Anglers from across the Panhandle reeled in their biggest catch for the ’20th Annual Kingfish Tournament’ at the Mexico Beach Marina today.
“We’ve been working for 20 years to try to build reefs in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Kingfish Tournament Director Ron Childs.
Proceeds from the competition will go towards the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association.
“The bottom of the Gulf looks like a desert, there’s nothing there. But when you start putting rocks, and you start putting structures they start coming. It will build the fish structure. Lots of fish out there. Good for fishing and diving,” said Childs.
The money will not only help our ecology, but our economy as well.
“It brings a lot of business to the local merchants, to the hotels, the restaurants the local businesses here, people are doing shopping,” said MBARA Director Bob Cox.
Plus, fishers can donate any left over mackerel.
Cox said it’ll go to the ‘Franklin’s Promise Coalition’ in Apalachicola.
“Florida and the U.S. government passed a law about a little over a year ago allowing us to go ahead and sell the fish to a wholesaler and the proceeds from that fish when they sell it in turn will go to a charity, ” said Cox.
It’s another good way to be resourceful.
“What it does is eliminate waste of the fish, and the money goes towards a good cause plus it feeds some hungry people,” added Cox.
Childs said the Kingfish Tournament has raised more than a million dollars over the past 20 years.