First Place: Native Son, Capt. Art Sapp
Second Place: Weez in the Keyz, Capt. Chris Zielinski
Third Place: The Edge,
First Place: Native Son, Capt. Art Sapp
Second Place: Weez in the Keyz, Capt. Chris Zielinski
Third Place: The Edge,
Kicking off the tournaments for this week is the second leg of the “Quest for the Crest” Sailfish Series, with its three checkpoints from Government Cut in Miami to Hillsboro Inlet in Pompano Beach and Lakeworth Inlet in West Palm. Leg two of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series starts February 24 and runs until the 27th. A day later The Masters Angling Tournament starts with fishing heading into March. Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring begins March 2 followed by the Quepos Billfish Cup, Leg 3 of the Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series, Marina Casa de Campo Open.
Teams with a first-place win so far in 2021 include:
Capt. Kevin Paul // Waterman // 500 Points
Capt. Matt Bierley // Miss Texas // 500 Points
Silver Sailfish Derby, 1st Place, 500 Pts.
Capt. Eddie Wheeler // Cabana // 500 Points
Pompano Beach, Fla. (Feb 25, 2020) – The 17th Annual Sailfish Challenge was one for the history books in many ways. 55 teams were treated to an amazing kick-off party hosted for the first time by “Oceanic” at Pompano Beach Pier, a premier new seafood and steak restaurant located on the beach in Pompano. The tournament partnered with Costa and their “OneCoast” initiative to help with the ongoing fundraising effort for Bahamas Relief from Hurricane Dorian.
Team FFMD won the “Lucky Fish” 50/50 raffle at the kick-off party and generously donated their winnings back to OneCoast!
An approaching cold-front brought strong northerly winds on Day 1 of the tournament with the teams fishing on the north end of the boundary battling the roughest conditions. With the fleet spread out from Jupiter to Miami, it was a slow pick for most of the day up and down the line. As time pressed on, the boats to the south managed to find a few more fish than their competitors to the north. Three boats, Doing it All/Hardway, Reel Addiction, and Potential finished the day in a three-way tie with 4 releases, but it was Doing it All/Hardway that came out on top, based on time, in their Yamaha powered 39’ Contender.
Reel Addiction were the big money winners on Day 1 with daily winnings of $51,705. Team Chop it Up had the best meatfish catch of the day with 118.8 pounds that earned them a daily payout of $7,560. Heading into Day 2, a forecast for gale-force winds and 12 to 15-foot seas led to a postponed fishing schedule from Saturday to Sunday. While the seas improved on Sunday, the sailfish bite remained slow.
Despite tough fishing, team Reel Estate/Shell Yeah stayed steady on their Mercury powered 39’ SeaVee releasing 3 fish before noon to jump into the lead with 6 releases. As the day pressed on teams Jichi, Reel Addiction, and Doing it All/Hardway evened the score with 6 releases a piece as well. It was a battle to the end, but Reel Estate/Shell Yeah was able to hang on to their time-based lead and win the tournament, earning a check for $38,125. Jichi finished in 2nd overall with 6 releases and a massive check for $204,095!
Reel Addiction finished in 3rd with winnings of $67,275 followed by Doing it All/Hardway in 4th with 13,075 and Bar South in 5th with 5 releases and a $47,405 payday. Without question, it was the exceptional meat fishing action that created all the buzz in the 2020 Sailfish Challenge. A red-hot kingfish bite off Palm Beach had crews battling to keep baits in the water all day.
Team Chop it Up improved on their Day 1 catch with four massive kings on Sunday that ranged from 31.2 to 49.8 pounds for a total weight of 156.1. They posted a combined weight of 274.9 pounds over the two days of fishing to win the aggregate weight division and a check for $22,590. By midday on Day 2, rumors were flying around about a record-setting meatfish catch onboard team Old No 7. When they arrived at the dock in Palm Beach the rumors were put to rest.
Not one, but two giant wahoo, plus a cobia and a kingfish were on their way to the scale. Both wahoo, set new tournament records in their category with the first fishing weighing in at 84.7 pounds and the second at 85.5 pounds! Even more amazing, both fish were caught on 16-pound test line, and 30-pound leader with a circle hook! Their 4-fish bag on Day 2 was an astounding 223.9 pounds, for a 56-pound average per fish! Old No 7 won $39,080 in meatfish money and earned a bonus $1,000 gift certificate from Grizzly coolers for the heaviest fish of the tournament.
The 3rd Annual Coin Challenge competition kept the team spirit alive during the tournament. Seven groups of 8 teams mixed it up to see which color group would come out on top and win the commemorative challenge coins. In the end, the blue color group emerged victorious with a total of 26 releases. Team Native Son was the grand prize winner, earning a 3 day/2 night vacation package to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort courtesy of Landshark Lager.
Nicole Paul-Hus on team SkipJac 2 was the top female angler with 1 release and Benji Fernandez on team Potential was the master angler of the tournament with 3 releases. Branch Office defended their Non-Pro division title for the third year in a row with 2 releases. The tournament concluded at Blue Moon Fish Company, a 5-star restaurant on the beautiful intracoastal in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Anglers indulged on an amazing array of food and Reel Estate/Shell Yeah was treated to a delicious steak and lobster dinner at the champions table for the tournament.
The race for the burgundy jacket has one more event to determine who will claim the world’s most prestigious sailfishing title. Team BAR South holds the lead with 57 points followed by Jichi with 51 points and Reel Estate/Shell Yeah in 3rd with 49 points, and several other teams are still in the hunt heading into the final leg in Miami at the DoubleTree Grand Hotel with Final Sail on April 1-4.
For more information on the Sailfish Challenge, visit www.SailfishChallenge.com or call 954-725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest schedule and series standings can be found at questforthecrest.com
Miami Beach, Fla. (April 7, 2019) – The stakes were high, and the pressure was on for the 37 teams competing off Miami Beach in Final Sail, the grand finale of the 2019 Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. The tournament opened with a kickoff party at the DoubleTree Grand by Hilton that included a casino fundraiser to benefit the tournament’s charity, Fishing for Muscular Dystrophy (FFMD). The combined efforts of the teams and the casino night enabled Bluewater Movements to present FFMD with a check for $5,000 to help them on their mission to cured MD. [Read more…]
Miami Beach, Fla. (Mar. 18, 2019) – The party moves south, as the highly anticipated grand finale of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series, Final Sail, closes out in Miami Beach this year on April 3-7. A hefty purse in excess of $800,000 is not the only prize teams have their eyes on. The prestigious burgundy jackets are also awarded to the top overall team at this final leg of the series. With an elite fleet of competitors, this world title is as tight as the lines, but the leader will be cut soon and just one team will claim their spot in the competitive sailfishing hall of fame.
Major payouts aren’t the only attraction for teams at Final Sail. This grand finale takes place in Miami Beach, with an exciting kick-off party overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay and a Resorts World Bimini sponsored “Casino Night” where anglers compete on the green felt to help raise money for the tournament charity, Fishing for Muscular Dystrophy. The kick-off party is held Wednesday, April 3rd at the incredible DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay. With a “day of rest” in between, competition starts on Friday, April 5th with lines in at 8 a.m. Following lines out on day one, teams can unwind for happy hour at the famous Monty’s Restaurant in Miami Beach Marina with complimentary drinks and food. Day two of competition is Saturday April 6th and tensions will be high as the final scores determine both the winners of Final Sail and the Quest for the Crest series.
With a total purse exceeding $1.9 million dollars, several boats have claimed six figure prizes at each stop for the series. With a current payout approaching $350,000 and a winner-take-all format, the Release Round Up has the undivided attention of every team and many spectators heading into Final Sail. Run the table in Final Sail and your team will have a shot at a payday in excess of $500,000. Five teams were in arms reach of the jackpot in the last tournament, Sailfish Challenge, and two of those teams needed just two more releases to win the massive jackpot. The signature category is broken into four rounds of fishing (morning and afternoon) over the two-day competition. In each round, a random number between 1 and 6 is drawn at the start of the round and represents the minimum number of sailfish a team must release during the 4-hour round in order to advance to the next. A team must advance through all four rounds and have the most releases in the final round among their competitors in order to claim the jackpot.
The results of the first two legs in the series have been diverse, with Utopia taking first place for Operation Sailfish with 14 releases, MDALA only a release behind with 13, and Kluch/Reel Easy taking 3rd place with 12 releases. Sailfish Challenge was a nail-bitter to the end. Native Son, one of the final five in the Release Round Up at the Challenge, secured 1st place with 20 releases. Team Good Call followed closely behind in 2nd with 19 releases and Kluch/Reel Easy snagged back-to-back 3rd place finishes with 18 releases. Their consistent performances earned them the lead in the series standings with 56 points followed by Bar South in 2nd place with 51 points, and one of the center-console favorites, team Showtime in 3rd place with 49 points on their 39’ SeaVee.
Claiming the world champions title and the burgundy jackets requires dominant performances and most importantly – consistency. As the final sailfish tournament of the season, teams know what is at stake. Who will rise to the occasion? The 7th annual Final Sail will be one to remember and the tournament of the season you won’t want to miss!
2019 Final Sail Details:
The Final Sail kick-off party is held on Wednesday, April 3 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach. Competition days are both Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th, followed by an awards ceremony Sunday, April 7th at the DoubleTree Grand Hilton Hotel ballroom. Tournament registration is available online at www.FinalSail.com and remains open until the conclusion of the kickoff party on April 3rd.
For more information on Final Sail, visit www.FinalSail.com or call 954-725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest schedule and series standings can be found at http://www.questforthecrest.com
Native Son Wins Sailfish Challenge with Walk Off Release
Four boats make it to final round of $314,000 Release Round Up
Pompano Beach, Fla. (Feb 26, 2019) – Nothing short of exciting and unpredictable with a 52-boat fleet, 466 anglers, 3 inlets and 2 days of competition, the 16th annual Sailfish Challenge was one for the books. The tournament opened with an amazing kickoff party hosted at the International Game Fish Association, charitable beneficiary for the tournament. Within these two-days a total of 427 sailfish were released from Palm Beach down to Miami, with a majority of the boats fishing from Palm Beach to Jupiter. The record setting bite got off to a hot start at lines in on day 1 and stayed steady until the end of the tournament with multiple boats hooked up each day all the way through lines out.
Competition was stiff and the stakes were high with a $639,220 total purse and the $314,100 Release Round Up on a tight line, the first number drawn Friday morning was 1. 29 boats advanced to the second round. At noon on Friday the second number was pulled and coincidently it was number 2. 19 boats advanced on two round 3 where it would take 4 releases or more to make it to the final round on Saturday afternoon. 5 boats made the cut and were only a few hours and 5 more releases away from a $314,100 winner-take-all payday! Native Son, Double Diamond and Chips Ahoy Too all got the closest, each releasing 3 fish a piece in the final round, however the 5-release mark was not met. Native Son went 3 for 6 in the final round, however it was not meant to be. With no winner, the massive jackpot rolls over into the Final Sail tournament in Miami on April 3-7 where it is expected to reach $350,0000! [Read more…]