Port Mansfield community looks toward tournament future

There was little left to do about the number of competitors as the second day of competition Saturday, continued at the 37th Annual Port Mansfield Fishing Tournament.

Tournament Director Bob Lany is already thinking ahead to the 2012 tournament.

The threat Tropical Storm Don posed on the fishing community, forced organizers to cancel the tournament's off-shore fishing division.

As a result, Lany said, the tournament lost $20,000 to $30,000 in revenue.

Next year, we'll just go-on and hope to God that we have nice days and we can get (the tournament) on," Laney said.

A positive Laney said bad weather has impacted the tournament before, yet it continues forth.

"This isn't the first time this has happened, he said. We had postponed because Hurricane Dolly hit us three days before the tournament in 2008. Last year, we had bad thunder.

These types of past experiences are what have taught business owners like Sandy Thompson, owner of the Windjammer Restaurant and Lounge, a valuable lesson.

"You can't predict Mother Nature," Thompson said.

Thompson said knowing this helped her restaurant spare some revenue loss.

"When we see a storm like this one coming in the (Gulf of Mexico), we try not to overstock supplies, Thompson said. That's our best bet, and then hopefully make it up when the weather gets better. If you overstock in a small place like this, and the power goes out, you have a lot of loss both in food and revenue."

Bait freezers at Harbor Bait and Tackle were fuller than usual, and according to management, sales were down at least one-third.

However, mangers said things could've been worse, and were thankful for the business they had.

The trophy ceremony Sunday will close-out the fishing tournament, and the fishing community is hoping for a better turnout next year.

"We just would hope that next year we won TMt have bad weather and that the tournament would be a big success, because it's important to the whole community," Thompson said.