Billed as the "world's largest" sailfish tournament, The Sailfish Challenge will take over the offshore waters of South Florida on February 7. This year the prize money is expected to exceed $250,000.
This unique tournament gives anglers the option to leave from one of three inlets: Government Cut in Miami Beach, Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach, and Lake Worth Inlet in Palm Beach. The three-inlet format makes it easier for boats to reach their target fishing grounds with less running time. And teams can return to any one of the three inlets for check-in, regardless of which inlet they left from.
The Challenge is also the 2nd stop in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. The chance at a $1,000,000 purse and the Quest for the Crest jacket has attracted some exceptional billfishing crews. Advanced Roofing leads the Quest points race with 30 points heading into the Challenge. Team Liquid trails them by 1 point in 2nd place, followed by Swagger in 3rd with 28 points.
In 2012, 72 boats participated and 185 sailfish were released in the one-day, three-inlet tournament. The first place team, SkipJac II, walked away with a check worth $118,450.
The Sailfish Challenge will raise money for Reconstructing Lives, an organization geared toward providing construction aid to distressed families in South Florida.
Final registration for the Sailfish Challenge ends on Feb. 7 at the kickoff party, which is hosted at the International Game Fish Association in Ft. Lauderdale. Competition day is Saturday, February 9 and the awards ceremony follows on Sunday, February 10 at Blue Moon Fish Company. The early entry fee for the tournament is $795; late entry (after Jan. 29) is $995 per team.