The MONGO Story
When brothers JD Cox and Captain Jeremy Cox first heard the word MONGO, it was used to describe an incredibly large Tarpon that they had previously assumed was a Cobia. The epic fish was spotted hanging out of the mouth of an equally impressive Mako shark during a 2002 Cobia Fishing Tournament out of Pensacola, FL. From that point on they used the word MONGO to describe extraordinarily large things. After all the word MONGO is right in the middle of the word humongous which means very large.
In 2016 after having been immersed in the big game fishing community for over 20 years, the brothers began to notice a void of smaller family vessels, and slower older boats rapidly exiting the tournament scene. The brothers acknowledged that the advantage enjoyed by the faster more technologically advanced fleet during a 2-3 day tournament was the reason why many smaller vessels were reluctant to compete.
Being forward thinking problem solvers by nature, the brothers set out to solve this problem and improve the big game fishing tournament industry for all anglers. They wanted to create a format that attracted all boats to compete on a level playing field, by taking the “boat race” out of it. The format allows teams to fish when they want to, and creates another reason to fish more often. Since you never know when the MONGO will show up in the spread, fishing the MONGO makes every fun fishing trip a tournament as well.
Being big supporters of tag and release they wanted to encourage the celebration of only the very largest fish and release the rest for the benefit of future anglers including their own young sons. With this focus on preservation their company motto “Let the small ones go so they can GROW” was born. In keeping with this motto, they introduced the largest minimum size limits for Marlin and game fish in the industry.
In the spirit of creating a level playing field for the fishing tournament industry, the brothers wanted to showcase and award the one team who caught the largest fish in each category of the fishing season in each region.
It took three years of tweaking and brainstorming their idea before MONGO was ready to launch. Longtime friend, fellow fisherman and IT professional, Brian Johnson partnered with the Cox brothers in 2019 bringing them one step closer to introducing MONGO to the big game fishing world.
The MONGO Offshore Challenge officially launched in February 2020 with great success. Sixty-six teams from all five Gulf Coast states joined the season long tournament. The Blue Marlin winner set a new Alabama state record and the news went viral.
The 2021 season doubled with 132 Gulf teams from all 5 Gulf Coast states with boats from 21 to 105 feet. This made the MONGO Offshore Challenge the largest big game tournament in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 2022 season, boasted 214 teams and over 3200 anglers.
For 2023 the MONGO has added their 3rd region the Hawaiian Islands, and has expanded the East coast south to the Florida Keys. There are plans to add even more divisions and categories in the future as the MONGO team continues to revolutionize the big game fishing tournament industry.
Founders JD Cox, Jeremy Cox and Brian Johnson continue to be humbled by the opportunity to see their dream become successful. Eager to use the platform to support and promote the sportfishing community, its sponsor, as well as help raise funds for local charities through the network they created. They are looking forward to celebrating and showcasing all the future MONGO’s that the winning teams bring to scales on the gulf coast, east coast, Hawaii, and eventually all over the world.