Last year was the first ever tournament for the quirky Treasure Coast Bonito Blast. Come on, really? Whoever heard of a fishing tournament that actually wants to go out and catch bonito? The only event of its kind in the area they want you to have fun in August by catching the only thing that seems to be biting in the heat of summer, Bonito. Last year was so successful, that they raised and donated $20,000 to Wounded Warriors of South Florida and they are inviting everyone to do it again on August 23, 2014. With tremendous support from the local community, business owners and participants, last year had an impressive field of 76 boats when over 150 anglers participated and competed for $2500 in cash and prizes for the biggest bonito.
The event supports our area veterans by partnering with Wounded Warriors of South Florida. Their mission is to provide financial assistance to disabled veterans from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation New Dawn (OND). Their help for vets can anything from emergency housing, food assistance, utility bills, home and vehicle repairs and to ensure transportation to employment, Doctor’s appointments or Physical Therapy. They help our veterans when they fall between the cracks of government support from Melbourne on the east coast, Tampa on the West coast all the way south to the Florida keys. Howard Golin, Executive Director for Wounded Warriors of South Florida said of last year’s tournament “The Bonito Blast Fishing Tournament is a great example of the community coming together to support Wounded Warriors in South Florida. Last year the event raised $20,000 to help provide emergency financial assistance to eligible disabled veterans. It is events like this that make our mission so much easier. Thanks again Bonito Blast!”
The tournament is the brainchild of Captain Kit Munroe (Co-chair) and Captain Nippy Pauels who joked about the lackluster August catch and an idea that it would be great if you could win something for catching a bonito. One thing lead to another and as Kit says “We wanted to create a fun and affordable tournament that would help support our business community in the slow summer months and also support our local veterans.”
This year’s co-chair, Tish Gelineau adds, “We are keeping participation affordable again this year so small boats and families can be part of really fun organized tournament.” Registration is just $100 and includes fishing and dinner Saturday for up to four people. Cash prizes totaling $2500 will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the biggest bonito caught. Junior anglers (under 12) can fish free and will be recognized for their catch.
A Captains Meeting, final registration & BBQ will be held at Manatee Island Grill on Friday August 22nd at 7:00 pm. The Awards presentation and dinner will also be at Manatee Island Bar & Grill following a day of fishing, will begin at 6:00 PM on August 23rd and will feature a Live Music, Raffles and Live and Chinese auctions. Tee shirts and Decals will be available for sale both evenings. All landlubbers are encouraged to come out and support our vets at the Saturday fun-raising events.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available and every dollar will go to Wounded Warriors of South Florida. Make sure to LIKE them on facebook and check out all the photos from last years’ event at www.facebook.com/TreasureCoastBonitoBlast. Registration forms are on hand at local businesses and all the details and information to register are on the website at www.TreasureCoastBonitoBlast.com, send an email to [email protected] or call 772-919-5577.