Hotels are packed for the 43rd annual Poco Bueno Tournament
July 14, 2011 at 2:14 a.m.
AND FISHING BEGINSBoats began fishing Thursday evening.
To qualify for the final weigh in, the boats must be back by 5 p.m. Saturday and the weigh in will run through 8 p.m.
Spectators will mill along the shoreline by The Fishing Center to watch the boats come in beginning Saturday afternoon. Vendors have set up tents and stands to sell snacks, T-shirts and jewelry.
All 21 rooms at The Inn at Clark's were booked well in advance for the Poco Bueno Tournament.
"Oh, no ma'am, we've been booked up for a year," June Pitonyak, desk clerk at The Inn at Clark's, told a person looking for a hotel room Thursday for the weekend of the 43rd Annual Poco Bueno Tournament.
Pitonyak said competitors and spectators book rooms for themselves and their families for the following year at the close of the competition the previous year.
Pitonyak said there will always be people who call at the last minute, but The Inn at Clark's is already packed.
"We are busy all summer on the weekends, but this is our busiest weekend," Pitonyak said.
People come from across the country to the invitation-only competition.
"Poco brings business to motels, restaurants and gas stations in Port O'Connor," Pitonyak said.
John Hawes, the owner of the Fishing Center, 1303 Water St., said this is the biggest tournament on the Texas Coast.
Hawes said there is a definite increase in business both at the Fishing Center and other businesses in Port O'Connor during the Poco Bueno Competition.
"This is my Christmas in July," Hawes said.
The tournament generally aims to have between 90 and 100 boats, but this year there are 103, Hawes said.
Jason Tindall, of Friendswood, said this is his first year to participate in the Poco Bueno fishing tournament.
"It's reputation precedes itself - the level of competition and the excitement. It's fun." Tindall said. "Everyone's here to have a good time. There's a significant amount of money at stake, so obviously, we want to win."