The 39th Annual Ft. Lauderdale Billfish Tournament offered its first-ever fly division this year. Three teams consisting of two anglers each fished the famed sailfish waters off Florida’s southeast coast looking for the finicky Atlantic sailfish. While fishing was slow by normal standards, fly anglers had shots at fish every day, with several fish hooked and lost on the second and third days. In the end, Billy Pate managed to land a small sailfish on the final day of the event to win the fly division. While one fish may not sound impressive, it was the only fish Pate and fellow team member Stan Sherman saw in three days, and most of the boats competing in the bait division didn’t even catch fish. Pate’s fish proved that these fish could be targeted and taken on fly. Under better fishing conditions all the anglers and crews involved in the fly division agreed that more fish would have been caught. The surprise for most of the anglers was that these fish could be teased up as easily as Pacific sailfish and would readily take a fly. Crews raised fish by trolling as well as using the traditional kite method pioneered in South Florida waters. For more information visit www.billfishtournament.com.