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Pro Marine earns $317,000 in King Mackerel Invitation in Fort Pierce

70 compete for team's top prize
Posted at 12:40 PM, Apr 24, 2024

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Seventy fishermen gathered last weekend in Fort Pierce for a chance to win more than $300,000.

A tournament driven by passion and commitment, fishermen from five states gathered Friday and Saturday to test their skills at the second annual King Mackerel Invitation in Fort Pierce.

"We are fishermen ourselves," Mike Minia, the director of the Fort Pierce King Mackerel Invitational, said. "We fish in professional kingfish tournaments all around the country. We saw an opportunity to start a big money professional tournament, big buy-ins and big prize."

Mike Minia, the director of the Fort Pierce King Mackerel Invitational, said. "We fish in professional kingfish tournaments all around the country. We saw an opportunity to start a big money professional tournament, big buy-ins and big prize."
Mike Minia, the director of the Fort Pierce King Mackerel Invitational, said. "We fish in professional kingfish tournaments all around the country. We saw an opportunity to start a big money professional tournament, big buy-ins and big prize."

Indeed, the stakes are high with a $5,000 entry fee.

Minia revealed that the first-place winners will be rewarded $317,000, sparking excitement among the participants. More than $50,000 was paid out in prizes.

With a substantial payout like that, it's evident that the fishermen brought their A-game, intensifying the competition. One team from Seminole has caught the catch of the tournament thus far, catching a 67.84-pound mackerel.

"Our lines were in by 7 a.m.," Kevin Hannon, a professional kings fisherman, said. "We happened to have that fish on by 7:15 a.m., had her in the boat by 7:20 and we were on our way to the scales by 7:30 a.m."

Within 20 minutes, Hannon and his team, the Pro Marine Fisher Team from Seminole, which drove more than three hours, made what many believe to be the catch of the tournament.

Hannon said that after day one, he feels like a kid in a candy store.

"It was crazy. It was such an adrenaline high. We actually saw the fish in the water circling. It had just one hook in its peck fin, so we kind of knew how big it was, so it was kind of nerve-wracking," Hannon said.

With 40 fishermen still out on the water, the team at Pro Marine knows anything can happen, so they're staying humble. However, they already know what they'll spend their winnings on.

"We're going to go to Disney World," Hannon said. "We actually have a new Frontrunner cat coming, a 37-cat. So we're very excited about that. Hopefully, that will be a long-term commitment with Frontrunner, but most of that money will go to the new boat coming in July."

Pro Marine was declared the winner with a 56.51-pound haul on day one for a total of 124.35.