Anglers, get ready! The 4th Annual Grouper Grapple returns to Fish Tale Marina on August 12th-13th, offering a full day of fishing fun for a great cause – wounded veterans – by teaming up with Freedom Alliance, a group that gives assistance to injured troops and their families.
The Grouper Grapple was founded by Brian Peachey in 2013 as a means to give back to the community and show support to combat wounded veterans that have served our country. The tournament itself started with just 16 boats in 2013, and has grown to 22 entries in 2014 and 35 entries in 2015.
The fun begins on Friday night with the mandatory Captain’s Meeting where rules are explained and tournament gear given out. Anglers may depart at 8:30pm to get some sleep, because lines are in the water at a 7am honor start. Fishing is limited to the area between Gordon’s Pass and Boca Grande, and all boats must return to Fish Tale and be in sight of the weigh master no later than 6pm. The weigh station will open at 4pm, raffles are from 4-7pm and the Awards Ceremony will be held from 9-10:30pm – the public is invited.
Cost to enter is $600 per five-angler team (extra person $100). 1st place is a payout of 55% of entry fees, ranging down to $500 for the largest snapper and amberjack. Grouper species are Red, Gag or Scamp.
In addition to the entry fees, funds raised by the Freedom Alliance are used to bring a group of veterans to and from the event, provide them with hotel accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursday – Sunday, Back Bay fishing trips, commemorative plaques, entry into the tournament and specialized apparel and a chance to join their brothers in arms in an atmosphere designed just for them.
Last year, 35 teams and 160 anglers participated in the event, and sixteen veterans were treated to a weekend of fishing all expenses paid. At the end of the day winners shared a $32,000 payout with 1st place winner Snake in the Grass taking home $10,800; 2nd Place winner Florida Weekly winning $4,500 and 3rd Place Dock Star $2,700.
For more tournament information please visit www.groupergrapple.com or contact Brian Peachey at 239-437-6007 or via email at email@example.com.
Keri Hendry Weeg