The 2019 Spring KING, May 2nd, 3rd & 4th, was a blast to fish, attend in person and watch on live stream. We broke a few records, doled out a big bunch of money, fished the seawall with kids and their families and more…. much more.
The tournament captains meeting started off in a soggy fashion with bucket-loads of the wet stuff pouring out of the sky all evening. This was a gut check since, if you were fishing the tournament, you had to be at the meeting for check-in and rules and regulations review. All in all our anglers kept it light and playful.
Aside from the auspicious start the weather for the tournament (fishing included) was near perfect. The teams, and attendees were able to fully enjoy the “waterfront event” side of the tournament to their hearts content. Food, drink, boats, gear, art, apparel, kids play zone, live music and more were available throughout the 3 days of the tournament.
Just The Facts….
Let’s get a few tournament factoids out of the way up front…..
- Number of teams in the tournament: 681 (*record #1)
- Number of Kings and Spanish weighed: ~300
- Total Payouts/Prizes: ~$250,000
- Number of Kids in the Fishing Slam: ~700
- Number of 13 Fishing rod/reel combos given out: 500
- Folks on the tournament field over 3 days: 21,132
- Number of live stream viewers for the weigh-in: 2,327
- Special (Thirsty) Mention: The crowd consumed 35 kegs of beer, 3500 tall boys, 78 cases of water and who knows how many soft drinks.
And The Winner Is….
Team Single Source/Don Ray Gear fished hard and smart coming in with the winning King at 52.67 lbs and when the dust cleared they walked with a grand total of $106,320 (*record #2).
The 2nd & 3rd place teams, Kingsmen and James Gang weighed big and early holding the top two spots on the leaderboard for the bulk of the weigh-in. Our winners, slyly, anchored the end of the weigh-in line all day, weighing one of the last King Mackerel to hit the scales. These guys are pros… they knew they likely had a contender and helped build the tension and excitement throughout the day.
There were 35 paid places in the Overall Divisions with payouts ranging from the guaranteed 1st place prize of $60,000* to $400 for 35th Place.
*The inclusion of 2 TWT’s (Tournament Within A Tournament) categories offered a lift to any team who participated and place in the top 3 team in the Overall Division. This is how our winners walked with such a lucrative pot.
What About All The Others?
In total 63 teams/individuals, in 6 divisions, were awarded prizes & money for their efforts that day.
Other Divisions Winners
- Single Engine Division: Team Bandit, Capt. Matt Bonnell
- Ladies Division: Team Horizon Haze, Lady Angler – Jessica Weldon
- Traveling Angler Division: Capt. Jeffrey Minchew
- Youth Division: Team Reel Stamina, Youth Angler – Dominic Perry
- Spanish Mackerel Division: Team El Segundo’s Retreat, Capt. Gary Galyas
Old Salt with the help of our wonderful partners (13 Fishing, Aylesworth Fish & Bait, Fishermans Ideal Supply House, IGFA, Fish Florida, Suncoast Surf Shop and Overhead Surf Shop) and several dozen volunteers was able to put 700 local youth and their families on the seawall at ROC Park – Madeira Beach Recreation Complex for the 2019 Kids Fishing Slam. The fishing slam was open to all and free of charge. Our partners & volunteers provided rod/reel kits, tackle, bait, advice, help, prizes and more.
It is difficult to do justice to the King of the Beach in print and images. Check out the Tournament Highlight Reel we put together and the Live Stream Video from the weigh-in and awards ceremony. You might just find something you missed the first time around.
Thanks go out to the teams that fished, the sponsors and partners that made the tournament possible and the hundreds of volunteers who come together for every KING and bring the magic.