuck love about the area. In fact, he would like to return to Florida’s Space Coast to get a true experience of the area instead of a sample of what there is to enjoy.
In closing I would like to encourage any kayak organization to give this style of a benefit in your area instead of a fishing tournament. You just might be surprised with the results for the cause.