Southern Kingfish Natl. Champion Fishing Tournament Begins
Twelve to fifteen hundred people will be pouring into the Biloxi area this weekend to get a chance to fish in the Gulf waters, waters that have already broken records at the Southern King Fishing Tournament this year. Captain Bill Platt, a fisherman, says, "We fished a tournament Tuesday and somebody weighed in two 60 pound fish. That’s a 121 pound ag, which is unheard of, so Biloxi has got the biggest fish around anywhere."
Platt is from Texas and has traveled to the Biloxi tournament for almost 14 years. Platt also says, "We’re fishing Friday and Saturday, so it will be a two fish ag, which means two fish total weight. If it’s too rough tomorrow, we’ll fish Saturday and weigh in two fish."
The 200 teams qualified for the Southern King Tournament are the best of the best from all over the country. Ben Wells, C.E.O. of the Southern Kingfish Association, says, "You know, the cream of the crop so to speak, the better anglers will have the opportunity to come here and compete for a national championship."
The big prize the fishermen will be gunning for this year is a 22 foot Contender with a Mercury motor. Wells also says, "Mercury is our tournament trail sponsor, and they have given us several motors as prizes. We’ve got Ray Marine, we’ve got Garmin giving away electronics as well. Cannon has got down riggers to give out to the guys."
The fishermen aren’t the only winners this weekend, but so is the Coast’s economy. Bobby Carter, Community Development for the Golden Nugget Casino, says, "If you look around, it’s not only the Golden Nugget that benefits from this. You gotta’ look at the gas stations, the grocery stores, casinos, restaurants, everyone benefits when this group’s in town."
Weigh-ins begin Friday night at 5 p.m. and are open to the public along with vendor booths and award shows.