Spearfishing Tournament helps Womankind
Jenna Moeller kind of does it all. She’s a Monroe County Sheriff’s Officer, rescue pup mom, and a second-place conch fritter eating world champion. But, her spearfishing skills are also something to envy as a five-time That’s What She Shot Spearfishing tournament winner.
Moeller’s twin sister Lea founded the spearfishing tournament, now going into its sixth year the weekend of June 9. The tournament raises funds for Womankind, a local medical center providing family planning and primary health care to people of all income levels. More than $25,000 has been raised to help offset grant money specifically for the mammogram program. “Without this money, the program would have ended. Without Womankind, our community would be a different place,” said Lea, who sits on the board of directors of the nonprofit.
Jenna and Lea grew up spearfishing off of Key West, “I was just looking for something our friends could do one weekend and there weren’t any local spearfishing tournaments anymore,” said Lea. “It’s just snowballed from there.”
Jenna packs up the coolers with ice and heads out on the water, while Lea stay inshore to set up for the weigh-in party. Jenna’s favorite species to target: hogfish are the tastiest but grouper are the most fun to hunt.
“Lea masterminds the whole thing, I am lucky I get to get out on the water and play,” said Jenna.
Local spearos will be gracing the tournament again and South Florida is always well represented with shooters coming from Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa for the event. Last year, woman freediver Cheyenne Lee out of Stuart even shot a world record kingfish during the tournament; but some of the big name local spearos won’t be involved this year, opening up the prize table to novice shooters, because they are working the event.
“When I started this, there weren’t a lot of spearfishing charters in the area, now a lot of our original shooters have their own spearfishing businesses and are booked that weekend,” said Lea.
The tournament brings in about 75 shooters a year and will go back to the original aggregate total of heaviest grouper, snapper, and hogfish, with invasive lionfish counting as extra points. There will be first and second place in men’s and women’s for tanks and freediving. There is also a junior’s division and lionfish division.
Last year, the event included jacks and pelagics, but after careful consideration, Lea decided to go back to the original format. “Spearfishing has become a very trendy sport,” she said. “I want us to be conscious about what we are shooting and promoting sustainability in the way we are harvesting fish.”
Both the Moellers said they are looking forward to the weather the weekend of the tournament. “It’s supposed to be windy this weekend, but looking ahead, there’s beautiful weather on the horizon for tournament weekend,” said Lea.
Two things that come to mind when I think of home: the water and this amazing community. If I can bring the two together to accomplish something positive for both, I think we all win.” -Lea Moeller, founder, That’s What She Shot Tournament
Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m. at Hurricane Hole, Stock Island
$75 pre-registration/$85 at meeting
$10 discount to students and military
To pre-register: email [email protected]
Weigh-in and After Party:
Open to everyone – raffles and silent auction
Sunday, June 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hurricane Hole
Weigh-in from 3 to 5:30 p.m. sharp
Multiple vendors, music by Miguel Perez