Baye Beauford

Baye Beauford scuba diving

Title: LionKing 2023

Association, Company, Affiliations: Padi, SDI

Location: Jacksonville, Fl

Your favorite quote: Let that shit go, it does not serve you

Your message or mission statement: To clean up the reefs one tasty morsel at a time.

Your latest endeavors and where they take place: Currently working on my dreamboat, a Parker pilothouse, to reoutfit as a dive boat. Continuing to work to introduce divers to the importance of controlling lionfish populations in the Northeast Florida area.

What efforts are you most proud of? I am an avid scuba diver who began diving 7 years ago and have been hooked ever since. It began with dive trips to South Florida before I met up with my dive buddies here in Jax. We often port out of the Conch House in Saint Augustine where my dive buddy, Captain Jerry has a fishing charter. I run my own auto-mechanic shop, which affords me the luxury of going out during the week when the waters are less busy. At two trips a week and three-tank dives, the numbers have added up. The beauty of the sea life and thrill of spearfishing your own dinner has long kept us motivated to head out often. One of the most common sites, as this crew knows all to well, is the omni-presence of lionfish. Without natural predators in our waters they continue to clean out our reef fish like it is an all-you-can eat buffet. The voracious appetite of the lionfish has escalated to such an extent that the FWC sponsor an annual “Lionfish Challenge”. Last year we set our sights on winning the challenge and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Dive after dive we speared hundreds of lionfish that eventually earned me first place and the designation of 2023 Lionfish King by the FWC. My dive buddy won second recreational and Captain Jerry won commercial champion, which makes me the most proud of our team win.

Recreational Divers:
Lionfish King: Baye Beauford – 1,514 lionfish.
Second Place Recreational Division: Dale Wolber – 1,145 lionfish.
Third Place Recreational Division: David Connerth – 773 lionfish.

Commercial Divers:
Commercial Champion: Jerry Butler -1,208 pounds of lionfish.
Second Place Commercial Division: David Garrett – 744 pounds of lionfish.
Third Place Commercial Division: Alex Fogg – 516 pounds of lionfish

Anything else you’d like us to know? It is amazing how many people I have introduced to lionfish in my community, you gotta eat ‘em to beat ‘em.

Baye Beauford and the lionfish catch of the day

Share this post