It’s a wrap for the 4th annual Boathouse Summer Slam fishing tournament

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

In 70 days of fishing, 39 boats weighed in 607 fish in the fourth annual Boathouse Summer Slam fishing tournament on Destin harbor. 

The tournament, which kicked off June 1, wrapped up on Aug. 7 with an awards ceremony at the Boathouse Marina on Wednesday, Aug. 10. 

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“I’m always pleased with the growth in participation,” said Amber Helton, Boathouse event planner and weighmaster for the tournament. 

Capt. Groovy Davis and Capt. Nino Bright of the Into the Blue won in the red snapper division for the largest on a federal boat, a 28.6-pounder.

Last year, they registered 33 boats and this year they added a few more bringing the total to 39.

The Summer Slam is a boat tournament and is divided into federal, state and private boat categories with the featured fish being red snapper and gag grouper. Amberjack is usually on the list but this year it was not an eligible species because the start of the season was delayed until Sept. 1. 

The tournament also featured a pounder division, where registered boats could weigh in their one-person bag limit per trip, keeping a running tally of weight throughout the 10-week tournament. 

Capt. Guy Santucci and Aubrey show off his winnings in the Summer Slam. Santucci won for largest red snapper and gag grouper in the private boat category.

During that time frame, Helton recorded 607 fish weighing 5,532 pounds total. 

“And I courtesy weighed a lot more than that,” she said. “Pounders is my favorite part of all this.

“We’re not just celebrating the biggest fish, the biggest red snapper or the biggest gag grouper, but we’re celebrating the 2 pounder and the 3 pounders … every ounce counts,” she added. 

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The winner in the pounders division this year in the federal boat category was Capt. Chris Fulford aboard Maximilian. During the tournament he weighed 2,107.8 pounds of fish. The Maximilian also won top junior red snapper, 21.4 pounds, and top gag grouper, 29.4 pounds. Fulford took home $1,500 in prize money. 

The winner in the pounders division for a state boat was Capt. Jason Rogers on The Great Escape. They weighed 386.8 pounds of fish and took home $405 in prize money. 

Capt. Bobby Marek III, right, and Capt. Kyle Mayden on the Mayden Voyage were big winner during wahoo week of the Summer Slam, July 4-10. They won for the biggest, a 59.4-pounder; the most caught, four; and a mystery weight. For their efforts they took home $3,411 in prize money.

Capt. William Pugh on Load the Wagon won the pounders in the private category with 279 pounds of fish worth $450. 

In the red snapper division, Capt. Groovy Davis and Capt. Nino Bright on the Into the Blue won in the federal category with a 28.6-pounder. They took home $2,295. 

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The state boat with the largest snapper was Capt. Matt LeBrasseur on 850 Charters with a 25.8-pounder. He took home $945 in prize money. 

Capt. Guy Santucci on the Coastline Tree won in the private boat category for the largest red snapper, 22.2 pounds, and largest gag grouper, 50.2 pounds. For his big winners he took home $3,030. 

Capt. Chris Fulford of the Maximilian won in the pounder division for a federal boat as well as the largest red snapper and gag grouper in the junior division.

The biggest gag grouper on a federal boat was pulled in on the Maximus, a 41-pounder. Capt. Justin Hall took home $1,890 in prize money. 

The Lone Star with Capt. Bobby Marek III had the largest gag grouper on a state boat, 13.6 pounds. He took home $675 in prize money. 

In the Ladies Division, Capt. Dean Cox on the Seahorse swept the division with the winning red snapper, 25.2 pounds and a 23.4-pound grouper. 

Capt. Justin Hall of the Maximus hauled in the largest gag grouper on a federal boat, a 41-pounder.

The biggest winner in the event went to the duo of Capt. Bobby Marek III and Capt. Kyle Mayden on the Mayden Voyage. The week of July 4-10 was “wahoo week” with nine boats entering. Mayden Voyage won for the biggest, a 59.4-pounder; the most caught, four; and a mystery weight. For their efforts they took home $3,411 in prize money. 

“Each year we’re growing and it’s getting bigger and better,” Helton said. 

“Celebrating in the angler's joy and the boats catch, that’s what keeps me going for 70 days,” she added.