Lionfish hunters from across the United States and the Caribbean descended on Okaloosa County for the Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament hosted by Emerald Coast Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The most successful lionfish event to date concluded in Destin this past weekend with a record-shattering 14,119 fish removed in a two-day period. This is in addition to the 5,048 lionfish removed during the pre-tournament competition that started February 1 and ended at the main event. A total of 19,167 lionfish were removed from local waters.
Lionfish hunters from across the United States and the Caribbean descended on Okaloosa County for the Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament hosted by Emerald Coast Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. One hundred eighty-nine individual hunters competed for over $48,000 in cash prizes and $15,000 in gear prizes. The event was headquartered at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar along the famed Harbor Boardwalk in Destin.
The winning Team, Florida Man, on Destin-based dive charter, Dreadknot, brought in an astounding 2,241 fish in just two days and won the $10,000 top prize for Most Lionfish. Only 189 fish separated the second place, Fear the Spear.
The Largest Lionfish prize of $5000 was awarded to team Killer Bee’s who brought in a lionfish that was 440 mm, or 17.32 inches. The smallest lionfish, which also commanded a $5,000 prize, was 75mm, or just under 3 inches caught by Team Diamond Divers.
- Florida Man 2,241
- Fear the Spear 2,059
- Diamond Diver 1,674
- Reef Rapper 1,463
- Making the Gulf Great Again 1,372
- Deepwater Mafia #1 518
Largest Lionfish (Millimeters Inches)
- Killer Bee’s 440mm 17.32in
- Reef Rapper 439mm 17.28in
- Jen Speara Day 427mm 16.81in
- Full Stringer 427mm 16.81in
- Florida Man 422mm 16.61in
- 6-8 Divers 421mm 16.57in
Smallest Lionfish (Millimeters Inches)
- Diamond Diver 75mm 2.95in
- Fear the Spear 81mm 3.19in
- Florida Man 85mm 3.35in
- Deepwater Mafia #4 88mm 3.46in
- Reef Rapper 92mm 3.62in
- Lion and Weight 92mm 3.62in