Tips for throwing fish at Florida

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2004

I love Alabama! Only in our wonderful home state could one of the largest yearly festivals be geared around throwing fish at Florida.

For those of you who are lost, I am talking about the legendary Mullet Toss weekend at Flora-Bama.

If you have never experienced "the toss" I highly suggest that you do.

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Last weekend I made my fifth trip to see the fish get thrown.

I noticed that on my many trips there one thing always stays the same.

There will always be complete and utter chaos.

Also, there are no such things as strangers. You had better arrive ready to make about two hundred new best friends.

I also noticed that no matter where you are from you will always run into someone from your area.

Not only did I see people from Butler, but also ran into another mullet visitor from Highland Home.

It is indeed a small world.

For those who did not attend, I am sorry. But if you ever choose to go I have some tips

I think will be helpful.

First, arrive early. Traffic filters from the busiest road on the Gulf Coast into a one-lane highway.

If you do not get there early you will spend the early stages of your mullet toss in traffic.

This will throw a huge monkey wrench in your plans because you can't throw fish from the road. If you do there are more than a few gentlemen in blue uniforms that will be glad to put you up for the day.

Second, take the opportunity to walk around and strike up conversations with people who look like they have interesting stories to tell.

They usually do. You will be amazed at some of the things you will hear.

One of the stories I was privileged to get out of a fellow mulleteer this weekend included the words "after my motorcycle was hit by a diesel I did a lot of thinking."

I don't have the space to give you all the details of the story, but you can take my word for it. It was interesting.

Third, beware of people with magic markers. If someone asks you if they can write on your back be cautious.

Being the nice agreeable people that my friend Cliff and I are we were happy to volunteer ourselves to be billboards for two lovely mullet friends.

It was all fun and games until we all realized that they had a Sharpie.

In case you didn't know they are permanent. Cliff and I will carry around those souvenirs for a while.

Fourth, and most importantly, the beach is not a bed. If you fall asleep while laying out you will suffer.

Sunday afternoon the gentle crashing of the waves and the breeze were too much for my tired body to overcome.

I decided to catch some z's and now I am paying the price.

Red is not a good color for me. Bright red is even worse.

In the end I suppose even with a little suffering it's still worth the trip.

If you have never made it to the mullet toss I highly suggest you go.

If you use these helpful tips things should work out pretty well for you.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick.