January 18, 2012
Congratulations to the 2011 Sailfish Open Champions, The Edge. Can The Edge repeat in 2012?
When the World Fishing Tour's Sailfish Open makes its debut in Palm Beach Feb. 1-3, 2012, it hopes to make an impact beyond past sailfish tournament records.
The Sailfish Open, which for the past three years fished out of Hawks Cay in The Keys, is making the move north to Palm Beach for one reason, sailfish. “We are very excited to be coming to Palm Beach, with its rich history of sailfishing which lately, has had an incredible bite,” stated Christopher King, chairman and founder of the World Fishing Tour.
The bite off Palm Beach produced a record 1,174 releases by 46 boats over three days in a recent tournament. It took 17 fish on the final day of a tournament in Jupiter, Fla., to earn that trophy. In all, 39 boats released 414 fish in two days.
That big bite is a trend most anglers expect to continue through the Sailfish Open. “This is anybody's game,” said Capt. Nick Zeher, who leads Sailfish Pro Series team, De-Bait-Able, in the tournament. “If everything plays out the right way, we could be looking at some record-setting numbers.”
Along with moving to Palm Beach, the Sailfish Open will provide anglers with two divisions to fish, live and dead bait divisions, each with separate payouts. The charitable, optional-entry will allow anglers to participate for their favorite non-profit organizations. King noted, “The charity division will increase chances to help several non-profit organizations. The opportunity to use fishing as a way to increase awareness about hunger in America is exhilarating beyond words.”
The tournament's main charitable partner will be Kettle Comfort, a new non-profit launched by Tim Gannon, a founding member of Outback Steakhouse. Kettle Comfort has devised a way to serve 2,500 healthy meals per cooking kettle. Through a partnership with Cheney Brothers International, Gannon has made it possible to provide a meal at just 67 cents per serving.
NBC Sports will nationally televise the tournament, whose purse should top $250,000, in May. The Sailfish Open is the second leg of the three-tournament Sailfish Pro Series. Teams compete for points before the final, elimination style tournament, which will be held in Miami Beach in late April.
The Hilton Singer Island will serve as tournament headquarters, hosting the Kickoff Party, Biobor Captain's Meeting and the David Wirth Awards Banquet.
For additional information or to register for the Sailfish Open visit www.sailfishopen.com or call 727.631.0072. The Sailfish Pro Series is a series of quality tournaments designed to showcase professional sailfishing. The next event is the World Sailfish Championships in Key West, April 17-21. The Sailfish Pro Series Finale in Miami Beach will take place for the top ranking teams after completing the season.