Major Tournament Comes Full Circle

The Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament has upped the ante for conservation-minded anglers. The tournament's board of directors announced that next year's competition—the tournament's 20th anniversary—will have an all-circle-hook format, the first of its kind in the United States. In National Marine Fisheries Service studies, circle hooks have been shown to minimize deep-hooking, foul-hooking, bleeding, physical trauma and damage to fish. Studies also show that circle hooks have a comparable hook-up and catch rates to traditional J-hooks. The Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament, an all-release competition for 18 years, is slated for April 4-7, 2002. The tournament's board has pledged to host seminars over the next few months to educate recreational fishermen on the techniques and benefits of circle hooks. For more information on the tournament and seminars, call (305) 598-2525 or visit