Registration is now open for the 2015 William R. Mote Memorial Snook Shindig Honoring Captain Scotty Moore, a research-based catch, sample, and release tournament, which will take place April 8 – April 9, 2016.

This is a great opportunity for anglers of all ages and abilities to be “citizen scientists” and to help provide valuable information on tagged hatchery-reared snook released into Sarasota Bay.

The tournament, which was originally scheduled for November 2015, was postponed due to a precautionary response to increased pressures on the snook population caused by Karenia brevis, or the algae that causes Florida red tide.

“After postponing the event, we worked hard on finding a new date that would be best for the snook, as well as for anglers,” said Carole Neidig, Mote Staff Scientist. “Based on feedback from knowledgeable fishing guides in Sarasota, we’re hopeful that by April 8, the winter cold spell will be over, there will be good tides that day, and it is before the closure of the fishery, which is May 1.”

Snook are one of the most sought-after catches in Florida’s saltwater recreational fishing industry, which draws more than $6 billion to the economy annually. However, increased fishing pressure, habitat loss and natural challenges such as freezes and red tide have contributed to a decline in snook populations. Thus, for more than 25 years, Mote and FWC scientists have partnered on research studies designed to evaluate if stocking hatchery-reared snook can be an effective fishery management tool for replenishing snook stocks.

Mote researchers document snook caught during the tournament to identify individual hatchery-reared fish they previously tagged and released, recovering vital data that can be used to adjust release protocols. Past tournament results have revealed that changes in snook-release strategies, based on Mote pilot studies, have improved survival of stocked snook by as much as 200 percent.

“This tournament gives participants a unique, hands-on opportunity to learn more about Mote’s fisheries research and conservation efforts, and assist Mote in its mission to assess the snook population size in Sarasota Bay while having a fun day on the water,” Neidig said.

Mote’s last Snook Shindig Tournament was held in 2009 before the 2010 winter cold spell that resulted in the deaths of millions of snook, the closure of the fishery and a cancellation of Mote’s Snook Shindig Tournament. Since then, Mote scientists have released more than 2,500 snook and need anglers’ help to learn more about the released fish movements and survival.

When: 6 p.m. April 8 – 5:30 p.m. April 9


  • Mandatory Captain’s Meeting: 6 p.m. April 8 at Mote’s WAVE Center (former Sea Cinema), 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway on City Island, Sarasota
  • Fishing: 7 p.m. April 8 – noon April 9 along Sarasota Bay from Venice to Cortez
  • Awards Dinner: 5:30 p.m. April 9 at Mote’s WAVE Center (former Sea Cinema)

Adults ages 16 and older can register at $35 per person. Youths ages 15 and younger can register at $10 per person. All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registered anglers are eligible for prizes. Snook Shindig entry fee includes entry in the tournament, awards dinner, an event T-shirt, voluntary participation in raffles and lots of fun.

To register only for the 5:30 p.m. Awards Dinner on April 9, purchase a dinner ticket for $30 per person ages 6 and older. Children under 5 can eat for free.

If you have any questions, please contact Carole Neidig at

Sponsors of the tournament include Carol and Barney Barnett; Mote Marine Laboratory; Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission; Bark & Company Realty, Inc.; A.Tiffaney & Sons; BMS International, Inc.; Breathe Like A Fish; Cannons Marina; Capt. Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar; Captain Scott Moore; CB’S Saltwater Outfitter’s; Chris and Jill Malkin: Coastal Angler Magazine; featuring the artwork by Ray Domingo & Kim Braun; Daiichi Hooks; Discount Tackle; DOA Fishing Lures;  Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports; FishBrain; Florida Bass Conservation; Folsom of Florida; Frances Bays; Go Puck Wearable Power; Guy Harvey Magazine’s Online Fishermen, Hydro Glow Fishing Lights; Indigenous Restaurant; JM Snooky Kayak Charters; Johnny Miller Outfitters; LeBarge Tropical Cruises; Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers; MirrOlure; Mote Fisheries Volunteers; New Pass Bait & Tackle; DOA Lures; Red Zone Apparel; Reef Safe by Tropical Seas; Scuba Quest; SeaSucker; Signs Now; Silverscorpion; Steve Whitlock Game Fish Art; Stick-It; The Chiles Group; Village Bikes; and Waterproof Charts.