The largest flounder tournament in the world is back, and boats are ready to hit the waters as fishermen set their sights on winning their share of over a quarter-million dollars in prize money.
Paradise Marina & Short’s Marine will once again be hosting the 2018 Flounder Pounder Open (FPO), which will take place Aug. 15-19. It is a five-day tournament in which anglers get to pick three out of the five days to fish.
The event’s organizers have made a change from the Optional Calcutta Division — this year it will be a Daily Calcutta. That will provide anglers a chance to win $4,000 a day in the Optional Calcutta Division, for a total of $20,000 right there alone, and checks will be given out daily.
The Daily Optional Calcutta fee is $50 per team. Teams must be registered for the Optional Calcutta Division if they want to have a chance at one of the daily prizes totaling $4,000. First place in the Daily will win $2,500, while second place will get $1,000 and third place $500.
Now, this might sound like an infomercial, but so be it: “But wait! There’s more!”
This year, the FPO will allow for 10 places for teams to get their name next to the money signs. Cash prizes for the 2018 FPO total $235,000.
The first week’s registration fees were already due last week, and the second week’s fees are due between Aug. 6 and 12. An FPO T-shirt is included with registration. Teams can register at Paradise Grill in Long Neck at 27344 Bay Road from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 4 to 8 p.m. daily.
The overall division will have 10 chances to win, with the top prize being $100,000. Second place will get $50,000. Third place will take home $25,000, and so on, with each place getting a little less, down to 10th place taking home $1,000.
First through fifth places will have the option, however, of taking the cash, a boat or a JetSki. According to event organizers, “You do not want to miss the boat options this year.”
Now, this event isn’t just about fishing. The FPO is also a fundraiser in the fight against cancer. For every boat registered for the event, $50 will be donated to Beebe Healthcare’s Tunnell Cancer Center. Last year’s check alone totaled more than $17,000.
As the event’s mantra goes, “Let’s ‘Pound’ Cancer!”
Off the line — The captain’s meeting will be on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the lagoon area. The FPO is a flounder tournament only, and anglers must fish on a registered boat. There may be up to eight registered anglers on a team, with one being the captain, and everyone on the boat must be registered — no exceptions.
For more information, contact Paradise Marina or Short’s Marine, or check out the event’s Facebook page by searching for “2018 Flounder Pounder Open.”
By Jason Feather