Bill Hargreaves Fishing Tourney June 15-18 at GLYC
Kids always fish free at annual event
Grand Lagoon Yacht Club, located at 10653 Gulf Beach Hwy. in Pensacola, will host the 47th Annual Hargreaves Fishing Tournament on Father’s Day weekend, June 15-18.
Adult registration is $40, and children 12 and under can fish for free. Tickets can be purchased at billhargreavesfishingrodeo.com or at the following outlets: Goin’ Fishin’ Bait & Tackle, Grand Lagoon Yacht Club, Gray’s Tackle & Guide Service, Outcast Tackle & Marine and Perdido Marine Supply.
The captains’ meeting is Thursday, June 15 at 6 p.m. at the Grand Lagoon Yacht Club. Rules will be reviewed and hamburgers and hot dogs served.
The rodeo starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, with the scales open from 5-8 p.m. that evening. The daily drawing for largest fish caught that day ($50) will be a 8:30 p.m. The scales are open from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, with another 8:30 p.m. drawing for largest fish caught that day ($50).
On Sunday – Father’s Day, a fishfry will be held from noon ‘til 1:30 p.m., with the awards ceremony set to begin at 2 p.m. Awards will be presented in categories that include King & Queen / Prince & Princess and Youngest Anglers.
There will also be door and raffle prizes offered to atttendees on Sunday. A silent auction will be held throughout the rodeo, with the winning bids announced during the awards ceremony.
The Hargreaves Fishing Tournament is sponsored by numerous community leaders and awards the most prizes to junior anglers of any rodeo in Pensacola, which is appropriate, since the underlying theme of the rodeo is children.
The rodeo started in 1971 with 18 anglers on Mother’s Day as part of a Kiwanis Club of Big Lagoon program. Hargreaves was then in charge of children’s activities with the Kiwanis and thought that a fishing rodeo would be a good family event and a way to fight the war on drugs in this country.
The entry fee for the rodeo was 25 cents and in its first year, it made only $12.50. From these very humble beginnings, the Hargreaves Rodeo was on its way.
Hargreaves believed that involving both parents and children in a family fishing event was the way to help combat drugs, promote the sport of family fishing and strengthen the family unit as a whole.
“I thought if I could get to them before they got involved in that stuff, that would be the thing to do,” said Hargreaves.
The rodeo event was changed to Father’s Day weekend due to the suggestion of many mothers who were without husbands and children on Mother’s Day weekend.
Plans now start in early January to get this event off the ground and it takes less than a dozen volunteers working hundreds of hours to set the wheels in motion. The Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo has grown into a four-day event, starting with Thursday’s registration and captain’s meeting and ending with the awards ceremony and fish fry on Father’s Day Sunday.
Now sponsored by numerous community leaders and businesses, the tournament hands out cash prizes for 12 different categories of fish in the Open Division, totaling over $7,200.
There are 32 fish categories in the Junior Division awarding $50 cash in each – something unique for Pensacola.
Bill’s biggest thrill in the fishing rodeo that bears his name was watching “his kids” having a great time.
“I feel good about it,” stated Hargreaves.
The Grand Lagoon Yacht Club membership,which has continued the tradition, feels good about it too.
Ronald McDonald House will again be the designated charity for this year’s event, with a portion of the proceeds going to their house located in Pensacola.
Pictured: Fun & family at the 2016 Bill Hargreaves fishing rodeos.