To say the least this is a disappointing day for those who run the Bay Point Invitational. Because the Fed has stretched the ban on fishing to the east, to the south of Panama City, and beyond now, all the way Cape San Blas. So Tournament Director Scott Burt and his staff have no other choice than to cancel completely, this year's Invitational!
Bay Point Tournament Dir.
"We spent four and a half hours this morning fine tuning the 40/40 presented by Hart's Marine, working out all the details, food, tents, sponsors, crowds and leaderboards, all those little things that make it such a special event. At the end of the four and a half hours, we took a break, had some lunch, met with Tom Putnam, to talk about some shirts and all those other things. And Tom walked in and in his hands he had the latest closure's from NOAA, federal waters closures, and he said youre done. And sure enough, with the closures going to Cap San Blas, there's nowhere to fish, we're shut down."
As you may know, they had already cancelled the Billfish aspect of the event, but were hoping to move forward with the 40-40 tournament, smaller boats fishing for tuna wahoo and dolphin. That's not possible now, so they'll deal with the sting of losing this year's event completely, but not for too long before setting their sights on next year!
"You know this was a big letdown today. We take one day at a time right now and this is it. We've pulled the plug on it. We'll focus on the immediate issues with the oil and our marina businesses and issues like that and of course we'll start looking at 2001. But right now it's recovery and trying to figure out where do we go from here. Obviously next year it will be a different set of circumstances, the fishery will be open and we'll have a plan and we'll come up with something exciting and fun. And we'll have a tournament in 2001 there's no question about that. And we'll start working on that very soon. But for right now we'll just pick ourselves up and let's move on and get on with what we do every day."
Scott says among the major disappointments not being able to dole out 55 grand, like the event did last year, to local children's charities.