Cheeky Fishing has shifted its signature Schoolie Tournament to the fall this year because of COVID-19. But that is not the only change. To keep participants at a safe distance while still creating a sense of community and fun that the Tournament is known for, the staff at Cheeky Fishing are preparing to stream a live event on September 19th at 7:00 PM EST on the company’s Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram channels.
“We wanted to create a sense of togetherness while continuing to practice safe distancing,” said Cheeky CEO Ted Upton. “In the end, this event is more about the angling community and striped bass conservation than it is about winning.”
The virtual event will utilize Cheeky Fishing’s robust social media platforms and pull in viewers from other sponsors. There will be live leaderboard drama, action-filled footage from Cape Cod, and conservation messages from the Tournament’s nonprofit partners. With prizes totaling upwards of $25,000, there is a lot on the line for competitors and viewers alike. A new twist this year will be a trivia contest open to all viewers of the live stream with some epic prizes up for grabs.
Typically held on Cape Cod in May, the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament is the largest fly fishing catch-and-release tournament in the world. More than 500 anglers have participated in previous years. Teams of two anglers measure their longest four striped bass for their score. Anglers can go anywhere on Cape Cod but must be on foot. Wade fishing only … no boats, paddleboards, or swimming permitted.
“The success of the Tournament comes from its simplicity and accessibility to everyone,” commented Upton. “We’ve always aimed for this event to be low-barrier to entry and focused on conservation.”
Upton expects to give more than $15,000 away to striped bass conservation from this year’s Tournament with the help of sponsors including Simms, Costa, Yeti, Oscar Blues, and Thomas & Thomas. The Tournament works with a number of conservation partners including Striper’s Forever, Keep Fish Wet and American Saltwater Guides Association.