Although a small percentage of boating anglers compete in offshore tournaments, they are among the biggest spenders. Each team pays $5,000 to enter the two-day Emerald Coast competition, and the fees can reach more than $50,000 depending on the categories it competes in. About half a dozen other key tournaments in June and July had been canceled, but Meisner and her tournament committee persisted. In May, they issued a statement that they were "proceeding with optimism." But some teams pulled out, anyway. About 20 remained last week, down from the more than 70 that typically compete. That decline was not the reason for the cancellation, Meisner said. The breaking point, she said, was when oil spread into the waters off the Florida Panhandle last week, leading to intermittent closures of a waterway that leads to deeper water. The federal authorities also widened the area closed to fishing.