West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 27, 2018) – Recognized as both the largest and richest sailfishing series in the world, the first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series, Operation Sailfish, will be held at the Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach from January 16-20, 2019. Participating teams will battle it out on the high seas, sailfishing both Friday and Saturday for the chance to take home a custom set of champion dog tags and a stout payday with a cash purse worth over $800,000.
Other opportunities to reel in a win include the “Release Round-Up” jackpot. This winner-take-all category is approaching a $300,000 payout at Operation Sailfish with a buy-in of only $1,000. Win the tournament and the Release Roundup and your team could be cashing a check for over $500,000. The 2018 champion team and current titleholder, Weez in the Keys went home with a cash payout of $210,000 last year. Who will earn the prestigious title this year?
This two-day long tournament will give anglers a run for their boats, rods, and money. With a variety of prize categories available to enter, anglers will have many opportunities to collect some hefty checks and patriotic trophies. There are two tiers of optional entry through the daily categories that provide teams with an opportunity to win over $80,000 on a first place daily. Early and late bite categories also offer teams the chance to win some bonus cash in both the first and second half of the day.
Along with the competition, one of the most notable highlights of Operation Sailfish is the unique opportunity it provides anglers to give back to the men and women of the United States military. In partnership with its charity, Operation Homefront, each year this tournament holds a “Take a Hero Fishing Day,” which is designed to honor and support military veterans, active-duty soldiers, and wounded warriors by getting them out on the water for a fun day fishing. Held on Thursday, January 17, 2019, each participating team will be paired with a hero to enjoy a day of fishing, followed by a cocktail reception and awards ceremony, where top hero’s will be presented with trophies of their own!
The kick-off party is held on Wednesday, January 16 at the historic Sailfish Marina Resort in Palm Beach, with a color guard and national anthem ceremony. Competition days are both Friday, January 18 and Saturday, January 19, followed by a brunch and awards presentation Sunday, January 20 at Sailfish Marina Resort. Tournament registration is available online at www.operationsailfish.com. Registration remains open until the conclusion of the kickoff party on January 16th.
For more information on Operation Sailfish, visit the tournament website at www.operationsailfish.com or call 954-725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series schedule can be found at www.questforthecrest.com
The 6th Annual Operation Sailfish tournament made landfall on December 6th in West Palm Beach at host venue, Sailfish Marina. A total of 42 teams showed up to compete for a purse in excess of $720,000 and pay tribute to our United States military. The tournament got underway with its signature ‘Take a Hero Fishing Day’ where 30 veterans, wounded warriors and active duty military had the opportunity to pair up with the best sailfishing teams in the world for the fishing trip of a lifetime. For many, it was a bucket list trip catching their first sailfish ever. Captain Skip Dana and his crew aboard Sir’ Reel won the ‘Take a Hero Day’ with an impressive tally of nine releases. Tyler Wells caught his first two sailfish ever while fishing together with his brother-in-law Chris Lemieux on board Advanced Roofing/Sailsmen. His two sailfish releases were enough to earn him the Top Hero trophy as well. Gator One won the trophy for the heaviest meatfish with a 14.6-pound dolphin.
On Friday December 8th, the tournament action kicked off when the 8am lines-in call was made for Day 1 as teams looked to kick start the first leg of the Quest for the Crest with a bang. Team Doing it All/Hard Way found the fish early in their 39’ Contender. They released five sails before noon to take the early bite and a bonus $1,000. Team Kona Blue and their 39’ Mercury powered SeaVee was hot on their heels at the midday turn with four releases of their own. With just an hour to go on Day 1, Captain Chris ‘Zig’ Zelienski and his Weez in the Keys team caught fire releasing five fish to propel themselves into a first place daily and the late bite worth $77,950.
Day 2 fishing was postponed from Saturday to Sunday due to severe storm warnings associated with an approaching cold front. A forecast for winds off the north and temperatures in the mid-forties on the backside of the front had teams fired up for the potential of an epic bite on Sunday. The morning started slower than expected for most, but newcomers to the tournament, team MDALA, got into a groove early releasing five sailfish before 11am to claim the early bite. As the day pressed on, teams Free Bird and Utopia got on the fish and continued climbing the leader board as well.
The first half of Day 2 had to seem like an eternity for Day 1 leaders, Weez in the Keys. By noon they had not called a fish in and their lead was rapidly diminishing. Sure enough, at 12:54pm team Utopia called in release number 12 and took the lead in the tournament with only two hours of fishing to go. Shortly after that, Free Bird released another fish to leap frog Weez in the Keys for the second place spot with 12 releases. At 2pm Captain Zig knew he needed to make an aggressive move. He did just that and Weez in the Keys went on a tear releasing three fish in the last hour to reclaim the lead and win the tournament with 14 releases and a $210,000 payday! Utopia finished in second with 13 releases and $75,150 in prize money. Team Seraphim finished strong on Day 2 releasing 10 fish to win the daily. Their 13 fish two-day tally was enough to bump them into third place overall in the tournament with total winnings of $122,180. The Top 5 were rounded out with Free Bird in fourth with 12 releases followed by Advanced Roofing/Sailsmen in fifth with 11 releases.
Doing It All/Hard Way cruised through the first two rounds of the Release Roundup competition in the tournament releasing five fish in the first round and three in the second round, although they only needed one release in the second round to advance. On the start of Day 2 and Round 3, lucky number two was pulled and the $196,200 jackpot was getting closer and closer to a reality for the team. Unfortunately, they ran out of steam releasing one fish in the third round. So the jackpot rolls forward into the next leg of the series, Sailfish 400, where it is expected to exceed $225,000 for a $1,000 buy in!
Captain Ray Rosher and his Miss Britt II crew put Stephanie Choate on the fish once again as she claimed the Top Lady Angler title for the second year in a row with seven releases. Wes Stevens took the Top Male Angler title aboard Weez in the Keys with seven releases as well. Stephanie edged Wes out on time to earn the Master Angler title in the tournament and a beautiful handmade American flag trophy.
In addition to the great payouts to teams, a check for over $7,000 will be presented to the tournament charity, Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting military families as they transition from service back into civilian life. To learn more about how you can help support their mission, visit www.operationhomefront.org.
Three more legs remain before the top sailfishing team in the world is crowned. Leg 2, Sailfish 400, takes place January 17-21 in Miami, with a third stop in Fort Lauderdale on February 21-25 and the grand finale in Key West on April 17-21. For a complete breakdown on the tournament results for Operation Sailfish, visit www.operationsailfish.com For a complete list of the point standings in the Crest race, visit www.questforthecrest.com
For Complete Results Click Here
Congrats to BAR South Team- 2015 4th Annual Operation Sailfish Winner
Operation Sailfish is fished December 11-12, 2015.
December 12, 2015 Final Results
2015 Operation Sailfish Sets Multiple Records
# of Boats: 54 Total # of Releases: 384
A record setting purse reaching a near $700,000 set a tone of intensity for 54 boats at the 4th Annual Operation Sailfish in West Palm Beach, FL. This first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series took place on December 12th & 13th at Sailfish Marina and was the first chance for teams to put points on the board for the coveted Crest Jacket. Team BAR South, winners of last year’s Operation Sailfish, took home the top title for the second year in a row with a total of 18 releases that landed them a payout of $255,950 – the largest amount ever paid out to a team in any of the Quest tournaments. BAR South also earned a set of six custom 14-karat champion’s dog tags from Altier Jewelers of Boca Raton.
Even though BAR South took home the top title, it was a slow start for the team during the first day of fishing with only four releases under their belt. Blue Time took the lead on Day 1 with a total of nine releases to earn a daily payout of $96,400. They added just 2 more releases on Day 2 to finish in 7th place overall with total earnings of $100,900. Team Sailsmen trailed closely behind Blue Time on Day 1 with eight releases, earning a daily payout of $47,520!
Tournament sponsors, Contender and SeaVee Boats were well represented on the leaderboard with a number of their teams performing well over the course of both days. Towards the end of Day 2, both Contender One, a 39-foot Contender, and Kimbuktu, a 39-foot SeaVee, found themselves in a heated battle for the top spot in the tournament. Contender One capitalized on a late bite with just minutes to go in the tournament to secure the 2nd place spot with 15 releases. Second place netted the Contender One team a total payout of more than $134,000. Kimbuktu finished in 3rd with a check for $38,720 and 14 releases. Contender Boats also claimed the Boat Builder’s Throwdown trophy as the top scoring boat brand in the tournament. They finished with a total of 70 points followed by SeaVee Boats in 2nd with 68 points.
The stellar sailfish bite wasn’t the only excitement of the tournament. A 104.6 lb yellowfin tuna, caught by Tara Eddings aboard Miss Britt, set another record as the largest fish ever weighed during any Quest for the Crest tournament and any of the Bluewater Movements tournaments for that matter. Unfortunately, Miss Britt was not entered in the Big Fish Bonanza and the $19,350 pot went to Lion’s Den with a hefty 46.1 lb dolphin.
The last 10 minutes in the radio room were on fire with teams calling in hook ups left and right before the 4:00pm lines out. Team De-Bait-Able created some real excitement when they hooked 5 fish just before the lines out announcement! With $700,00 on the line and a clock ticking down, teams were frantic as the pressure of a single sailfish release could make or break their ranking and a possible paycheck. When the dust settled, a total of 384 sailfish were released during the two competition days of Operation Sailfish.
Master Angler of the tournament went to Rob Gothier of BAR South with a total of nine releases. The Top Lady Angler was Stephanie Choate of Miss Britt with five releases and the Top Junior category was awarded to Erik Perna of Miss Emma with four releases.
Three more legs remain before the top sailfishing team in the world is crowned. Leg 2, Sailfish 400, takes place January 27-31 in Miami, with a 3rd stop in Fort Lauderdale on February 17-21 and the grand finale in Key West on April 12-17. For a complete breakdown on the tournament results for Operation Sailfish, visit www.operationsailfish.com For a complete list of the point standings in the Crest race, visit www.questforthecrest.com
Congrats to Capt Mike Brady and the Cowpoke Team for winning the 2015 Stuart Light Tackle Tournament
The Tournament Boats will fish December 11,12,13, 2015
December 13, 2015 Final Results
Patriotic Sailfish Tournament Poised to Invade the Waters of West Palm Beach
The top sailfishing teams in the country are heading back to West Palm Beach, FL on December 9-13 for the 4th Annual Operation Sailfish, the first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. This year the estimated purse for the entire series is $2.5 million and teams are amped up to get their first slice of the pie at Operation Sailfish.
Money isn’t the only reason these teams are gearing up to fish the largest sailfish series in the country. The most iconic achievement in competitive sailfishing is up for grabs – the Quest for the Crest Jacket. Operation Sailfish is the first opportunity for teams to accumulate points towards the series, getting them one step closer to the Crest Jacket and the title of the top sailfishing team in the world. In order for a team to be able to take home this title and sport the most prestigious award in competitive sailfishing, they will have to perform at the highest level throughout all four legs of the series. Last year’s champion, BAR South, did just that by scoring a total of 97 points for the entire series to take home over $358,570 in prize money.
BAR South also claimed the top spot in last year’s Operation Sailfish, with a total of 12 releases and a payout of $157,170. They received a set of 6 custom jewelry style dog tags to celebrate their achievement, designed and presented by Altier Jewelers of Boca Raton. Following closely behind BAR South was team Swagger in 2nd Place, also with 12 releases, earning them a check for $92,980. The total purse for last year’s Operation Sailfish was $541,270 – a number that is expected to be even larger this year!
A new optional entry category called the ‘Release Roundup’ has been added at each leg of the series this year. In this rollover style category, there are 4 rounds of fishing, each lasting 4 hours, and a number from 1 to 8 is drawn from a sealed container at the start of each round. The number drawn represents the minimum number of sailfish a team must release in order to advance to the next round. At the conclusion of the final round, if there is no winner, the prize money in the pot will roll over to the next tournament of the series where it will continue to grow until one lucky team hits the jackpot!
The patriotic spirit of Operation Sailfish is enhanced through its support of Operation Homefront, a national 501c(3) military based charity that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. The tournament plans to honor the men and women who have courageously served our country by donating a portion of the proceeds to the charity. Together they will also host a ‘Take A Hero Fishing’ day on Thursday, December 10th where military heroes will be invited to fish with some of the teams competing in the tournament.
The kick-off party and captain’s meeting for Operation Sailfish is December 9th at the Buccaneer, which is next door to Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. Operation Sailfish opens with a presentation of the colors and singing of the national anthem to recognize and show our deepest gratitude for the men and women who serve the greatest country in the world! Tournament fishing days are December 11 & 12 with an awards brunch back at the Buccaneer on Sunday, December 13th. Credentials are required for access to all event activities. Early entry for the tournament is $3,750 per team (plus tax) valid through November 20th. After November 20th, registration is $4,500 per team (plus tax). For more information on Operation Sailfish visit www.operationsailfish.com or call (954) 725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series schedule can be found at www.questforthecrest.com.
There will also be a pre season party to kick off the Quest for the Crest at the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. The party is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th and is sure to be a great time! There will be live music, delicious cuisine from one of the local food trucks and free Quest for the Crest Ale for all registered teams.
46 Teams Competing
Day 2 Final Results: 1st Bar South 12, 2nd- Swagger 12, 3rd-One Up 11 sailfish
Day 1 Results: 1st- Miss Annie 7, 2nd- Kimbuktu 7, 3rd- One Up 6 sailfish releases [Read more…]