The Great American Grunt Hunt is in its fourth year! We are proud to announce that we are once again sanctioning this event. This event has the Old Salt seal of approval. This crazy and fun for everyone fishing tournament is so fitting for Madeira Beach. Every year we look forward to grabbing our rods, gear and friends to hunt down the elusive white GRUNT (Haemulon plumieri) The objective, to claim a win with the biggest overall and/or the heaviest of a 3 grunt aggregate. Last year first place went to Paul Grgurich with a 2.22 lb fish and took home $350. The aggregate winner was Britten Thacker with 5.70 lbs total and won $500. I think that is around $88 per pound! This year HOGFISH will be added in as a second species to fish for for an additional fee.
White Grunt is plentiful and usually known as a throw back fish or bait in some cases. Their body color is a light bluish-gray, the head has horizontal blue stripes and they have a white underbelly. The average size is 1.5 lbs but we have weighed in many over 3 and 4 lbs. Their habitat is from the short to the outer reef edge or on offshore hard bottom to 115 feet; most abundant in water less than 80 feet deep. They are a relatively easy catch and can be caught jigging on a sabiki rig.
Hogfish is an alternate fish in this tournament. Hogfish have become extremely popular to catch, they used to be more elusive and not a common catch, especially hook and line. Hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus) are a reef species that inhabit rocky bottoms, ledges and reefs throughout Florida’s off-shore waters. They are easily identified by their long, hog-like snout, which allows them to feed on bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans.
This year the event is March 19th & 21st, 2015 and will be held at the Madeira Beach Municipal Marina once again. The staff is looking forward to another fun event. People of all ages love this event! You can fish from land, docks, piers, inshore or offshore. The Marina is once again making this event an community event with a fish fry. We take all the grunt caught that day, fillet it up fresh, batter it, cook it and of course EAT IT! Last year we packed the tent and invite the entire community to come enjoy it.
So save the date for this fun event! Come on down to the Captain’s Party and the weigh in even if you aren’t fishing and enjoy a “old school” Florida style event. For more information – Madeira Beach Municipal Marina will be making this available online in the next week.