Jim Pettit isn’t from Buffalo, or Fargo, or some other cold, snowy region of the country where residents might be inspired to write a limerick that would win them a free swordfishing vacation in the Florida Keys.

He’s not even from Nantucket.

Pettit, the winner of the Florida Keys Limerick Contest held earlier this year, is from Naples, Florida. Ironically, that’s not terribly far from Bud ‘N Mary’s Fishing Marina in Islamorada, where Pettit will embark on the free broadbill fishing charter trip that he won by writing the following:

I can picture myself on the seas
Off the beautiful Florida Keys,
Rigging lines as the light
Slowly drifts into night
And my neighbors up north sit and freeze!

“I’ve been writing limericks for a few years, just for fun,” says Pettit, a 50-year-old software developer. “I heard about your contest and thought I’d be good at it.”

The contest, also sponsored by Bud N’ Mary’s, Cheeca Lodge, and the Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council, generated more than 300 entries. The rules required entrants to adhere to the true limerick form. While there were many excellent submissions, most of them did not meet this requirement. Pettit’s did.

“I’ve fished for trout in Wyoming, when I lived there, but I’ve never gone deep-sea fishing,” says Pettit, who plans to make the trip this year. “I’m thrilled to death!”

Click here to read the rest of the entries.

Note: We apologize for the long delay on announcing the winner of our Limerick Contest. We owe you an explanation. Sadly, while the contest was going on, Cheeca Lodge, which was to be the winner’s home away from home, suffered a fire in the main building and is closed while repairs are underway. It took some back-end leg work on our part to get new accommodations lined up, hence the announcement delay. All is well now, so congratulations, Jim!- The Editors