Hook ’em up, reel ’em in - it’s time for the Deep Sea Roundup!
Stand back, Deep Sea Roundup begins today, Thursday, July 7, and runs through Saturday, July 10. Area waters will be full of anglers looking to land that prize fish. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fish in the sea!
This year marks the 76th anniversary of Deep Sea Roundup, sponsored by the Port Aransas Boatmen. Begun in 1932, it’s oldest and largest saltwater fishing tournament on the Texas coast.
Anglers of all ages are invited to fish in the tournament with proceeds going to fund various scholarships for Port Aransas High School graduates and community related projects.
Offshore, bay-surf, flyfish, tarpon release and billfish release competitions will set anglers on course for a weekend of fun, and a Piggy Perch Contest will involve the “small fry,” ages 12 and under. Separate awards for junior anglers and top woman angler also will be awarded.
The event begins with registration at the Civic Center on the corner of Cut-off Road and Avenue A starting at 2 p.m. today. Cocktails will be served at 6 p.m., followed by hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m. The center closes at 10 p.m.
Late registration will follow at 6 a.m. Friday at Woody’s Sports Center, 136 W. Cotter Ave.
Hours for the fishing competition are the same each day in all divisions.
Bay-surf and flyfish divisions may begin at 6 a.m. Offshore anglers may begin at 7 a.m.
The Piggy Perch Contest will be head- quartered at the Fred Rhodes Memorial Pavilion at Roberts Point Park. Fishing in the 5 and under division starts at 9 a.m., followed by the 6 and up division at “9:30ish” a.m.
Bay- surf and fly- fishing anglers must have their lines out of the water by 2 p.m. and catches weighed in by the 4 p.m. deadline. Offshore anglers should reel in their lines by 4 p.m. and have their catches at the weigh station by 7 p.m. Weigh-in for all divisions is at the pavilion at Roberts Point Park.
Spectators are invited to gather under the shade of the pavilion to watch the weigh-ins both afternoons. Refreshments will be sold on site.
On Friday, cocktails will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center.
The Bill Horn Memorial Fish Fry, open to the public, will be held at the Civic Center starting at noon on Sunday. The awards presentation and prize drawings will start at 1:30 p.m.
Grand champions in both the bay/surf and offshore divisions will be awarded.
A bay-surf perpetual trophy will be awarded as well as a perpetual Billfish Champion trophy. Other awards presented will be Top Woman Angler and Top Junior Angler as well as individual species awards.
The tournament will continue the release format initiated in 2001 for all billfish. This year, federal regulations limit the shark species to blacktip and spinner only and also prohibit the inclusion of amberjack.
Tournament chairman is Bruce Staffel.
Programs for the Roundup, which contain a complete schedule, rules and more, will be inserted in this edition of the South Jetty for delivery to newsstands and to Port Aransas subscribers. Programs for out-of-town subscribers were inserted in last week’s edition.
The tournament started as the Tarpon Rodeo. It was interrupted during World War II and, as the tarpon population declined (due to dynamiting schools of the fish) in Gulf waters, the name was changed to the Deep Sea Roundup.