And the winner is….
CONTENDER FLORIDA DIVISION
2017 Winner Captain Glenn Cameron
The Floridian, 54′ Blackwell
Homeport– Sailfish Marina, Stuart, Florida
1100 points– Pirate’s Cove Sailfish Classic, 1st pl.; Fish Heads Quickie Tournament, 1st pl.; Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament, 3rd pl.
Two time COTY winner (2011 & 2017) owner/operator Captain Glenn Cameron is an easy person to root for. Raised in Melbourne Beach, Cameron has spent his life fishing the Treasure Coast—fishing Sebastian and Fort Pierce, before moving to Stuart five years ago. A charter captain based in Stuart, Cameron’s 2017 season, and his path to victory, is a remarkable one. Cameron tallied 1,100 points, with victories in the Pirate’s Cove Sailfish Classic and the Fish Heads “Quickie” Torunament and a third place finish in the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Light Tackle Tournament.
“Last year, at the beginning of tournament season I blew my motor and transmission. We were in in second place after the first day of the first tournament. We blew everything on the way out on the second morning,” Cameron recalls. “This took me out of the entire sailfish season.”
“I removed the old 1271 Detroit and put in a 3412 Cat, doubling the horsepower of the boat,” Cameron says. The Floridian is a single screw charter boat. “It took two and half or three months. I had to remove the engine, I doubled the size of the stringers—the new struts, shaft, the whole nine yards. I did all the work myself. As an owner operator, I try to save dollars where I can.”
Cameron credits the facilities at A&J Boatworks in Stuart for providing the facilities and equipment he needed for all of the heavy lifting. He also credits Capt. Tim Palmer for assisting in making sure that everything lined up during the process of putting the new motor in. “I did all the glass work, built the motor mounts. I had a Cat mechanic help me, too.”
With a new propulsion system in the boat, and all of the time and work invested in getting her back up and running, Cameron and his team were ready for action when the time finally came. “When we came into tournament season this year, it suffices to say, that we were frothing. My wife Jennifer joined me this year as an angler,” he says. “In the two tournaments that we won (Pirate’s Cove and Fish Heads Invitational), my wife and I sponsored the tournaments. I don’t know of any other owner/operators who have won tournaments without charters. We put everything up this year and it has paid off.”
Cameron’s tournament crew includes mates JJ Davidson and Matt Driscoll. Captain Justin Drummond, who runs Cameron’s other boat—the Hot to Go, fished the tournaments in 2017 on the Floridian. “The first tournament back it took a lot of time to get the boat dialed in,” Cameron describes, speaking to the added horsepower and all of the new running gear. “It’s been special to have won tournaments with my own crew and my friends. We fished the Light Tackle tournament with my friend Rob Miller and his wife, the whole season has been really good.”
“The biggest thing is that my wife has been involved. That makes life at home a lot easier, and when it comes to fishing ,she’s ate up with it,” the captain says. “Usually in tournament season, the men are gone and the wives have to take care of everything at home.”
The 2017 Florida Division race was a tight one. Coming down to the last tournaments of the year, Cameron surged late—winning the division going away. The Floridian’s 1,100-points beat Captain Paul Ross, Relentless, and Captain Wink Doerzbacher, Showtime!, who finished with 850 and 800 respectively. In all 44 captains registered points in the Florida division, with five finishing the year within 500-points of the lead.
- 2014 Capt. Wink Doerzbacher 1st- 1950 Pts.
- 2015 Capt. Jim Mulcahy 1st- 850 Pts.
- 2016 Capt. Scott Fawcett, Off the Chain (Trust Me Too/Martha D), 1300 Points
Silver Sailfish Derby
Gold Cup Invitational Sailfish Tournament
Buccanner Cup/Fish for Life
Pelican Yacht Club Invitational
Pirate’s Cove Sailfish Classic
Islamorada Fishing Club’s Sailfish Tournament
Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament
Drambuie Key West Marlin Tournament
New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invitational (2016: Did not meet the boat minimum requirement)
Capt. Ed Dwyer’s Billfish Classic
The Masters Tournament
Palm Beach Sailfish Classic
“Quest for the Crest” Sailfish Series – Operation Sailfish, Leg 1
“Quest for the Crest” – Sailfish 400, Leg 2
“Quest for the Crest” – Sailfish Challenge, Leg 3
“Quest for the Crest” Final Sail, Leg 4
Dust ‘Em Off Sailfish Warmup
Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament
Fish Heads of Stuart Sailfish Invitational
Islamorada Sailfish Tournament