The seasonal cold fronts pushing through South Florida in January led to some big seas and even bigger paydays as tournament sailfish season heats up!
Congrats to Old No. 7 fishing team for winning the 83rd Silver Sailfish Derby hosted by the West Palm Beach Fishing Club! Established in 1935, it is the oldest running sailfish tournament in the world. It was also one of the first to promote catch and release. 50 boats battled rough seas over the 2-day tournament and when the dust settled, Old No. 7 was sitting on top with 17 sailfish releases. SCALES PRO Team member Capt. Art Sapp led his Native Son fishing team to a Day 1 daily and 2nd place overall finish with 14 releases!
The following weekend kicked off the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series with Operation Sailfish in West Palm Beach. 45 boats battled big seas with huge money on the line as the purse exceeded $800,000. After 2 days of fishing, Bar South emerged on top with 21 sailfish releases, earning them over $200,000! Though Bar South ran away with the overall tournament, 3 boats fought to a dramatic finish. Jichi, Miss Annie and De-Bait-Able all had an opportunity to win the “Release Roundup” Calcutta which had built to $371,000. In the end, Miss Annie finished 2nd overall in the tournament but won the Release Roundup which led to a $470,000 payday!
Closing out January, another sailfish tournament entrenched in tradition, the Buccaneer Cup, wrapped up last week. The Buccaneer Cup’s long history dates back to 1963 and its unique format, which positions dead bait vs.live bait styles of fishing, always keep things interesting. Congrats to Sandman who had 14 releases on live bait and won top boat honors.