Early entries for the 17th annual Key West Boats Fishing For Miracles King Mackerel Tournament are slightly up from last year, and tournament officials are hoping for an increase for this year's tournament, which will be fished today and Saturday out of Ripley Light Yacht Club.
Fishing begins at 6:30 a.m. both days, with today's weigh-in running from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday's weigh-in running from 1-4 p.m. The awards ceremony Saturday is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
"The weather should be good for both days," said tournament chairman Rob Donlin. "We're hoping to have at least 225 boats this year."
Donlin said last year's tournament raised $9,000 for each of its two charity beneficiaries -- the MUSC Children's Hospital and the Coastal Conservation Association South Carolina. More than $600,000 has been raised for the two organizations since the tournament's inception.
First prize for the largest fish is $25,000, with prizes awarded for the top 30 catches. There also is a 23-foot and under category.
Last year, Black Cat, a 35-foot Triton out of Georgetown, caught its winning fish on the first day of the tournament, weighing a 42.90-pound king mackerel. Black Cat's total prize package was valued at more than $55,000.