Last Friday, as Hurricane Ida started its track in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous forecast for the surf off Mexico Beach for the following afternoon.
This prompted Bob Cox, president of the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association, to announce that the organization’s annual Kingfish Tournament would be cancelled, for the second year in a row. Last year, COVID-19 scratched the tourney.
“Fisherman safety is of paramount concern,” Cox said. “And the risk was too great to proceed.
“Six-to-eight-foot seas, with 13-foot waves possible, are less than ideal conditions for fishing, but the MBARA decided they would still host the Captain’s Party on Friday to ensure the weekend was not a total loss,” he said.
To their surprise, from 64 boats showed up, donating their tournament registration fees to the MBARA’s reef building program, despite the cancellation.
“Participants enjoyed visiting with old friends while sampling tasty sausages, donated by Salt Lick Sausage Company of Cordele, Georgia, with a cold beer,” read a press release from the organization. “Registered fishermen received nice door prizes donated by MBARA’s tournament sponsors, and everyone had the chance to win great raffle prizes and bid in a silent auction.”
“Thanks to the generosity of MBARA’s sponsors and registered fishermen donating their entry fees, the MBARA had a great No Fishing Tournament.,” they wrote.
The Grand Raffle
prize was the rights to rename MB-182, an existing artificial reef whose creation cost over $11,000. The winner said he as yet to decide on a name.
Those looking to learn more about the MBARA’s work or seeking to become a member, volunteer or sponsor with the organization can visit their website or email [email protected].