The annual Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Kingfish Tournament brought out the boats and anglers despite less than ideal weather conditions.

The annual Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Kingfish Tournament brought out the boats and anglers despite less than ideal weather conditions.

But the rain didn’t deter 154 boats carrying roughly 600 fishermen that registered for the tournament. A total of 42 fish, 27 Kingfish, 13 Spanish mackerel and two Wahoo were weighed in by the end of the day.

“The whole tournament was perfect,” said tournament director Ron Childs. “It ran smooth and easy. We are appreciative of the 119 sponsors that supported the tournament with funding, door prizes, and raffle items.”

The tournament paid out nearly $9,000 in prize money across six divisions.

The annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament is the organization’s largest charity fundraiser. It raises money to construct artificial reefs every year with the addition of federal, state, and private foundation grants. Since 1997, MBARA has built over 200 artificial reefs worth over $2 million.

Tournament proceeds provides MBARA the financial resource to leverage successful grants from federal/state governments, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and private foundations through matching funds programs.

“This was another great success,” said MBARA President, Bob Cox said. “The funds raised by this event will help us raise additional grant funding by five-fold translating to an additional $5 for every $1 raised in the tournament.

“We are also grateful for our volunteers that work all through the years to make this a memorable and fun event.”

Miss Kingfish this year was Allison Hudson from Crawfordville. The Weighmaster was Sally Childs.