Outdoors

Want to win $25K and a new truck? All it takes is a record-breaking fish

The crew of Lil Time off pose for photos after wining the 2016 Gorenflo's Cobia Tournament at Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi. They had a total weight of 182.15 pounds.
The crew of Lil Time off pose for photos after wining the 2016 Gorenflo's Cobia Tournament at Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi. They had a total weight of 182.15 pounds. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

The Gorenflo’s Cobia Tournament remains one of the Coast’s top fishing events.

The 31st annual event starts next weekend at the Gorenflo’s Tackle and Marina Store.

Danny Pitalo, Gorenflo’s tournament director and weighmaster, has a simple reason for the event.

“You don’t need a big boat to catch Cobia,” Pitalo said. “Cobia is a good sportfish. It’s been a mainstay on the Coast.”

Fishing in the two-day event is $500 per boat. The mandatory captain’s meeting for the two-day tournament will be held at 7 p.m. May 4 at the Blind Tiger.

The first two days of the weigh-in are from 3-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Tackle Shop. The final weigh-in will be held Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

Pitalo projects over 60 boats in this year’s tournament. Anglers are expected from Louisiana and the Florida Keys as well as the Coast.

“If the weather’s great, we’ll get more than 60,” Pitalo said. “The most we ever had was 74 boats at our 20th anniversary in 1994.”

Prizes will be given away daily.

A $1,000 prize will be awarded with the largest fish weighed in on Friday.

For Saturday: a $1,500 prize will be awarded for the largest fish weighed in, second place $1,000.

On the final day, First place is $6,000, second place is $2,000, third place is $1,500, fourth place is $800, fifth place is $600 and sixth place is $500. First through six place prizes awarded for the three-fish total weight.

If anyone breaks the state and tournament record, 106.8 pounds, the winner will be paid $25,000 cash and wins a 2017 Ford F-150.

Here’s a check-list for anglers:

▪ Registered participants waiting in line to weigh fish when scales close will be considered on time. Fish will be held over until the next day.

▪ The tournament reserves the right to keep any competitive fish for display.

▪ All registered boats must leave from a Mississippi port and all fish eligible for prize consideration must be brought to the scales, by water, aboard the registered boat on which it was caught. Once a fish is taken off the boat (other than at the weigh station) it will not be eligible in the tournament.

▪ Fish must be in good edible condition and properly iced. Fish must be properly gaffed. Fish that looks harpooned, frozen, mutilated, or shot will be refused.

▪ Prizes not claimed at the awards ceremony or within six days after the tournament will remain property of the tournament at Gorenflo’s Tackle Shop. Captain of the boat will be given the award or prize. Prizes will not be awarded before the ceremony.

In case of bad weather, one day of fishing will constitute a complete tournament. Any eight hour period without small craft warnings constitute one day.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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