Lil' Trader wins big at the first Grand Lagoon Grand Slam Tournament (2016)
Panama City, FL. Aug 4-6, 2016:
Battling bigger than forecast sea conditions and a dwindling fuel supply, Team Lil' Trader scored 112.2 points and took home first place honors in the inaugural Grand Lagoon Grand Slam tournament this past weekend. "It was tough fishing" said Fred Marshall after returning to the weigh dock at Lighthouse Marina Saturday evening.
Marshall received a $17K check for his first place finish. Team Yamaha headed up by Captain George Mitchell won second place. Team Harvest Time won the Wahoo division with a 40.8-pound Wahoo.
In the spirit of giving while having a good time, $500 was raised for St Jude's Children's Research Hospital through soft drink sales and the St Jude Fighting Chair Challenge.
Twenty-three boats participated in the tournament held at Lighthouse Marina August 4th through the 7th, 2016. Targeting Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado with a unique cumulative points scoring system, the Grand lagoon Grand Slam represents the first offshore fishing tournament held in Panama City since 2011. "We're glad to be back in Panama City" cited Scott Burt, Tournament Chairman, and judging from the amount of enthusiasm displayed by local anglers and crowds at weigh-in, many others share that sentiment.
Although this year's event catered strictly to Outboard powered boats, plans for 2017 include an Open division targeting Billfish and allowing larger sport fish type boats to participate. Outboard boats will have the option to participate in either division.
"There's no question pent-up demand exists in Panama City for an exciting offshore fishing tournament" said Jim Hamilton, Marina Director of Lighthouse and Pirates Cove Marinas. With the new Grand Marlin restaurant slated to be open along with a greatly expanded tournament sponsor village, live entertainment and great things to eat and drink, the future looks bright for tournament anglers next August.