Fudpucker's Bottom Feeder tournament gearing up

Tina Harbuck

It’s almost time for the Fudpucker’s Bottom Feeder Fishing Tournament.

The tournament based at Bayside Marina behind Fudpucker’s on Okaloosa Island is scheduled for Sept. 2-10 with a mandatory captain’s meeting at 7 p.m. at Fud’s on Sept. 2, with fishing days Sept. 3-10.

The Bottom Feeder event is the third in the Fudpucker’s Fishing Series that began early in the summer with a red snapper event.

“I’m looking forward to continuing this series of tournaments,” said Chester Kroeger of Fudpucker’s. “The Bottom Feeder is an effort to give anglers the opportunity to fish for species that are open given the new regulations.

“It follows our effort with the Red Snapper Round Up and the Summer Slam, which were designed to give anglers the opportunity to fish for red snapper in a tournament setting,” he added.

Entry fee is $250 per boat. Each boat entering the tournament will receive a goody bag with four tournament T-shirts, four tickets to the awards ceremony and goodies from participating sponsors.

Targeted species for this tournament are amberjack, grouper and red snapper, which are all eligible in state waters for the recreational boats. Charter boats holding a federal permit can not keep amberjack and red snapper.

There are guaranteed cash awards of $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $125 for third.

There is also $1,000 on the line for the Bottom Feeder Slam, top aggregate weight of all three species.

The Bottom Feeder also has a division for the Junior Anglers for youth under 13. Fishing poles, courtesy of Half Hitch Tackle, will be awarded to the first place junior angler for each species.

Fishing for this tournament may begin anytime after the conclusion of the captain’s meeting on Friday. The scales located behind Fud’s will be open from 4-6 p.m. daily from Sept. 3-10. All fish must be caught on rod and reel can be brought to the scales by land or by sea.

All fish must meet size limits set by the state of Florida and meet seasonal requirements.

Awards, raffle and a fish fry will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at Fud’s on the Island.

Proceeds from the raffle and the tournament will benefit the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance.