The bugging buzz is in the air at Sunset Tavern. Festive photos from last year’s adventures flash on the LCD screen above the bar. The sponsor splashed tournament tshirts and coozie gift bags are ready. Spiny Mike is working the tables and getting contestants enthused about diving down into the Fifth Annual Spiny Lobster Tournament July 24 and 25.
“I hit eight spots off Southern Key Biscayne last Sunday,” said Spiny Mike Maler, co-owner of Sunset Tavern and Deli Lane and tournament founder. “Under the coral heads where you usually see three or four bugs, there were so many they were pushing each other off the rocks.”
“We are gathering the best and bravest men and women to compete for the big title again this year,” said Spiny Mike. “Last year we had 21 adults competing and four junior divers. Over one hundred people came to the weigh-in after party and it was a huge success. We expect an even bigger turn out this year.”
Daniel Grammes was crowned 2012 Lobster King with his five plus pound catch and Hunter Glenn won the junior division with a four pounder. First Place prize is $500 and Lobster King/Queen bragging rights trophy. Second Place is $300 and trophy, and Third Place is $200 and trophy. First Place for Juniors is $50 and trophy.
Event proceeds will benefit the local nautical charity, Stiltsville Optimists Club. “Last year we had almost 2000 people at the house for events,” said Spiny Mike. “We bring kids out who may not have the opportunity to experience a day on the water.” Over 25 civic organizations annually average a visit out to Stiltsville through the work of the Optimists, a charity run by the Miami Spring Power Boating Club.
Shutter bugs are invited this year to capture the quintessential mini lobster season moment for a cash prize of $100. There is no fee to compete in the photo contest and the winning photo will be voted on by the audience at the Weigh-In Party July 26 at 5pm. “We are looking for the best photos from mini-season so bring your friends and family to the after party to sound off for you and help you win.”
The steel drum band, crab races, lobster fritters, raffle drawing, happy hour specials, and tall fish tales at the Weigh-In Tourney After Party at Sunset Tavern cap the two day event.
“Anybody and everybody can come to the party. It’s a fun event for families, kids, boaters, fishermen, or anyone who wants to learn about lobstering,” said Spiny Mike. “The bugs are on display as the hype builds to see who will be crowned. You might even get some good diving tips from a few good ole boys, but no GPS marks.”
To find out about more about the 2013 Sunset Tavern and Deli Lane Miami Bugging Spiny Lobster Tournament July 24 and 25 visit delilanesunsetavern.com. Tournament contestants are strongly encouraged to attend the Captain’s Meeting July 19 at 5:30pm for gift bag presentation and orientation.