Flounder Pounder ready to roll out Nov. 1

Tina Harbuck
Allen Hunter pulled in this 2.4-pound flounder while fishing from his kayak for an entry in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. He caught the flounder on a jig. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

Just because the Destin Fishing Rodeo wraps up Oct. 31, don’t put away the rod and reels yet.

HarborWalk Marina will host its first-ever Flounder Pounder the entire month of November. Weigh-ins will be daily from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at HarborWalk Marina located on Destin harbor behind the Emerald Grande.

The tournament is open to all registered anglers.

Entry fee for the month-long tournament is $50 per person. Pre-registration before Oct. 31 is $40.

Participants must register the day before catching a fish to be eligible to enter a flounder.

“You don’t have to be a professional to catch a flounder. But it may require some patience,” said tournament director Jaxon Mitchell. “It doesn’t require a lot of equipment or a boat.”

Mitchell said the idea for the tournament came about partially because he likes to flounder fish himself.

“Flounder fishing is my favorite thing to do. … It takes me back to when I was a kid,” Mitchell said.

The other reason is to bring folks down to the harbor and “keep people out and about” during the slow season, he said.

“It’s a way to get everybody involved,” he said.

Plus November is usually a good month to catch flounder.

“As soon as you get a cold snap, they seem to multiply,” he said, noting they move from the shallows to the deeper water.

During the Destin Fishing Rodeo, a few flounder have been brought to the scales. Some caught right off the docks and others from kayaks.

The only stipulation for an entry into the Flounder Pounder is that the fish must be caught on hook and line and must be netted. No gaff marks at all. The flounder must not be mutilated in any way, except hook punctures.

Each fisherman will be allowed to weigh a maximum of two flounder per day, according to the tournament rules.

It is the anglers responsibility to pick out which two fish they want to weigh. Also the fish must be weighed the same day it is caught.

No flounder less than 13 inches in length will be accepted.

At the end of the month, the tournament will pay out for the top three places for the heaviest fish. In the event of a tie, the first flounder weighed will be the winners.

First place will receive 50 percent of all money received from entry fees, while second will get 30 percent, and third 20 percent.

No angler can receive more than one prize.

In addition to the monthly award, the tournament will also have Super Saturdays where the angler with the heaviest fish each Saturday will take home $50.

“They will basically get their entry fee back,” Mitchell said.

To be eligible for Super Saturdays, the angler must have registered the day prior to weighing a fish in the Super Saturday division. And the fish has to be caught on Saturday, no exceptions.

Again, the angler will have the chance to weigh two flounder.

For more information about the event, call 650-2400.