SEBASTIAN – The tournament is more than a month away but already the GFWC Sebastian River Junior Woman’s Club is scouting out anglers to participate in their annual fundraiser.
For the 12th year, the service organization will host the “Mother of All Fishing Tournament.” This will be the seventh year at Squid Lips Overwater Grill.
“They’ve been super wonderful,” said Junior Woman’s Club member Teddy Hulse.
Organizers hope to attract as many as 70 fishermen, women and children and raise about $6,000.
“We can dream and say $12,000,” Hulse said.
Hulse explained that the funds raised from the tournament go back into the community through service projects and Sebastian River High School scholarships.
One such project is WHALE – We Have A Little Emergency.
“It’s pretty cool,” Hulse said of the project.
The WHALE project strives to help parents and caregivers ensure that, in the event of a vehicular accident, emergency responders can identify the child in a car seat and find emergency contact information.
The organization turned to flatsfishing after determining that they needed to attract more than just women to the fundraisers.
“Some of the stuff we were doing wasn’t working,” Hulse said, explaining that – in general – men think nothing of the cost of participating in a golf tournament, while women “tend to be a little tighter with their money.”
Fishing, Hulse explained, proved to be a way to get men, women and families to participate.
The catch-and-release tournament will focus on redfish, trout and flounder.
“Have you ever seen a flounder?” Hulse asked. “It is an ugly thing – like someone hit it with a sledgehammer.”
The tournament will be held on Saturday May 7 with a “gentlemen’s” start at 6 a.m.
A mandatory Captains Meeting the evening before at Squid Lips.
“I’m not getting up at 6 a.m. to make sure they register,” Hulse said, chuckling.
She explained that because there isn’t a huge prize for the winner and the tournament welcomes families, there is less an issue with cheats.
“They’re good guys,” Hulse said of the fishermen who participate, adding that many have taken part in the tournament over the years.
The entry fee for the tournament is $30 per person if registered by May 1 – $35 after May 1. There is no entry fee for children under 12.
“We try to keep it affordable,” Hulse said.
Prizes include $125 and a bag for First, $100 and a bag for Second, and $75 and a bag for Third. There will be prizes for First-, Second- and Third-place finishers in the Kids Division, as well.
Entry forms can be found on the Sebastian River Junior Woman’s Club website, www.gfwcsebastianriverjrs.org. For more information, call Teddy Hulse at (772) 589-2929.