The Reeling for Kids Fishing Tournament was started in 2003 by Doug Johnson and several volunteers, in conjunction with the Alachua County Boys & Girls Clubs.
Doug essentially grew up in the Northwest Boys & Girls Club in Gainesville, and the club was instrumental in helping him develop skills he would use later as quarterback of the Florida Gators. Doug would later move on to the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals. Even as a NFL player, Doug started this tournament to give back to his “club” and to help young kids in Alachua County receive the benefits and help he received as a kid.
Today, Doug has kept the Gainesville area his home, settling in the area with his wife Tara and their kids. Doug is with Johnson & Fletcher Insurance in Gainesville. Reeling for Kids has become the primary fund raising source for the local Boys & Girls Clubs and has grown into one of the largest saltwater fishing tournaments on Florida’s West Coast. 2011 was our biggest year to date! The tournament has a volunteer Board of Directors made up of business professionals, Boys & Girls club staff, and other volunteers who help make this event bigger and better every year.
Our goals are to grow the tournament every year and to keep it a fun, safe, family-friendly event that contributes to the kids in our communities. We want our sponsors to receive goodwill and good return from our event, helping them brand their businesses with one of the fastest growing charities in Central Florida. We want our participants to enjoy a growing base of prize money and other benefits, bringing them back year after year.
We always welcome your suggestions and we hope that you have enjoyed the tournament and Kickoff Party as much as we have. We hope you will remain a part of this event long into the future and if there is ever anything we can do to make it better, please contact any of our board members and let them know – or simply visit our “Contact Us” page on this site. Thanks for being a part of Reeling for Kids.