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Memorial Grouper Tournament  
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HISTORY

The Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament was established in January 2005 by his family and friends.  It was chosen as a way to honor John Breuggeman’s life by enjoying his passion for grouper fishing.

The 1st Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2005 was a low key, invitational event with in house funding.  We entertained 12 boat entries and celebrated with a barbeque at tournament end.  All anglers and participants received a T-shirt commemorating the event. As no fish were weighed in, the boat captains voted to donate their entry monies to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund which awards scholarships annually to college bound students at Lemon Bay High School in Englewood, Florida.

The 2nd Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2006 was expanded with requests for sponsors.   The generous response of sponsors and boat entries allowed us to again have T-shirts for participants as well as cash awards and a grouper trophy for winners and many prizes for the anglers. And one scholarship was donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund. Many fish were weighed in by Weigh Master, Capt. Frank Davis.  Winnings of $1800.were awarded to the 3 boats with the biggest catches and a metal grouper created by artist, Rob Kozmits, went to the angler who caught the biggest fish.   All awards and prizes were presented at the barbeque.

The 3rd Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2007 continued to grow. Again generous donations and boat entry monies enabled us to award $2550 for the biggest catches and to fund a perpetual trophy to recognize the angler with the biggest fish.  A new addition was a big hit -  a raffle for a saltwater kayak.  T-shirts for all participants and door prizes for anglers were also awarded.  3 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund. The barbeque again featured chicken barbequed by John Bass.

The 4th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2008 was generously funded by many sponsors. The tournament day presented with extremely high seas.  Captains at the Captains’ Meeting voted it would be unsafe to fish. A Lucky Bucket Drawing was held at the barbeque for the money prizes and the trophy. We also had a raffle for a Saltwater Flyfishing Outfit.  The barbeque of chicken and pork, special T-shirts and door prizes for all registered anglers completed the day.  3 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 5th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2009 was the biggest and best ever! Our sponsors came through once again as did our fishing teams. And did we have the FISH ! All entered vessels had success with 15 captains weighing in and with record breaking weights. Winners shared $3000 in prize money. Our raffles were popular with the choice of a beautiful fishing kayak, a huge utility bag, a back bay fishing trip and a stay at Cabbage Key. All anglers enjoyed the barbeque, tournament T shirts and door prizes. 4 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 6h Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2010 was again a highly successful tournament, despite our captains vote that fishing would be unsafe ! Our sponsors were generous with funds and gifts and our entries were as well. A Lucky Bucket Drawing was held at the barbeque for the money prizes and the trophy. This year’s raffle featured several choices: a fully equipped fishing kayak, a stay at Cabbage Key, a huge utility bag, back bay fishing trip, tarpon fishing trip, a Canadian Mist Collection, and a spa certificate and Isaac Mizrahi book. Everyone enjoyed the barbeque, the T shirts and the many door prizes for anglers. AND 4 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 7th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2011 was a wonderful success!!! The generosity of our sponsors and our anglers permitted us to enjoy a lovely day. The weather was great and 11 of 15 boats weighed in some beautiful red grouper. Our winners shared money prizes of $2700. This year’s raffle featured a beautiful RTM fishing kayak, 2 fishing trips, an Isaac Mizrahi collection, a Pawley’s Island Hammock, aluminum fish wall art and a bumper mount rod holder. Door prizes were shared with anglers as well as tournament tees and tees from Honda. The barbeque was again a hit with chicken and pulled pork. AND best of all, 4 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 8th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2012
was again generously sponsored and well attended !! 11 vessels weighed in with a combined weight of 441 pounds of red grouper. The biggest fish was a tournament record of 22 pounds. Biggest fish winner received an aluminum wall trophy created by Rob Kozmits. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners shared prize money of $3000. Anglers' names were drawn for a variety of 30+ sponsor donated gifts. Our spectacular raffle included a fishing kayak donated by Action Watersports, an offshore fishing trip, a back bay fishing trip, a glider ride, an Okuma rod and reel, a fly rod outfit and an aluminum art piece. Everyone enjoyed the barbeque with chicken and pulled pork AND 3 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 9th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2013
was our biggest ever !! 28 vessels entered and enjoyed a great fishing day for red grouper with 20 boats weighing in. The biggest red grouper was 23.25 pounds and was recognized with an aluminum wall trophy created by Rob Kozmits. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners (weight of best 3 fish) shared $3700. in prize money. Over 40 sponsor donated gifts were presented to anglers and all participants received a tournament tee. A fishing kayak donated by Action Watersports, an offshore fishing trip, a back bay fishing trip, a fly rod outfit, dinner for 4 at Manasota Beach Club and an aluminum art piece were included in our giant raffle. The barbeque of chicken and pulled pork was enjoyed by all. AND 5 scholarships were donated to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund.

The 10th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament 2013
was AMAZING !! 21 entries enjoyed a great fishing day and 14 boats weighed in. The largest red grouper was 23.5 pounds. Winners of the largest fish (wall trophy) and 1st, 2nd and 3rd places winners for weight of best 3 fish shared winnings of $3100. All anglers received a tournament tee and gifts from sponsors. The raffle included a fishing kayak donated by Action Watersports, a back bay fishing trip, marine engine service certificate, aluminum art, a fly rod outfit, one day boat rental and a beautiful chair with Guy Harvey design. This year we had a delicious fish fry/barbeque and a celebratory cake to commemorate our 10th year. This year’s winners graciously donated all their winnings to the John and Caroline Breuggeman Scholarship Fund !! This enabled us to award 10 scholarships at Senior Award Night 2013 at Lemon Bay High School !!!

The 11th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament was yet another grand success! 17 boats went out and all 17 weighed in !! The biggest red grouper was 22.75 pounds and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for best 3 grouper by weight shared winnings of $3000. All anglers received a tournament tee and gifts from sponsors. The raffle included a beautiful paddle board donated by Action Watersports, a back bay fishing trip, a Yeti cooler packed with goodies, an Orvis fly rod, aluminum art and driftwood with candles. We again enjoyed a fish fry/barbeque dinner. Best of all, we were able to award 5 scholarships at Senior Award Night 2014 at Lemon Bay High School!

The 12th Annual Capt. John Breuggeman Memorial Grouper Tournament greeted horrific weather. Captains wisely elected not to fish with winners to be decided with a Lucky Bucket Drawing. The weather was so bad we had our celebration in the boat barn at Cape Haze Marina. In spite of the weather, attendance was good and we enjoyed a wonderful supper including John Knightís fried fish!
It was announced that this was the last tournament to be organized by Connie Breuggeman. Response was so rewarding: All winners donated their winnings back into the scholarship fund and all participants generously bought LOTS of raffle tickets so that $6500. in scholarships was awarded at the Lemon Bay High School Awards Night in May to deserving college bound students. One of the scholarships was awarded in the memory of Joe Monroe, one of our best fishermen, who passed away last year.
The raffle was a huge success and included a paddle board donated by Action Watersports, a back bay fishing trip, a fishing backpack, an Abelís Marine gift certificate, a paddleboard/kayak tour and a Yeti cooler plus. All anglers were eligible to win prizes, including gift cards and fishing shirts.

THE GOOD NEWS: Cape Haze Marina has asked to continue the tournament with a change in time to April of 2017.