DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A 39-millimeter (yes we said milli) lionfish now holds the smallest fish record for the Emerald Coast Open.
A haul that small won the Alabama Jammin dive team a $5,000 cash prize.
Hunters captured a total of 13,827 lionfish over the entire tournament including pre-tournament numbers starting in February.
Organizers announced the winners of the world’s largest lionfish Tournament Sunday afternoon at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar.
2022 EOC winners announced:
|3. ALL RILED UP||938||$4,000|
|4. ALABAMA JAMMIN||793||$2,000|
|5. IN THE CLOUDS||771||$1,000|
|6. DOWN & OUT||698||$500|
|1. BIG BLUE||436 mm||$5,000|
|2. DWM BLACKCAT||431 mm||$3,000|
|3. LFU||428 mm||$2,000|
|4. BOTTOM LINE||424 mm||$1,000|
|5. ALABAMA JAMMIN||422 mm||$750|
|6. DWM1||419 mm||$500|
|1. ALABAMA JAMMIN||39 mm||$5,000|
|2. BIG BLUE||46 mm||$3,000|
|3. DOWN & OUT||51 mm||$2,000|
|4. LOOKIN BACK||52 mm||$1,000|
|5. HONKY DORY||73 mm||$750|
|6. LFU||74 mm||$500|
Divers speared 11,253 in the main two-day tournament on May 13-14, and 2,574 in the pre-tournament.
2022 brought the largest cash prize for teams, along with a number of prizes for pre-tournament divers and event volunteers.
More about Lionfish:
Destin hosted a massive weekend filled with information about the invasive species. The Harborwalk Village held a Lionfish and Libations event to eat the flaky white fish on May 13.
Local marine experts and employees with FWC hosted fish cutting demonstrations and information tables along the harbor throughout the weekend.
Multiple restaurants cooked lionfish dishes for tourists and locals to enjoy.
Lionfish are not native to Flordia, being brought in from Asia around 1995.
The venomous fish eats baby fish on local reefs, disrupting the population growth in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lionfish hunters from around the region are scuba divers, going down deep and killing the fish with a pole spear.