Off the Hook: Boathouse Summer Slam Includes Kids’ Fishing Excursions

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By Cali Hvalac, To Do In Destin

The Boathouse Summer Slam fishing tournament runs through Aug. 7 and is a way for captains to compete for bragging rights and cash prizes by weighing their fish daily. Organized by Boathouse Oyster Bar, weighmaster Amber(jack) Helton is on site every day meeting boats and weighing in their catches.

This year, a new weigh station was constructed above the water between the Boathouse Oyster Bar and the new Boathouse Marina, where boats are able to back in and weigh their fish. Courtesy weighs are allowed if the captains didn’t sign up for the tournament, and those who did sign up are competing in a variety of categories including Red Snapper, Gag Grouper, Amberjack and Pounders. Daily and weekly prizes are up for grabs to anyone who weighs in a fish.

Alongside their creation of the Summer Slam Fishing Tournament, the Boathouse Oyster Bar also sponsors a Kids Fishing Day every summer where 50 kids are chaperoned aboard the American Spirit Party Boat to fish on a six-hour trip. For many kids, this is their first time fishing on the water, pulling up vermillion snappers, triggerfish, red snapper and even some Mahi Mahi and King Mackerel. The goal of this “Tackle Boxes not Xboxes” event is to get kids outside more, and to bring about a love of fishing.

The staff aboard the American Spirit Party Boat created a fun and energetic environment for these kids, resulting in a very successful trip. The trip also included lunch, snacks, and the kids took home cleaned and fileted fish from their trip.