Just a Family Tradition
Ever since I was a little boy, I have looked forward to the last week in June. It has always been a very important week for my family and I. The Budlight, King Mackerel/shallow water slam tournament occurs once a year and attracts many anglers along the gulf coast. It has been a tradition for our family to fish this tournament, ever since my dad, Mike Peacher, won the first Budlight King tournament in 1983 and again in 1985. I remember, as a kid, sitting on the sea wall at what is now the ever popular Fish House, eagerly awaiting for the arrival of the Hurry Home 2 to the scales! I would beg my grandfather, Ed Peacher, to take me to the weigh in site 3 to 4 hours early, so I could sit on the bank and catch Pinfish. While doing this, I would day dream about a time when I would get my chance to compete in the sport I loved, just like my family before me. This is where my passion for tournament fishing started. My uncle, Clay Peacher, is also an avid tournament angler and has spent many years fishing this tournament as well and is always a top competitor.
At age 10, I was finally given the chance to compete in my first Budlight King Mackerel tournament. My father, was on one of the top King Mackerel teams on the gulf coast, and the team needed a Jr. Angler to assure themselves some prize money. Of course, I was eager for the opportunity! Being part of a real live tournament team was something I had always dreamed about and now I was getting to live it! You see, with me, it’s not about the fish catching or the prize money. It’s about the entire experience from the night of the captains meeting until the trophies are handed out at the awards ceremony. Being around the atmosphere of tournament life is something that I truly love, and no other tournament gave me this great feeling more so than the Pensacola Budlight! I won first place Jr Angler that year with a 32lb king, and our team finished 3rd with a 44lb fish. I am now blessed to have several tournament wins under my belt and tons of tournament experience, however, that first Mackerel tournament I fished at 10 years old is one that will stick with me forever.
I am now 27 and run a successful inshore fishing charter business in Pensacola. Last week, I got the privilege, to fish yet another Pensacola Budlight Shallow Water Slam tournament. I teamed up with my fishing partner, Lance Powers, who also comes from a long line of fisherman, and what do ya no, we won! This tournament win was very special to me because this is the last time the Budlight will stay the way it is. A bunch of changes will be made next year, which will be for the betterment of tournament fishing in our community. My father, who taught me everything I know about fishing, won the first ever Budlight tournament in 1983. Now, 28 years later, I have my Budlight tournament win!