Published On: May 14th, 2024Last Updated: May 14th, 20244.1 min read

2024 Marathon Premier Sailfish Tournament Recap

April is an exciting month for us in the Keys; sailfish season is in swing and  it’s the 3rd annual Marathon Premier Sailfish Tournament, founded by our very own Katie Lewis. Main One and Main Attraction both signed up with returning clients and teams, ready to battle with Marathon’s finest. The Main One team anglers was Mark Busch and his friend, John Dedinsky from Ohio and Alexis Bowcock from Georgia. Captain Marty was at the helm, with Captain Ben Zdan as the mate. Many of you remember Mark Busch since he fishes with Captain Marty 6 months out of the year; he is also on the tournament team for the Islamorada series. Their team also included Danny Lombardo and Marty’s son, Alex Lewis. 

Alex Lewis

On the Main Attraction, we had the Anderson family along with Sarah and Joe Romano. Captain Steve Fitzgerald ran the Main Attraction, with first mates Mike Cangemi and Christian Keller. Steve Anderson has been a long-time client of ours, and with the help of his business, Shirt Masters, he has supplied the tournament with their shirts over the years. Steve’s daughter Lauren was one of five junior anglers competing for that junior angler trophy. 

On Thursday, April 18th, the teams gathered at the Fairfield Inn tiki to indulge in appetizers and drinks and collect their shirts, buffs, hats, and team buckets. It’s always fun to gather before the tournament, see all the teams you are up against, and review the rules. The weather was beautiful, unlike the inaugural year when it blew 30mph!

Our teams gathered at Marathon Sailfish Marina, loaded the boat, and, with great anticipation, headed out to the Coco Plum cut. 

Main Attraction

The committee boat was stationed nearby with a tall antenna and powerful radio. As each boat checked in, committee boat member Dianne Harbaugh checked in with each captain. At 8:00 am, Dianne announced lines-in over the radio, and it was time to go fishing. The very first fish of the day was caught by a 7-year-old junior angler named James Platt III! The committee boat was excited for the little guy, who was at the top of the leaderboards.

Around 9:30 am, Captain Marty with Main One radioed that his team was hooked up and fighting a sailfish. Within a few minutes, angler Mark Busch had successfully released a sailfish, putting Main One on the board. Boats were catching Sailfish here and there, but the bite wasn’t on fire. Our teams were moving around, using helium balloons to fly their kites, seeing showers and running to them, anything for a bite. 

Later in the day, it was almost like a light switch turned on, and boats started calling in hook-ups. At 2:41 p.m., Captain Steve radioed in that Team Main Attraction was hooked up. Shortly after, he radioed in, they hooked a second Sailfish. While fighting the double, one escaped but still had one on. Within a few minutes, Team Main Attraction had successfully released their first sailfish of the day, and they were on the board. 

Team Main One

Minutes later, Captain Marty reported that Main One was hooked up to their second sailfish of the day. This time, his son, Alex, was the angler. Marty reported that the fish was successfully released, putting Main One in the top three on the leaderboard. 

Day two was a bit slower than day one, and to keep things interesting, the committee boat announced prizes for every release. This kept things fun and exciting with each fish caught. As the second fishing day came to an end, it was now time to get ready for the awards banquet. What a fun event it has become each year!

MPST Crowd

 The tournament committee does such a great job selling raffle tickets for all the great raffle prizes, delicious food provided by Brutus Seafood, beautiful atmosphere provided by the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, and entertainment by DJ Trae. Trophies are one of a kind provided by Gray Taxidermy. 

Although Main One and Main Attraction did not place, they both had an excellent time for a great cause.

All proceeds are donated to a local charity called Mission Fishin, which helps enrich the lives of special needs children and families by taking them on outdoor adventures on the water, helping families, and reaching out to the schools to help support them.

If you want more information about the Marathon Premier Sailfish Tournament visit or are looking for ways to get involved, visit

Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis founder of the tournament and co-owner of Main Attraction Fishing Charters.

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