Recreational Charity Tournament 5-10-2009
Pick a weekend in May or June, any weekend might do, and along the Treasure Coast there is a local fishing tournament near you. They are typically ‘one day’ affairs with the captain’s meeting/registration on Friday night and the tournament Saturday.
Entry fees are reasonable, maybe an average of $200.00 (after all, if you own a boat you are used to pouring money into a hole in the water anyway!)..... and....... there is prize money to be had.
April, May and the first part of June are ordinarily our premier dolphin months, with wahoo and kingfish often at the ready to sacrifice themselves as well and these tournaments take advantage of this window of opportunity.
Recreational/Charity tournaments attract a friendly, yet competitive variety of anglers who love to fish and enjoy the excitement of the gathering on Friday night, idling their boats in the inlet awaiting the ‘go ahead from the committee boat’ on Sat. morning and most importantly, pulling up at the ‘weigh in’ that afternoon.
At the ‘weigh in station’ the tension mounts as proud anglers open their fish boxes to unveil trophy fish and carry them to the scale. More often than not the fish get bigger as the afternoon progresses, everyone holding their breath as the next boat in line pulls up before the bleachers at the dock. Those with ‘fish already on the board’ and in contention, silently pray that their fish will prevail in the battle for supremacy while spectators pontificate on their own past victories and superior knowledge of fishing.
In the end, the heaviest fish wins it’s category, some lucky angler or boat wins some cash or prize, somebody get’s their picture in the paper, most anglers go home to fresh fish dinners, and a local charity benefits from the largesse of the fishing public. Oh yes, almost everyone leaves with at least one new t-shirt that they probably don’t need. What the heck, it’s a memory!
These tournaments continue on a weekly basis through the middle of June with occasional events scattered throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to join in the fun; it’s a great way to garner a little more fishing acumen, make newfriends in the process and feel that you have given a little to a 'good cause' in the process.
Everyone has their own idea regarding just how much ‘luck’ has to do with fishing; my personal feeling is …… everything ! Some people may have an edge, but anyone can win one of these tournaments with a little luck. Give it a try next time you get a chance; who knows, you just might catch the ‘fish of the day’!
For June: While the dolphin bite tapers off in June we will most certainly enjoy the benefits of calmer seas and more comfortable boating conditions. Live bait has been (and should be) plentiful on the beach and at the offshore buoys where, BTW, cobia sightings are being guardedly acknowledged from time to time.
The kingfish will be plentiful as soon as this inshore cold water disappears and the slow troll/drift fishing of the infamous 'Treasure Coast Greenie' will commence. There will be some sailfish action offshore of the bar where a few dolphin can also be had from time to time throughout the summer. I’m not absolutely sure I look forward to some of those ‘breezeless scorchers’ this season has to offer, but I can’t wait for the live bait action to ramp up again.