Frank Helton Crab Cruncher Classic kicks off Thursday

Special to The Log

The top cobia fishing teams in the world will be competing for more than $200,000 in awards in the 28th annual Frank Helton Crab Cruncher Classic set April 6-10 at Harbor Docks Restaurant.

Ten percent of proceeds will go to Harbor Docks Charities, which sponsors Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, an annual event that has allows more than 8,000 children to enjoy a day fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on boats from the Destin charter fleet the first Sunday every November.

Each night of the tournament will feature a complete dinner. Thursday night’s kickoff party will feature a BBQ dinner at Harbor Docks. Friday night, guests will enjoy a low country boil hosted by Trey Nick of Nick’s Seafood. La Paz Restaurant and Cantina will provide a fajita buffet Saturday night. The tournament weigh-ins will wrap-up Sunday night with a cobia fish fry on the docks hosted by Harbor Docks, followed by an awards dinner Monday.

Harbor Docks’ Crab Cruncher Classic is one of the three tournaments that have teamed-up this year to create the 2017 Emerald Coast Cobia Triple Crown, a new tournament series to promote cobia fishing on Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast, and to crown an undisputed champion of cobia season. The other tournaments in the Triple Crown series are the Boshamps Flathead Classic and the Outcast Cobia Invitational. The first tournament of the series, the Outcast Cobia Invitational, took place last weekend at Tailfin's Alehouse in Destin. Based on that tournament, the current Triple Crown Standings are:

First place: Sweet Caroline - 273 points

Second place: Surreel - 234 points

Third place: She’s the One - 181 points

The Crab Cruncher Classic is a weekend tournament that takes place during the six-week Cobia World Championships. Harbor Docks has hosted this tournament for almost three decades. There are currently 96 boats competing for over $94,000 in the Cobia World Championships. Weigh-in stations are located across the Northern Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Alabama, Pensacola, Destin and Panama City. The Cobia World Championships Tournament ends on Monday, May 8.

The Cobia World Championships and Crab Cruncher Classic serve as Harbor Docks Charities’ main fundraisers for their 23rd annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day, held Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. In 2016, 122 vessels and thousands of anglers competed for over $290,000 in cash and prizes and helped raise $27,745 to go toward the 22nd annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day.

Formerly known as Rally for Recreation (founded in 1986), Harbor Docks Charities hosts numerous fundraising events throughout the year including the Cobia World Championships and Crab Cruncher Classic fishing tournament, as well as the Caddyshack Classic Golf Tournament and Harbor Docks Charity Auction.