It’s a Country Music, Fishing, and Philanthropy Filled Weekend

This weekend Panama City Beach has a full line up and many options if you are looking for something to do.  Country music, fishing contests, eating for a cause, and rubber ducks are headlining in this weekend’s events.

Country Music Fest

Friday and Saturday September 23rd and 24th

Country music artists Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean will be coming to Panama City Beach’s Frank Brown Park in Pier Park this weekend.  Miranda Lambert was first introduced to the public through Nashville Star, while Jason Aldean was introduced through his self-titled album.  Tickets are available through lodging partners as well as Ticketmaster.

Gates will open at 6:30pm on Friday night for Justin Moore, The Randy Rogers Band, and Miranda Lambert.  Saturday gates will open earlier for Corey Smith, The Dirt Drifter’s, and Jason Aldean.

If you’re a fan of music, especially country music, there is no doubt that you’ll enjoy the Country Music Fest this weekend.  If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, visit Ticketmaster or book with local lodging partners!  See you out there!

Panama City Beach Sportfish Classic

Friday and Saturday September 23rd and 24th

Overnight fishing for Swordfish will begin on Friday, before anglers compete on Saturday for Blue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Dolphin.  Weigh-ins will be on Saturday for both events and spectators are welcome to attend!  The festival opens at 5pm on Saturday at the Lighthouse Marina and Boatyard Restaurant, with live music from 5pm-7pm, weigh-ins will be from 7pm-10pm, and the awards will be given out at 10:30pm or as soon as possible after the last fish is weighed in.

There will be a total of $100,000 given away in prizes this weekend, including $40,000 for the largest Blue Marlin catch.  Fishing will begin at 2pm on Friday after the kick-off lunch and captains meeting.  The event will be family friendly and a good time for everyone who wants to see some truly big fish!

Compassionate Chef’s For Kids benefitting Children’s Home Society of Florida

Saturday September 24th

From 6pm-9pm this Saturday at the Holley Academic Center on the Panama City campus of Florida State University, the Children’s Home Society of Florida will be hosting the Compassionate Chefs for Kids.  This is a “Cullinary Extravaganza” event, which will include food from twenty local chefs, live auction, silent auctions, as well as live entertainment.  For general admission the event is $35, while for VIP admission is $75.  VIP events will begin at 5pm.

This is the 8th Annual culinary fundraiser, which is the signature fundraiser for the organization.  The theme will be “Dine, Dance, Donate” this year.  Some of the live entertainment will include Fred Astaire Dancers, Mark Harris, Mojo Rising, child performances, and more.  The profits will go to the Children’s Home Society of Florida which serves abused children, adoptions, serves a local group home, and works with the Early Step’s program for mentally delayed children.

Beach Care Services Annual Duck Race and Cocktail Party

Tuesday September 27th

From 5:30pm to 8:00pm, poolside at the North Tower of the Grand Panama Beach Resort the Beach Care Services will be holding their annual duck race.  This isn’t your typicall duck race though!  This involves adults on the back of giant rubber duckies in a pool, raising money to provide emergency financial assistance to the residents of Panama City Beach.  The goal is to aid in the payment of household bills in order to prevent families becoming homeless.  Last year this event raised almost $13,000 and they have high hopes to meet or exceed this amount this year.

The event will include food and drinks, cash prizes, and live entertainment from the Kevin Jacobs Band.  Duck Race entries are $10 per person or five duck entries for $45.  Little rubber ducks are also available for those who cannot physically attend the event.  First prize is $500; second prize is $250, and third prize being $100.


Major Improvements To Bay Point Invitational

The Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament is hosted each July at Bay Point Marina in Panama City, FL.  Since it’s inception in 1984, the Invitational has donated over $1 million back to the local community, with a focus on children’s charities.

Now in its 27th year, Bay Point remains the Gulf Coast’s only “invitation only” tournament, and brings together the top anglers on the sport fishing circuit.  Long referred to as Bay County’s “Party of the Year”, the Invitational has also established itself as the premier sporting event on the Gulf of Mexico and is home to the first and second largest blue marlin ever weighed in the state of Florida.

Continue reading “Major Improvements To Bay Point Invitational”

Weekend Weather – Relaxing

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We’ve done it again – warmed up a little for your weekend getaway.  Whether you’re resting up, or getting in that last round of shopping, this weekend’s weather will be MUCH better than temps in the teens! Make your headquarters here on the shore, and you’ll have breathtaking views of golden sunsets and maybe even some silver showers. But, you should bring a warm jacket and some hot boots for Saturday night, wear some walking shoes and discover the best in nature and gift-giving.
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Weekend Weather – Uncommon Beauty

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What a weekend to be outdoors in Panama City Beach;  it’s really too cold to stay in Atlanta or Birmingham.  You can still wear your cozy jacket, and pick up a new pair of boots while you’re here – we really do have them – cozy and cute.  We also have unparalleled stargazing, the first ever Boat Parade on Grand Lagoon, and clear skies to enjoy the glittering white sands or all of the glittering one of a kind gift hunting here.

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Weekend Events – Clint Black at Taste of the Bay

This weekend is going to be one of the best weekends in Panama City Beach. Clint Black will be playing a free concert at Taste of the Bay. Wine and food lovers will be coming to Pier Park to partake in Taste of the Bay. Triathletes from all over will be participating in the Ironman Triathlon this weekend. And for the local philanthropist there is a comedy show supporting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Kaleidoscope Theatre. Continue reading “Weekend Events – Clint Black at Taste of the Bay”

Mr. Youngblood Goes to Washington…

Shawn is 37. He is well traveled, but until last week he had never visited our Nation’s Capital. Having toured a museum or two with him, I was surprised. I knew he would be intrigued and inspired by what he was going to see.

He started thinking about the trip in late January. He had begun doing research on “Catch Shares” and the impact they could have on coastal fisheries, especially those in our area. It was alarming to Shawn and many others. As he can tell you, if you live or work on the Gulf Coast… or anywhere along the 88,000 miles of coastline that encompasses the United States… Catch Shares, IFQs, Bag Limits, and shortened fishing seasons affect you. If you eat fish, they will impact you. If you like to fish, they will affect you. Continue reading “Mr. Youngblood Goes to Washington…”

Area Recreational Fishermen Travel to Washington, DC

Fishermen from around the country are planning to pack the steps in front of the U.S. Capitol this week to demand changes to a federal fisheries law they say is killing jobs and eroding fishing communities. Recreational Fishermen from Panama City, Destin and Mexico Beach will be loading buses Tuesday morning at Captain Anderson’s Marina and begin their journey to our Nation’s Capital. They will spend the night in Richmond and meet protesters from around the Country at the Capital Building for the rally at noon.

Organizers of the “United We Fish” rally expect an estimated 3-5,000 people at the Feb. 24 protest, including a bipartisan roster of congressmen, fishermen and their advocates from up and down the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and a smattering from the West Coast and Alaska.  Continue reading "Area Recreational Fishermen Travel to Washington, DC"

Catching Your Share

Red SnapperHave you ever been deep sea fishing? Until last summer, I hadn’t. Which is rather surprising, since I grew up here on the Gulf Coast and spent most of my impressionable days on the deck of one boat or another.  It was a warm day in late May. The first few catches were decent B-liners (Vermillion Snapper). The next week Red Snapper season opened and I’m still not sure who was more hooked, me or the fish. The fight at the bottom of the line made dinner taste that much better. I’m not alone. Offshore fishing is big business.

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Speckled Trout Tournament Coming Here

Speckled Trout Anglers, get your rods ready, on May 30 the Cabela’s Speckled Trout USA Tournament is coming to Panama City Beach.  And, if you’re worried about whether or not you should shell out the dough for the entry fee in fear of losing your shirt – fear not!

For the first time ever, a Speckled Trout tournament circuit is coming through Panama City Beach and the entry fee is only $75.  With a guaranteed purse of $10,000 with $4,000 going to the guy (or gal) who catches the biggest fish, this tournament pays good and is a great opportunity for those local anglers itching to get their fish on.  If the entry pool gets over 150, the prize payout will increase.  Plus, you can’t beat the great weather we have in late May, fishing our protected waterways and flats.

Cabela’s Speckled Trout USA tour started in Perry Florida in November, then moved on to Jacksonville in March, will play-out in Orange, Texas May 15th and will finish off here in Panama City Beach end of May.  The largest trout caught so far was over 7 pounds.

At 6:30 am on May 30 anglers will venture out from all parts of Panama City Beach to cast lines and reel in the big ones.  They’ll have until 3 pm to make their way back to shore, then until 4 pm to show up at the Amphitheater at Pier Park for the weigh-in. Anglers will be given a .2 lbs bonus for each fish kept alive for release later.  This could go a long way as live fish weight more than dead fish anyway.

Pre-tournament late registration is Friday, May 29th at Edgewater Beach Resort.

If you win, bring your truth hat (or your thumbtack in your big toe) because you’ll be subject to a polygraph test to verify your honesty regarding when you left and returned from your speckled fishing trip.  That’s right, a lie-detector test.  I was actually surprised to hear this is not too uncommon in the tournament industry.

Full Rules:

  • Guaranteed purse of $10,000 in cash and prizes *(see below)
  • $500 awarded for largest speckled trout
  • $500 awarded for largest redfish (must be within state slot limit)
  • Purse may increase depending on number of anglers
  • Payback to 15% of the field
  • These will be individually fished tournaments but as many as five (5) participants may fish from one boat
  • Fish must be kept separate or marked to determine ownership
  • Speckled trout limit will be three (3) fish per angler
  • State size limits apply
  • Fish must be caught during tournament hours
  • Bait is limited to artificial bait only
  • No chumming allowed
  • Pre-tournament late registration will be held the night before the tournament from 5-7 PM  at the registration site listed for each tournament
  • Captains meeting will be held at the host hotel following late registration the night before the tournament unless otherwise noted
  • Boats may launch from different locations on tournament morning(s)
  • Fishing hours will be from 6:30 AM until 3 PM and anglers must be in the weigh-in line with their catch by 4 PM
  • Polygraph tests will be given at random
  • Any angler who fails or refuses to take a polygraph test or whose condition does not permit administration of a test due to incapacity from alcohol or drugs will be disqualified and will not be allowed to participate in any future Outdoor Promotions, Inc. events
  • In case of extreme water/weather conditions, Outdoor Promotions, Inc. reserves the right to  postpone or cancel any event with the return of entry fees by mail
  • Teams must comply with state fishing and boating regulations; fishing and boating licenses are the responsibility of each angler
  • The use of mobile communication devices sich as cellular phones, marine radios, etc.  to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is prohibited
  • The use of alccoholic beverages is prohibited during any Speckled Trout USA event
  • The use of or display of any tobacco products in the weigh-in line, on stage, and during awards ceremonies is prohibited
  • Wanton unsportsmanlike conduct may be grounds for disqualification if cirumstances require;  the decision of the tourmament director will be final
  • Door prizes valued at several hundred dollars will be distributed by random drawing
  • Any proceeds from the tournament will be earmarked for the Outdoor Kids Scholarship Fund

Example of payout if 100 anglers enter:

1st Place $3,000
2nd Place $1,500
3rd Place $1,000
4th Place $600
5th Place $500
6th Place $400
7th Place $350
8th Place $300
9th Place $250
10th Place $250
11th Place $225
12th Place $200
13th Place $175
14th Place $150
15th Place $100
Big Speckled Trout $500
Big Redfish $500
Total Payout in Cash and Prizes $10,000

2008 Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament Results

Held in Panama City Beach at the Bay Point Marina.

I arrived back in town at the tail end of the 2008 Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament; just in time for the final weigh-ins tonight. No records were broken, but some big fish came in nonetheless.

Click the more link for pictures and the final results from tonight’s weigh-in.

Continue reading “2008 Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament Results”