Professional and amatuer anglers and those looking for a fun, family way to spend a week gather in July at Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sister Creek for the largest kingfish tournament in the world.
In 1980, a small group of local businessmen wanted to organize a fishing tournament, similar to those in which they had participated in other coastal areas. They thought Jacksonville was an ideal location for such an endeavor and plans were made to launch the First Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament, held in July of 1981. Jacksonville Marine Charities, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, evolved through the success of the GJKT and utilizes its proceeds to support marine science research, preservation, and education.
The 35th Annual Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament takes place July 13 - 18, 2015 at Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sister Creek. The annual event is a long-standing tradition for residents of the Jacksonville area. Up to 300 boats fish the weeklong event for thousands of dollars in prizes. Annually, the Tournament attracts approximately 20,000 spectators who watch the weigh-in and enjoy the festivities. Favorite attractions include the Food Festival; the Liars' Tent, featuring live entertainment; exhibitors and boat display ; and the Boatique, offering a variety of unique merchandise.
The Junior Angler Tournament presented by Mercury Marine, and established in 1991 with a $10 entry fee, which has not increased to this day, is specially designed to accommodate the future anglers under the age of 16 years. Good sportsmanship, conservation awareness, and enjoyment of fishing experiences are the high point of this exciting family event. A partnership was established with Fish Florida in 2007, which further expanded the Junior Angler program with the introduction of Junior Angler seminars during Tournament Week.
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