-- 36 Tournaments offered $9.3 million in cash, prizes, and bonuses

-- 107,760 Participants

-- Total of 21,552 Boats Entered

-- Participants came from 48 different states & 7 foreign countries


Arthur Smith is the composer of "Dueling Banjos," "Guitar Boogie," and hosted the first publicly syndicated TV show out of the Carolinas for over 40 years. If he was not in the recording studio, on the TV set, or on tour, he was on the back of a boat pulling in King Mackerel, Billfish, Dolphin, and Wahoo. In 1977, Arthur was called upon to help raise money for the Little River jetty project and other marine conservation efforts. To do so, he started the Arthur Smith Tournament, which by 1984, had raised over $25 million to fund the jetty project.

The Tournament took fishing enthusiasts by storm and became an annual event is various markets including Myrtle Beach, Palm Beach, Long Island, and Lake Erie. In the early 1990s, Charleston was added to the list of host cities. Mayor Joe Riley was instrumental in supporting efforts of the Tournament, which yielded high return of economic impact and maritime revitalization for Charleston.

Naturally, as Arthur Smith would have it, the Tournament has always been a marriage of fishin’ & pickin’! Recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dean, The Beach Boys, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, and BJ Thomas performed on stage at the awards ceremonies. This element always escalated the excitement and allowed non-fishing patrons to enjoy the exhibition of sponsors and vendors.

Organized by the Smith family-operated business, each tournament became instrumental in providing funds for marine conservation efforts. Proceeds supported estuary enhancement projects, the development of artificial reefs, and jetty projects. 

For more about Arthur Smith, please visit Arthur Smith Music.