The annual Treasure Coast Bonito Blast Fishing Tournament is a super fun, affordable tournament that has grown tremendously since its inauguration six years ago. The goal is to catch the biggest Bonito, and to raise money for the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund. (For those who don't know, Bonito are a medium-sized relative of the Tuna and Mackerel, flourishing in southeast Florida saltwaters). Last year, 177 boats participated in the tournament and raised $80,000 for the charity. On Saturday, August 18th, anglers have the chance to do it again.
The tournament is paying out a nice chunk of change for the biggest Bonito catch: $1,500 for 1st, $750 for 2nd, and $250 for 3rd place. There's also junior angler awards and a calcutta for largest Dolphin and largest Snapper or Grouper. The cost to participate is only $100 for a group of four and includes dinner at the Manatee Island Bar & Grill afterward. Bait is also provided thanks to more than 100 local and non-local business sponsors.
The tournament starts at 7 a.m. sharp on Saturday and boaters can head out to find game fish off the coast of Stuart. Weigh-in is back at the manatee pocket at 3 p.m. on the Twisted Tuna boardwalk. Once everyone's done with that, there will be a party back at Manatee Island right next door. Here's the schedule from there:
4 p.m.: Party and relax while coordinators tally weight
5 p.m.: Welcome and Honor Guard for Wounded Veterans Relief Fund
5:30-6:30 p.m.: Dinner and live music
6:30-7:15 p.m.: Auction and raffle prizes
7:15-8:30 p.m.: Awards
Find out more info and sign up for this event online here.
Check out this video from a previous tournament: