From Bluewater Movements Press Release
71 boats cleared three different inlets on the morning of February 9th with hopes of taking home the 1st place title in the 2013 Sailfish Challenge. 36 boats checked out of Lake Worth Inlet, 24 out of Hillsboro and 11 out of Government Cut. This one-day, 3-inlet shootout was one for the record books. The 2013 event handed out a record setting $376,000 purse! Prior to that, the highest payout was $240,000 in 2012.
Some teams, take a different approach and elect to target a big meat fish in the tournament in hopes of claiming the big cash prize. Reel Blue was one of those teams. However, around 9am, Reel Blue landed a triple header of sailfish. And then another double shortly after. With 5 releases, they realized they had a genuine shot to win the tournament and decided to cut off their wire leaders and focus all their efforts on winning their first sailfish tournament ever. Smart choice. They finished the day with 9 releases, 3 better than the 2nd place team. Their efforts netted them a paycheck for $25,870. Jon Payne, a Reel Blue crew member, took the award for Master Angler with 4 releases as well.
Reel Blue won the most gold, but Miss Annie, the 2nd place team won the most green – by a long shot. They were entered across the board in the tournament and claimed a $196,870 check as a result! With 6 releases that amounts to roughly $32,811 per release. Not bad for a day of fishing! One release behind Miss Annie was team Get Lit in 3rd place with a payout of $76,130. Just Do It followed in 4th collecting $32,600. Team Forever Younger won the Non Pro Division and $2,000. Top Female Angler was awarded to Teena Edward on Reel Men of Genius and the Top Junior Angler was Eric Perna on Eco Fishing Team. The heaviest meat fish, a 44.2 pound King, earned the WishList fishing team a paycheck for $15,310 also.
A large purse and a first place title was not the only thing up for grabs in the Sailfish Challenge. The Boat Builder’s Throwdown trophy was at stake for the top performing manufacturer in the tournament. Viking fell short of the mark in 2nd place at Operation Sailfish back in December. However, three strong performances by Miss Annie, Blue Time and 4 Aces, pushed Viking into the Boat Builder’s winners circle at leg 2 of the series. The bronze trophy, sponsored by John Townsend, will remain on display at the Viking factory until the 2014 event.
The Sailfish Challenge was the second leg in the Quest for the Crest Series. Miss Annie’s 2nd place finish at the Sailfish Challenge put them in the drivers seat in first place with 54 points. Get Lit trails them by 6 points in 2nd place and Weez in the Keys sits in 3rd place with 46 points. Without question, it will all come down to the final leg in Key Largo – The Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship. Who will rise to the occasion and be recognized as the most dominant sailfishing team in the world? We’ll find out on March 9th! For more information about the Sailfish Challenge visit www.sailfishchallenge.com or call 954-725-4010. Complete results available here: http://www.bluewatermovements.com/salifish_challenge_past_results/