The Blountstown Rotary Club’s 14th annual Big River Roundup Florida Flathead Catfish Tournament will kick off Friday, May 22, on the Apalachicola River with final weigh-in the next day.
The “Big River Roundup Florida Flathead Catfish Championship” tournament is unlike any other with fierce competition between locals for bragging rights, cash prizes, and $50,000.00 at stake if the current State Record is broken during the event. Blountstown Rotary is proud to say that their tournament has graced the pages of Field & Stream, Florida Fish & Game, and GAFF magazines. As word of the tournament has spread, fisherman from Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and even as far as Ohio have regularly traveled to take their chances at winning the event.
The tournament entry fee for adults is $50 per person if pre-registering or $55 per person at the gate. Those 15 years old and under may enter in the youth category for $25 per person. The first 100 pre-registration participants are eligible to receive 10 free bream for bait. Individuals are encouraged to pre-register to be included in a special pre-registration prize drawing. Early registration ends May 21st at 5 p.m. CT. If unable to pre-register, fishers may register at the gate Friday from 9 a.m. CT until 6 p.m. CT and Saturday from 6 a.m. CT until 10 a.m. CT at the Blountstown Landing (Neal Landing).
The Roundup was the first organized flathead catfish tournament in Florida when it began in 1996 with the visionary efforts of the Blountstown Rotary Club membership and the cooperation of the Florida Game and Freshwater Commission. At that time, the tournament served as a fundraiser and helped maintain the ever-growing population of the flathead catfish in the Apalachicola River system. The success of the first event spurred the eventual creation of four other such flathead tournaments in the Florida panhandle. Over the past fourteen years, approximately 3,000 fishermen have participated in the “Big River Roundup”, and an estimated 14,000 pounds of catfish have made it to weigh in.
For more information on the tournament, a list of rules and an application, visit http://blountstownrotary.com/catfisht.htm. Or, call Tournament Director Phil McMillan at 850/674-8053 or Asst. Tournament Director Phillip Hill at 850/447-1975.