Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association June 2016 Newsletter
Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association June 2016 Newsletter

2016 MBARA Kingfish Tournament We are all ready for the 20th Annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament to be held on August 27, 2016. We have a new Guy Harv

1stKing ccox

2016 MBARA Kingfish Tournament

We are all ready for the 20th Annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament to be held on August 27, 2016. We have a new Guy Harvey Limited Edition t-shirt (see image above), a new Miss Kingfish, great door prizes, and super raffle items. Capt. Brad Timmins has donated a 10 hour offshore fishing trip for six people in his 56' boat, the Southern Lady. And we have a new 30.06 Ruger Hawkeye rifle, and a $1,000 gift certificate all from Bluewater Outrigger.

Ashley 3

New Miss Kingfish

We have a new Miss Kingfish for this year, and she will be at the Captains' Party and at the weigh-in for pictures.



29-30 July 2016 12th Annual Offshore Classic

Please support the MBARA by participating in this tournament!

IMG 0169

MBARA is Busy Building Reefs

The City of Mexico Beach and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) deployed 77 concrete and steel structures to construct 21 new artificial reefs and fortify 4 existing artificial reefs off Bay and Gulf County during the week of 9-12 May 2016. The structures weighed 3-23 tons each with the heights measuring 6-14 feet tall. These reefs were placed 3-18 nautical miles offshore off Mexico Beach.
The cost for this project totaled $142,677 with funding from public and private sources. $60,000 comes from a FWC grant subsidized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Program. $62,677 in matching funds comes from the MBARA with money it collects from fundraisers such as its annual Kingfish Tournament in August, membership, sponsors, foundations, and other tax deductible donations. An additional $20,000 is from donors constructing 7 new memorial reefs.
Memorial reefs are gaining in popularity as a lower cost and green alternative to traditional burials. These reefs come to life quickly with living marine organisms growing on them creating an ecosystem/habitat for other marine creatures such as fish, crabs, lobsters, and more.
Mexico Beach and MBARA has more in store for 2016! The City just awarded three contracts totaling $742,185.28 to Walter Marine. These projects are funded by the 2015 National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Phase III and will provide 296 reef structures for placement in the Bell Shoals, Crooked Island, and Sherman Sites within the next 120 days.
For more information and locations of these new reefs, visit

Ways to Follow MBARA Happenings

We are on Facebook at MBARA Facebook
See our latest videos on YouTube at MBARA VIDEO
We also have a monthly e-mailed newsletter. Sign up at MBARA Newsletter Stay informed with latest information!


Memorial Reefs Available for Purchase

The MBARA has a wonderful program of memorial reefs that can be purchased to remember a loved one or as a purchase by a business or corporation. Check out the Memorial Reef guidance at Memorial Reefs for complete information and pricing.

Help MBARA with Your Shopping at Amazon

Did you know you can donate to MBARA every time you shop on Amazon? It is easy to register. Just click on this link to designate MBARA as your charity of choice: Designate MBARA as your Charity. Afterwards, go to to do your shopping. It is the same site as Amazon, but every time you make a purchase Amazon will donate a percentage to MBARA! Once you see how easy it is, please share your experience with your friends and family.

Monthly MBARA Meetings

MBARA conducts monthly meetings at 5:30 PM (Central Time) the first Thursday of the month at the Mexico Beach Civic Center. Members and the public are welcome to attend. If you want to get involved, please attend meetings regularly to see what you can do to help MBARA grow and build more reefs.

July 4 Fireworks

Mexico Beach will be having a super great fireworks show on the night of July 4 beginning at 8:30 pm CST when it will be dark. Bring your chairs and sit on the beach for the Best Blast on the Beach. Be sure to take away your garbage and trash and no glass bottles are allowed on the beach. On the morning of the 4th come out and run in the family run starting at the Under the Palms Park on 7th Street in Mexico Beach. Go and read about all of the activities in Mexico Beach at

Seafood Cookbook shrimp lighter

New MBARA Seafood Cookbook Coming Soon!

Carol Cox has compiled new recipes creating our NEW 3rd Edition. It includes new local seafood recipes for local catches. It's at the publisher for printing and we hope to have them in the local stores sometime in July.


The 2016 GollyWhopper sets records with 113 entries, $14,550 paid out in cash prizes, and 16 winners!

Fishermen and divers are finding the Gollywhopper to be one the most fun tournaments along The Forgotten Coast with 2 nights of live music, great food, and even better competition to see who can bring the largest fish to the scales. With the ever changing state and Federal regulations, the tournament committee is dedicated to creating the best categories for species that are in season during the tournament. 2016 was the first year that grouper was a species in the tournament and a lionfish division was added for the divers. A target weight division was also created this year with fishermen not just trying to catch the biggest fish, but also the fish with the closest weight to a predetermined amount.

68 boats entered the tournament to see who could catch the largest Red Snapper, Grouper, and King Mackerel. There were also 18 anglers (14 or under) in the youth division and the number of divers increased from 12 in 2015 to 27 in 2016. A big captain's party was held on Friday June 4th that featured KonKrete Soul performing and lots of good food and door prizes. The weigh in on Saturday conducted by tournament founder Josh Bloodworth was attended by well over 400 people. Many large fish were weighed in along with live music by Rockin Randall and ribs and chicken prepared courtesy of Chef Steven Childs. This was an exciting event that even saw a 78lb cobia and large wahoo weighed in for the crowd’s entertainment. The large custom trophies built and donated by Brian Cathey for the 1st place anglers were sought out as much as the prize money and were a hit once again. Team Tu-Buku and Captain Clay Crosby placed in 3 categories and won the lionfish bonus with 49.57lbs and were followed closely by Team TGIF with 48.15lbs.

The Red Snapper category saw many nice fish weighed in with diver Doug Wiggins on Team TGIF spearing the largest Red Snapper in tournament history at 29.90lbs. Diver Bob Cox weighed in the 2nd largest Red Snapper of the event at 23.95lbs with Clay Crosby coming in 3rd for divers in Red Snapper at 23.45lbs. The first place team for the anglers was Simple Interest with Captain Greg Davis at 23.5lbs, 2nd place Team Tu-Buku with Captain Clay Crosby at 23.40lbs and Cape Horn 19 with Captain Stevie Price at 22.55lbs in 3rd. The target slot weight was 11.1lbs and Team Hooked up with Captain Joe Sapp took the prize with an 11.0lb snapper. 13-year old Hagan Banks won the youth title with a 22.3 lb red snapper.

In the first year with grouper as a category, there were many nice fish brought to the scales. The anglers beat the divers in this category and Team Rusty Hook and Captain Caleb Pitts caught the largest fish at 30.20lbs and now holds the tournament record. Team Night Prowler and Captain Nathan Smith landed a 27.7 lb grouper and Captain Mark Moore on Team Seahunt took 3rd place with 26.65lbs. First place diver was Sam Bell at 16.8lbs, with Robert Griner in 2nd at 11.45lbs, and Brian Stone in 3rd at 10.75lbs. The target weight for the grouper was 12.2lbs and Team Fresh out won 1st with 11.9 lbs.

The King Mackerel category saw a number of familiar faces and past winners. Captain Keith Carraway and Team Seament won first place with 32.75lbs. Captain Stevie Price who has placed 3 years in a row won his second prize of the day with his 29.4 lb King Mackerel and Captain Doug Lake and Team Fresh out were back for their 2nd prize of the day with a 3rd place 24.7 lb king. The target weight for kings was 13.3lbs and was won by Team Current Solutions and Captain Charlie Lanford at 13.4lbs.

Both The Captain's Party and Weigh-In are held at The Mexico Beach Welcome Center and are put on with the support of the Mexico Beach CDC and a number of volunteers including tournament directors Lee Cathey, Josh Bloodworth, Kimberly Shoaf, and Zach Childs. This tournament is tentatively being held on the 1st Saturday in June each year. The tournament committee hopes you will make plans to attend next year and support local tournaments. Upcoming tournaments include the Bayou Bash July 23rd, Mexico Beach Offshore Classic July 29th and 30th, and the 20th Annual Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association’s Kingfish Tournament on August 27th.