Tournament director Ron Donlin said he hopes anglers remember last year when they think about signing up for this weekend's 18th annual Key West Boats Fishing for Miracles King Mackerel Tournament at Ripley Light Yacht Club.
The announced payout which includes a $25,000 prize for the heaviest king mackerel is based on 200 paid entries, but last year's numbers fell short with only about 178 paid participants.
"But we still paid the whole amount," Donlin said.
"Hopefully, the community will come out and support us like they always do. We were down a little bit last year but still managed to pay the full amount. I hope they'll remember."
Donlin said pre-registrations have been steady and he hopes things pick up Thursday when final registration opens at 2 p.m. and continues until 7 p.m. at Ripley Light Yacht Club. The entry fee is $350 per boat. Fishing begins at 6:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with Friday's weigh-in running from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday's weigh-in running from 1-4 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow Saturday evening.
Contact Donlin at (843) 554-0177 or visit fishingformiracles.org for tournament information.
Last year's tournament was won by the crew of Juggernaut out of Beaufort, captained by Bert Harvey, with a 34.1-pound king mackerel. Juggernaut won a total of $43,465. Cool Cat out of Hilton Head finished second with a 32.4-pound catch.
It was Juggernaut's second Fishing for Miracles win. The crew took the 2007 tournament with a 38.84-pound catch worth $433,850.
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