We headed out on the water with Owner Ryan Davis to learn more about his new Contender 44ST, Reel Synergy. The 44ST is the largest, and perhaps most anticipated, offering in Contender’s 35-year history. With a beam of 12’ and coming in at 44 feet long, the 44ST is perfectly stationed for serious bluewater application. With a maximum horsepower rating of 2,000 and a 600-gallon fuel capacity, the 44ST delivers on Contender’s promise of “performance through innovation.” Powered with triple or quad engine configurations, the boat excels in speed, performance and reliability.
Contender Boats, Saint Lucie County, FL,—Joe Neber, President and Founder of Contender Boats, announced the acquisition of a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Saint Lucie County, FL. Contender Boats plans to complement their current Homestead, FL manufacturing facility by moving the production of the 22-32 foot product line to Saint Lucie County.
Following in the wake of the 44ST and built from the same hull mold, Contender’s 44FA is made for the angler who knows where they want to go and in record time. With a fish around liner, the boat features a berth with queen-sized bed, enclosed head with shower, galley with sink, refrigerator/freezer, and stovetop to provide all the necessary creature comforts no matter how far you’re going.
ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys – Captain Marty Lewis of Marathon, Florida, led his team aboard Main Attraction to the overall win in the 29th annual Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament that ended Jan. 27.
Team anglers Mark Busch, Daniel Roberts, Clint Rodamer and Shelby Bentley, all residents of Marathon, together released 10 sails in the best time for top honors.
Team HellReyzer captured second place with 10 sails, with Captain Ryan Alexander of Cutler Bay, Florida, at the helm. Anglers included Rey Acosta, Mike Acosta, Travis Upchurch and Jorge Corzo, of Pinecrest, Florida.
Team Indigenous earned third place honors with nine sailfish releases. Islamorada’s Captain Travis Dickens led anglers Wade Stafford, Coleman Wherly, Mike Varney and Mark Toledo, from Merritt Island, Melbourne, Key Largo and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, respectively.
Varney also captured the tournament’s grand champion angler award for his five releases.
Cheeca Presidential Tournament director Liz Hill reported that 73 anglers aboard 19 boats released 82 sailfish during the two-day fishing contest.
The “Presidential” is the final leg of the three-tournament Florida Keys Gold Cup Sailfish Championship, which includes the Islamorada Sailfish Tournament and the Islamorada Fishing Club Tournament.
Team Last Dance totaled 25 releases over the series’ three events to be named overall Gold Cup Series champion. According to organizers, the team was awarded the first-place prize of $24,000.
“In Their Own Words” is an InTheBite exclusive that provides perspective and insight from the top minds in the sportfishing industry. In this installment, Contender President Joe Neber details his approach to Contender and all that goes into the creation of one of the industry leaders in big game center console fishing.
Founded in 1984, Contender Boats has been a leading voice in the center console sportfishing scene for more than 30 years. All of Contender’s 25’ and up models are composed of three pieces—the hull, liner and cap. The fiberglass pieces are molded to fit together. Designed for serious sportfishing applications, Contenders feature a toe kick design that allows you to fight a fish from anywhere on the vessel, with your knees and thighs fitting firmly against the rail.
Currently Contender’s Homestead, Florida-based facility produces around 350 boats per year. The company’s specialty features the combination of rapid production times with custom capability. All work is done in house—from welding to electrical to upholstery—everything. Service needs are accommodated by a dealer network of about 30 outlets throughout the United States.
Below is a photo tour of how the boats are manufactured.
Fishing Days 3- April 13-15, 2016 Lines i [Read more…]
2016 Yamaha Contender Sportfish Tournament
Highest Top Boat Prize of Any Sportfishing Tournament in South Florida!
The Yamaha Contender Miami Sportfish Tournament is gearing up for its 2016 event, held April 21 & 23, 2016 at the Miami Beach Marina on South Beach in Florida. A $30,000 Top Boat prize makes the Yamaha Contender Miami Sportfish Tournament one of the most exciting sportfishing events of the year! It is a fantastic fishing tournament, offering participants great parties, food from Flanigan’s, gifts, amenities and prizes, all while donating proceeds to various charities, scholarships and educational programs.
The tournament will seek species including Dolphin, Tuna, Kingfish, Wahoo, Cobia and Billfish. The winners will be determined by the combined aggregate weight of the 3 heaviest fish from each funfish species per boat, as well as 15 points added to the aggregate weight for each billfish release (up to 3 releases per boat). The $500 entry fee allows anglers access to all the weekend’s events, parties, amenities and angler gifts.
The tournament begins on Thursday evening, with a kick-off party and Captain’s meeting at the tournament’s main tent at Miami Beach Marina. On Saturday, boats can depart from any inlet in South Florida to fish from 7:00 – 4:00 pm. After lines out, the official weigh-in takes place at Miami Beach Marina. Here, the tournament will offer participants and the public a Baywalk Festival, featuring various local artists and craftsman, as well as our popular dock parties, offering drink specials, exhibitors, raffles, entertainment and giveaways at the weigh-station. This is followed by the tournament Awards Party in the main tent. The party is open to participants and the public, and includes a huge silent auction, offering incredible opportunities to bid on great deals including exotic trips, fine jewelry, artwork, fishing tackle, consumer and marine electronics and more. During this time, our tournament awards ceremony will be held with dinner hosted by Flanigan’s. The finale is the drawing of the winning raffle ticket for a new 25’ Tournament Contender Boat complete with twin 150hp Yamaha 4-Stroke Outboard Engines, a Bluewater Towers T-top and Leaning Post, Tigress Outriggers and Accessories and a Continental Trailer, valued over $120,000. Raffle tickets are available at www.miamisportfish.com, or up until the time of the drawing on site at the tournament.
The Yamaha Contender Miami Sportfish Tournament (formally the Miami Billfish Tournament) was founded over 34 years ago with the goal to raise money for marine conservation, education and promote preservation awareness. The tournament has donated over $740,000 to various organizations such as The Billfish Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association, International Game Fish Association, the Florida Keys Marine Laboratory and various educational scholarships. The event is supported by sponsors and product donations nationwide interested in giving back to the marine industry. Principal sponsors this year include Yamaha Motor Corp., Contender Boats, Costa Sunglasses, Miami-Dade County, Blanchard Machinery, Admiral Oil and RICOH.
For additional information, visit www.miamisportfish.com or call 305-598-2525.
Contender Sponsors InTheBite Captain of the Year
Popular South Florida Builder to Sponsor Florida Division
Riviera Beach, FL: They’re one of the most popular builders of high-performance center-console boats in the world, and now Contender has stepped up to sponsor the Florida Division of the InTheBite Captain of the Year Cup. It’s a move that further strengthens their position as a leader in a very competitive market.
Since 2003, the Captain of the Year has become the most prestigious award in sportfishing history for the professional sportfishing captain. In 2014, the award evolved into a format of five separate geographic divisions, with captains awarded points based on their finish in a series of sanctioned tournaments within each region (East Coast, Gulf Coast, Hawaii, International and Florida). The Captain of the Year Cup is set to [Read more…]