It's easy to forget Miami and South Florida are actually part of the rest of Florida most of the time. We might fancy ourselves cosmopolitan, but invariably we are humbled by the realization that we are closer to the "South" than we are comfortable admitting. That point is unmistakably driven home this weekend with the 20th annual Mullet Tossing Competition in Matlacha, just north of Cape Coral about 165 miles away from Miami--less than a three hour drive to the west coast.
Much like the mullet haircuts that dot much of our state, mullet tossing is a combination of serious business and partying. Okay, so it's mostly about the partying. Believe it or not, we have a Q&A with one of the organizers of the event, Jerry Tolliver, of the Matlacha Mariners Association. Read on to learn everything you never wanted to know about
New Times: Has there ever been anyone with a mullet haircut attempt to toss a
mullet? Or better yet, has there ever been anyone without a mullet
hairstyle attempt to toss a mullet?
Jerry Tolliver: No doubt, just a few short years ago Mullet tossing and Mullet cuts were
synonymous with a championship effort. Surprisingly you still might
find a couple of those cuts in this year's competition? Bring your
camera! You never know what you'll see at this event.
Does anyone ever accuse you of copying Seattle and their fish tossing ways?
This is Matlacha (Mat-La-Shay) are you kidding? Things are done all together different here than anywhere else, trust me!
What is the silliest/most effective way of tossing a mullet?
(The silliest are) tossing it like an NFL center or a discus thrower, I
have even seen an attempt at a mullet shot put record. The furthest
throws are overhand like a baseball player or quarterback.
How popular is this event (about how many people show up)?
500-800 and growing, Locals with a fair number of tourists mixed in.
Have there ever been any celebrities to take part in the mullet tossing?
If you call the mayor of Cape Coral a celebrity? [we don't] Then yes.
Actually we're still lookin' for a big name, any ideas? [Rick Scott,
with a mullet wig!]
Any other interesting facts we should know about mullet tossing?
Originally held a little later in the year, It began as a way to humor
each other when all the snowbirds had flown the coop. About 20 years
ago (or so) things were boring in the off season so some of the net
fisherman and mullet heads sitting inside the Mulletville bar early one
morning said, "hey I'll bet I can throw an old slippery mullet further
than you can." So it began.
Anything else interesting to do in Matlacha or surrounding areas, besides fling fish?
You'll be right in the heart of Florida's Creative Coast. Unique
colorful art galleries line the streets with wonderful restaurants,
varied accommodations and entertainment can be found throughout Matlacha
and Pine Island.
Going fishing before or after the toss; you can rest assured the fishing
here will not disappoint, miles of barrier island estuaries and nearby
white sandy beaches for shelling or relaxing. Matlacha is often
referred to as, the way "The Keys" use to be...
Thanks for the help, hopefully we can get word out and you can have some
Miami folk show up at your event, although we are probably more adept
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at tossing square groupers!
Believe it or not, we've had occasion to throw a few of those over the years too! Send your best, we're waiting!
The 20th annual Mullet Tossing Championships take place at 11 a.m on Saturday, February 26, at the Matlacha Community Park (4577 Pine Island Dr., Matlacha). Visit matlachamariners.org.