Panama City Beach, FL---Saturday saw the first ever Wahoo-Amberjack Round-Up tournament held at Treasure Island Marina, and locals competing definitely made the inaugural event one to remember, bringing in huge hauls.
But the true purpose of event is to benefit the Artificial Reef Association, to help preserve the areas where these anglers go, currently being attacked by dreaded, disturbing, lion fish.
"Lion fish can move in and they can just destroy a reef," says tournament organizer Tom Putnam. "They take over, they're very aggressive, nothing likes to eat them because of the spines and how they can make even fish sick. So, they don't really have a natural predator and they can multiply real fast and jsut take over an artificial reef and displace all the natural fish on the reef which is what all us anglers are after."
20 boats signed up for a beautiful day out on the water and as great as yesterday was for the organizers the first time around, it's got a bright future in their eyes.
"It was great," says Putnam. "We had great weather, great fish, 71 pound wahoos, some nice amberjack, up to 68 pounds. It just sets a stage for next year and maybe next year we'll maybe even make it two days."