PORT ARANSAS, Texas — In 2020, the Deep Sea Roundup fishing tournament, the oldest fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast, was cancelled due to the pandemic. This year, the event is coming back for its 85th year.
“It was devastating, because this was one of the oldest tournaments on the gulf coast, we have a lot of families, a lot of community involvement, and a lot of hard work from boatmen and volunteers,” said Kimberly Winton, the treasurer and member of the board for the tournament.
But it’s not just organizers who were disappointed that the event had to be canceled in 2020, as competitors look forward to the event every year. Adair Bates has competed in the tournament since she was eight.
“I was so upset, because I always get so excited every year and then they canceled it, I think it was a week or two before, and I was devastated, I was like, ‘are you serious?’ It’s my favorite tournament every all summer, and my favorite thing to do all summer is to fish the roundup with my dad,” she said.
With the competition’s cancellation, also came the loss of money that it raises, which goes towards scholarships for students in the community.
“We’re very happy to be able to be able to put it back on. All the money that’s raised from this tournament goes right back into our community. It pays for scholarships for our high school seniors, so that means a lot to us, to be able to come back and provide the scholarship money for our seniors,” said Michelle Sowers, who is the event MC.
This year, the event will be held at Fisherman’s Wharf in Port Aransas, and sponsored in part by Chris’s Marine in Aransas Pass. Registration will begin Thursday, and the competition will be held Friday and Saturday.
Bates will be competing in the junior division for the final time this year, and is excited for the opportunity to compete once again and fish alongside her father.
“I’m really excited for this year. We’re probably going to fish it harder than we ever have, just because we didn’t get to last year. We’ve made a plan, we’ve been scouting, so hopefully we do well,” she said.
For a full schedule of the event, click here.