KEY WEST, Florida Keys - Top national and international fishing teams are to test their mettle against Florida Keys sailfish during the ninth annual World Sailfish Championship, scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, April 12-16.
The acclaimed tournament offers three days of competitive angling complemented by social and charity events where anglers and participating celebrities can mingle and exchange fishing tales. The 2011 roster is to include Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs and legendary angler Stu Apte.
An extraordinarily rich prize purse tops the tournament's attractions. According to event chairman and founder Chris King, the overall 2011 purse should exceed $1 million.
The sailfish spectacular is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 12, with final registration 1-4 p.m. at tournament headquarters in Mallory Square overlooking Key West Harbor. A mandatory captains meeting is set for 5:30 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies, a color guard presentation and a military flyover.
Competition is to commence with lines in the water at 8 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 13 and 14. Lines-out is to be called at 3:30 p.m. both days.
After a nonfishing "lay day" on Friday, the battle for angling supremacy culminates Saturday with fishing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Social events include the Seafood Extravaganza at Mallory Square and the Coach's Party at Mallory Square featuring silent and live charity auctions. An awards banquet follows Saturday's fishing.
The entry fee of $7,500 per boat enables six anglers including a captain to fish, and includes six VIP social passes.