Flying Fish

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For over twenty years now, sometime during the month of February, a very strange phenom occurs in the skies over Matlacha, a “funky little drinking village with a fishing problem,” located between Pine Island and the mainland along the coast of Southwest Florida: Flying Fish, or more specifically, tossed mullet. Why, you may ask?

Because it is time for the annual Mullet Tossing Championship sponsored by the Matlacha Mariners, a non profit group of men raising funds for local charities with several events each year.

Useful information about the event from the Matlacha Mariners web site:

 

The 21st Annual “Southwest Florida Mullet Toss Championship”

 

WHAT IS A MULLET?

A mullet is one of the more popular and plentiful fish indigenous to our area.

It is the only fish with a gizzard and is said to possess mystical properties.

It is also an excellent food source low in fat and high in protein.

WHAT IS A MULLET TOSS?

A Mullet Toss consists of individuals throwing a mullet from a marked foul line down a corridor.

Assuring themselves of a New World Record.

It’s also a great excuse for us all to have a local party with lots of fun for everyone.

    WHY TOSS A MULLET?

It began when local folks were looking for another way to amuse themselves as

northern visitors left the little barrier island heading home again.

Besides the amusement factor, proceeds from the flying fish often go to help

individual (s), groups or other non profit organizations in need of short term financial help.


ARE THE MULLET ALIVE?

No

WHAT HAPPENS TO MULLET AFTER THE MULLET TOSS?

They go into crab traps to continue nature’s cycle.

HOW MANY PEOPLE USUALLY COME TO THE MULLET TOSS?

Several Hundred.

WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR TOSSING A MULLET?

Contestants will toss a mullet (approximately 1 lb+)


NO Gloves Allowed and You Cannot Break The Mullet in Half.

Your mullet must be thrown from anywhere behind and up to the foul line, down a designated path.

No stepping over the line during your throw and follow through or your toss may be disqualified.

Throwing your mullet out of bounds may also result in a disqualification.


All measurement results are final and under the discretion of The Matlacha Mariner’s operating officials.


Great images of the 2012 Mullet Toss are here along with lots more pictures from around Pine Island. Click here for Pine Island blog posts.

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