MBARA prepares for Kingfish Tournament


This year’s Miss Kingfish is Port St. Joe’s own Morgan Guilford

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 09:47 AM.

The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association will host the 18th annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. CT on Saturday, Aug. 23.

The tournament is the biggest fundraiser for the MBARA and volunteers will use the money to build additional reefs for deployment in the Gulf of Mexico in 2015.

Since its inception in 1995, more than $1.4 million of artificial reefs have been placed off the shores of Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe.

The organization has operated the tournament since 1997, starting off with just 25 boats. Recent years have seen a peak of 196 boats and tournament director Ron Childs believes that 2015 will be the year the tournament will break 200.

“The king fishing has been outstanding this year and we’re going to set a record,” said Childs. “Of course, the weather is a big key factor.”

Fees for the tournament are $160 per boat, which can have as many fishermen as the captains can safely fit. The entry fee can be paid online at or in person at the Mexico Beach Marina or Half Hitch Tackle and Bluewater Outrigger in Port St. Joe.

Registrations will also be taken during the Captain’s Party, to be held beginning at 5 p.m. CT at Beacon Hill Veterans Memorial Park on Friday, Aug. 22. Attendance at the Captains’ Party is not mandatory.

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