Attention all you mullet tossers! It's time to loosen up your arms because the 26th annual Mullet Toss is scheduled for March 11 and 12.
The Mullet Toss charity event is now a two-day event and will be held at Matlacha Community Park, 4577 Pine Island Road, Matlacha. Both days start at 10 a.m., with mullet flinging contests from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for children and adults.
"This is the first year we're holding the Mullet Toss over for the entire weekend," organizer Rick Williams said. "New this year on Sunday there will be mullet tossing competitions for our public safety officers, restaurants and bars, and businesses and organizations."
"One question we're frequently asked is 'What is a mullet?'" Williams said. "A mullet is one of our more popular fish common in these waters. It is the only fish with a gizzard and is said to possess mystical properties. It's also perfect for 'tossing.'"
According to the Matlacha Mariners website, there are rules for tossing a mullet. The mullet must weigh approximately 1 pound, no gloves are allowed and you can not break the mullet in half; the mullet must be thrown from behind the foul line down a designated path; throwing your mullet out of bounds may result in a disqualification; and all measurement results are final and under the discretion of The Matlacha Mariners' operating officials.
"On Saturday, the whole family can participate in groups," Williams said. "The divisions are based on age: Fry Division, Boys and Girls matches, ages 1-5; Fingerlings Division, Boys and Girls matches, ages 6-10; Juvenile Division, Boys and Girls matches, ages 11-15; and Adult Men and Women matches, ages 16-over."
The championship registration begins Saturday at 10 a.m. The registration fee for adults is $5 per toss and $2 per toss for kids 15 and under. Kids 15 and under begin at 10:30 a.m. and toss until noon. Adults will begin shortly thereafter and competition will go until 4 p.m.
"The 'Bragging Rights' competition is Sunday," Williams said. "There will be mullet tossing competitions for our public safety officers, the restaurants and bars, and businesses and organizations. Individual members in each group will compete with one another to win group 'bragging rights' and an annual traveling trophy. Registration is at 10 a.m. and Mullet throwing gets underway at 11 a.m."
Registration begins at 10 a.m. with a "rivalry competition" fee of $50 per organization. Registration Includes three tosses each, for a male and a female contestant (the competing team).
Winners will be determined by a total of each divisions combined co-ed (2) longest tosses.
Competition will begin about 11 a.m.
The annual Mullet Toss raises money to support Pine Island charitable work. For complete details, visit www.MatlachaMariners.org. For more information, contact Williams at (239) 898-5004. Vendors can contact is Lisa Dence at Olde Fish House Marina (239) 321-3281.
The Matlacha Mariners is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that holds several benefits annually to raises funds and then donates to many deserving community charities and support groups throughout the year.