2019's Quest for the Crest kicked off on January 16th with Operation Sailfish at the Sailfish Resort and Marina on Singer Island. 36 teams entered this year, hoping for a shot at the champion title and a cut of the $780,000 purse. The mission was simple – catch and release the most sailfish – and the SCALES-sponsored teams rose to the challenge admirably.
Prior to the tournament proper, fishing activities started with "Take a Hero Fishing Day" on January 17th. To thank the men and women of our military for their service, the tournament features a pre-fish day of fun during which veterans and active members of the military pair up with teams for a day on the water. This year 20 of the teams got the opportunity to sail with 40 heroes, including David Fritz who won the day with 3 sailfish released. Meanwhile, Louie Aversano of the SCALES-sponsored Native Son scored Heaviest Fish with a 22.3 lb. dolphin.
The tournament kicked off in earnest on Friday the 19th with an 8AM lines in and most of the teams fishing north of Jupiter. Old No. 7 jumped out with an early lead, scoring 5 fish before noon along with the $1000 early bite bonus, while BAR South took the day with 7 releases. Day 2 saw things tighten up as team MDALA jumped into the mix with 6 fish in the first half of the day. However, team Utopia, another SCALES-sponsored crew, took the slow and steady route and as the day drew to a close, Utopia and MDALA battled it out for the top spot. Finally, with 10 minutes to go before lines out, Utopia hooked their 14th fish and sealed the deal, winning the tournament along with a $103,460 check.
SCALES would like to congratulate all the teams and give a big thanks to everyone who came out, especially the men and women of our military. We look forward to seeing all of you at the three-inlet Sailfish Challenge, kicking off February 20th in Dania Beach.