There’s been a noticeable change in saltwater fishing along Florida’s Panhandle and Coastal Alabama. Surf fishing is trending up in a big way. Brant Peacher, the entertaining angler on YouTube, believes Florida pompano could be the next tournament sensation.
To make his vision a reality, Peacher joined forces with a team of YouTube fishing enthusiasts, including Bearded Brad’s Brad Warren and Bama Beach Bum’s Matthew Isbell, plus a new tackle shop called Beach Bum Outdoors located in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Together, the crew formulated an ambitious plan that turned into the Beach Bum Outdoors Surf Fishing Classic. The surf fishing tournament starts today, Oct. 13, and runs until Nov. 30. A prize of $5,000 goes to the first-place winner, unheard of for most pompano surf-fishing events.
The Beach Bum Outdoors Surf Fishing Classic is a testament to Peacher’s deep-rooted passion for competitive fishing, dating back to his childhood when he joined his father for king mackerel tournaments. As an adult, he shifted his focus to redfish tournaments along Florida’s Panhandle. In the last half-decade, a remarkable transformation occurred along the shores of the Gulf Coast, in Peacher’s opinion. A noticeable passion for surf fishing has poured through the angling community, setting the stage for this competitive fishing event.
The Pompano Classic Explained
This surf-fishing surge served as the catalyst for Peacher and his team’s innovative approach. They aimed to create an all-inclusive land-based tournament, featuring a modest $35 registration fee, yet boasting a substantial total prize purse of $11,500. The key to its appeal is inclusivity. Encompassing the beaches from Dauphin Island, Alabama, to Saint George’s Island, Florida — and teaming up with strategically located tackle stores along the Gulf Coast to act as satellite weigh-in sites — this approach allows more anglers to participate without the burden of extensive travel. Peacher anticipates an impressive turnout, with at least 500 anglers already signed up for the competition.
Plus, he’s hopeful the satellite weigh-in tackle stores, and other local bait-and-tackle shops sprinkled throughout the tournament zone, will experience surging foot traffic and increased sales as the tournament takes off. A team of influencers, with their online presence on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, will also play a pivotal role in promoting these stores, creating a mutually beneficial partnership, says Peacher.
Buddy Cummings, one of the owners of Beach Bum Outdoors, firmly believes that the success of the Pompano Classic hinges on today’s online fishing personalities. In a surprising feat, the team secured $21,000 in sponsorship cash in just three days. What’s more, 95% of the sponsors came from outside the fishing industry. Buddy is enthusiastic about channeling the financial support back into the event, acknowledging that such funding is a rarity for land-based fishing tournaments.
About the Tournament
The pompano fishing craze shows no signs of ebbing — it’s here to stay. For a $35 tournament fee, participants receive a captain’s swag bag and instructional content valued at $677, designed to enhance their angling chances during the event. The tournament offers cash prizes to the top three winners for pompano and whiting, a total of $11,500. The grand finale of event, complete with celebrations, takes place on Dec. 1 at an awards ceremony held at Beach Bum Outdoors.
- In the Pompano Division, the first-place winner walks away with $5,000, the second-place with $2,000, and the third-place with $1,000.
- The Whiting Division sees rewards of $2,000, $1,000, and $500 for the respective top-three placements.
To participate in the Beach Bum Outdoors Surf Fishing Classic, navigate over to beachbumoutdoors.com to sign up. The tournament spans from Oct. 13, 2023 to Nov. 30, 2023. Registration remains open until Nov. 29. Anglers have flexibility to fish and weigh-in their catches on the days that suit them.
A portion of the proceeds from the tournament will go to the Alabama Marine Resources Division’s pompano hatchery. As more than 500 anglers catch pompano during the tournament, the money generated will help replenish the pompano brood stock, with the Alabama Marine Resources Division releasing more than 100,000 pompano back into the Gulf of Mexico.