BRADENTON BEACH – The second annual West Coast Bottom Brawl fishing tournament launches Thursday to benefit the Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB)’s annual Dive Into Reading summer reading program.
Hosted by AMOB, the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, Joe Anti and Trevor Tilton, the tournament continues through Saturday and features multiple inshore and offshore fishing categories.
The weigh-in ceremonies and post-tournament party will take place in the AMOB parking lot near the historic Bradenton Beach clocktower at the foot of the Bridge Street Pier.
The inaugural West Coast Bottom Brawl in 2019 featured more than 150 entries and raised more than $3,000 for AMOB’s summer reading program. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a fun tournament,” AMOB Managing Partner Lynn Horne said.
A pre-tournament captains’ meeting will be held at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar’s Bridge Street Pier location in Bradenton Beach on Thursday, July 8 at 6:30 p.m. The team captain is responsible for the safe operation of the vessel and the safety of their crew during the tournament.
Each team can consist of up to seven anglers including the team captain. All anglers on a team must fish from the same vessel. The inshore tournament entry fee is $300 per team, the offshore tournament entry fee is $375 per team and the Calcutta tournament (a tournament within a tournament) entry fee is $100 per team.
Inshore tournament fishing starts at noon on Friday, July 9, with no lines allowed in the water until that time. Inshore tournament fish to be weighed must be in the weigh-in at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar by noon on Saturday, July 10. The scales open at 10 a.m. for the inshore tournament only. Inshore tournament eligible species will be snook, redfish, mangrove snapper and a mystery fish to be announced at the captains’ meeting.
Offshore tournament fishing starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 9, with no lines allowed in water until that time. Offshore tournament eligible species will be red grouper or gag grouper, red snapper, mangrove snapper and a mystery fish.
Cash prizes will be given for the winners of the various fishing categories, including the lady angler and youth angler categories. A youth angler eligible for the youth angler awards must be 14 years or younger on the tournament date. A female eligible for the lady angler awards must be 15 years or older and must catch and reel the fish to the point of gaff. The weight for each species in the closest to the determined weight category will be announced during the captains’ meeting.
All fish must be caught with hook and line using hand-held rods and reels. No electric reels are allowed. No rotten or mutilated fish will be weighed in. All fish need to be properly iced and cared for. All tournament winners must be present at the awards ceremony to receive their winnings check.
Entry forms and fees, tournament rules and more information can be found online at www.desotohq.com/bottombrawl. For sponsorship or additional tournament information, contact Joe Anti at 863-661-2544 or Trevor Tilton at 863-581-5193.