- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 6, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Speckled Trout World Championship is ready to move into bigger waters.

The fishing tourney is scheduled for May 14-16 at Gulfport Harbor.

John Rea, President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Fishing Tournaments Inc., tells WLOX-TV in Biloxi (http://bit.ly/1DpePyD ) that the tournament it has grown too big for the previous location at the Dock Bar and Grill in Gulfport.

“We’re going to be holding it right over here at the farmers market at the west side of the harbor. Boats will be able to pull up directly and weigh their fish right off the dock,” said Rea.

The tournament had humble beginnings.

At first, it was known as the Trophy Trout Tournament and only saw about 50 or 60 fishermen fighting for a chance at about $1,000.

Now, that prize money has grown to a total of $17,500, and Rea expects to see at least 200 fishermen this year. The entry fee is $75, and the top prize is $10,000.

Other than the convenience of a larger area to host the tournament, Rea said there’s a good bit of advantage in the location as well.

“Just south of here and about a quarter of a gallon of gasoline, there’s been three or four tournament winners right here in Gulfport Harbor, so there’s a lot of big fish to be had,” said Rea.

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Online:

http://msgulfcoastfishingtournaments.org

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com

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