King mackerel to take center stage in Big Mac Classic; $10,000 up for grabs

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

No special sauce needed for this Big Mac, just a rod, reel, bait and a desire to catch a big king mackerel in the Big Mac Classic set Sept. 18-20 on the docks behind AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar in Destin.

The 11th annual Big Mac Classic boasts big cash with the angler who lands the largest overall king mackerel taking home $10,000.

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Entry fee per boat is $450 with various calcutta options available.

"People have been calling wanting to know about the tournament," said Jerry Andrews, tournament director. "Everybody is looking for a reason to go fishing."

Team Goofy Golf with Capt. Chris Clemmons won the Big Mac Classic in 2019 with this 28.6-pound king mackerel caught on Saturday. The duo also had a 28.4 pounder that took second place. The tournament in 2019 was postponed in September due to bad weather and actually held in November.

And what better reason to go fishing, than to have fun and a chance at winning some money while at the same time benefiting a good cause. The tournament benefits the  Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida.

The Big Mac Classic is mainly a king mackerel event with first through third place receiving cash awards. There is also a three-place aggregate award for a two-fish aggregate winner for both Saturday and Sunday, as well as an overall three fish aggregate over the two day event.

Capt. Chad Parker and crew pulled in a 52-pound king mackerel to win the 2018 Big Mac Classic.

The way the aggregate works is anglers can weigh a maximum of two fish daily and declare on Saturday if they want one or both to count to their overall aggregate. So there are three aggregate divisions, plus an overall Big Mac.

Other fish possible for cash awards are the largest wahoo, dolphin and blackfin tuna.

Scales will be open on the docks behind AJ’s from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, followed by an awards presentation at 6 p.m

The tournament kicks off Friday night at AJ's with a captain's meeting and buffet. Captains will have a chance to register from 4-8:30 p.m. at AJ's Sept. 18.