The Grand Strand Saltwater Anglers Association (GSSAA) is gearing up for its 15th annual Spring Flounder Tournament in Murrells Inlet April 23.
Second Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach is the tournament’s sponsor.
In addition to offering a fun day of fishing to area anglers, the local fishing club sponsors the tournament to raise funds for a marine science scholarship at Coastal Carolina University and to support the S.C. Artificial Reef Program. GSSAA also participates in the annual Grand Strand Take A Kid Fishing Tournament.
“It’s a very enjoyable tournament because it’s family oriented,” said Frank Keiser, who serves on the tournament committee. “Everyone seems to enjoy being in the tournament. In addition to the prizes for the winning fish, we give away lots of prizes in drawings and everyone has a good chance to win a prize.”
“The proceeds from this event help us continue our support of the SCDNR Reef Program, which has so far received over $75,000 in donations from the GSSAA,” Committee chairman Bill Cash said. “We are proud to be involved with this program that works to increase the artificial reef system. Not only does this program improve our local fisheries, but it goes a long way in helping the well-being of our ocean and natural resources. Conservation of the marine environment is our passion and we support many programs that encourage the management of our fishing and natural resources we are blessed to have here in coastal South Carolina.”
Because of the group’s contributions, the SCDNR named a portion of Paradise Reef (Three-Mile Reef) in honor of the club, which was organized in August of 1983.
The Spring Flounder Tournament features youth and adult divisions and is a family-oriented event.
The Association is also seeking sponsors for the tournament. All businesses and organizations that contribute a minimum of $100 cash or $200 in merchandise/services will have their names and logos printed on the leader board and will also be announced at the Captain’s Meeting and Awards Ceremony.
Sponsorship checks should be written to the GSSAA and mailed to P.O. Box 15663, Surfside Beach, S.C. 29587.
The tournament begins April 23 at 6 a.m. at the Murrells Inlet State Boat Ramp. No lines can be in the water before 6 a.m.
All fish must be caught inside Murrells Inlet on the day of the tournament. The Jetties are the boundary. The weigh-in will be held from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. in the back parking lot at the landing. All boats in line before 5 p.m. will be eligible for weigh-in.
A captain’s meeting and registration will take place April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet. All registered anglers must attend.
Early bird entry fee is $15 for the youth division (14-and-under), and $35 for adults, if postmarked no later than April 16. After April 16, the entry fee is $20 for the youth division and $45 for adults.
Early bird entries should be mailed to the GSSWA, 1080 Vestry Drive, Murrells Inlet, S.C. 29576.
The youth division is offering a $150 first place prize for the largest flounder by weight. The second and third-place winners will receive a rod and reel.
The adult division is offering $1,500 for the largest flounder caught by weight, along with cash prizes for spots two through nine, as well as 39th place.
There is also a special tagged flounder contest and all anglers are automatically entered in the contest, which awards $1,500 to the angler that weighs in the tagged flounder.
Applications for the tournament are available at local tackle shops, marine dealers and other locations.
Call committee chairman Bill Cash at 237-9987, Ed Skowysz at 450-8218 or Chick McDaniels at 651-2076.