The “Secret” to Winning Florida Keys Sailfish Tournaments
Sailfish Tournaments are held in the Florida Keys between November and April when Sailfish are most plentiful. While the Main Attraction promotes a sense of comradery and teamwork among its crew there is a friendly competition that exists between boats for the best catches on a daily basis. This passion for putting together great catches and spirit of competitiveness is why the Main Attraction team enjoys tournament fishing so much. The idea of the best charter boats in the Keys putting their skills to the test for the top title is fun and exciting. Tournament weigh-ins, events, and award ceremonies also provide a setting for different charter boat Captains and crews to see each other (on land) and tell their fish stories!
With a long history of fishing tournament wins in the Florida Keys, The Main Attraction has developed routines and techniques that help them win. This article will share some of them without giving away too many secrets! The truth of the matter is the biggest “secret” to winning Tournaments isn’t much of a secret. It all comes down to preparation, skill and a little bit of luck. Our crews spend weeks, sometimes even months, preparing for tournaments.
Catching live bait is one of the key ingredients to success. No bait, no win! At Main Attraction, we like to have a wide variety of strong lively baits in order to be prepared for different weather conditions. During tournaments, we place additional live wells on board to carry a larger quantity and wider variety of bait to allow us to be ready for any situation. Every rod/reel is re-spooled to ensure nothing but the best tackle has been put in place. Helium is on board to fly kites with the assistance of balloons if the weather or wind is not in our favor. All supplies on the boat are inspected to ensure it is fully stocked and prepared for any situation that might arise. Our preparation methods may seem intense, but when thousands of dollars are on the line, that’s what it takes!
Our crews know which types of baits work better on calmer days and which types hold up better in rougher waters and stronger currents. How baits are rigged and set, and how many lines your mate can work in the water at the same time without having tangles is important. Having anglers that can fight fish well, and wind quickly enough to keep the line tight on a fish also matters. Your Captain not only needs to have the skills to read conditions and know where to find the fish but he also needs to know how to position the boat when multiple Sailfish are hooked at the same time and swimming in all different directions at speeds of up to 50mph!
Some Captains like to say “I would rather be lucky than good”, but the truth is to win tournaments in the Florida Keys you often have to be both! No matter how hard you prepare, and how experienced you are, the weather and general fishing conditions are up to lady luck. Great Captains recognize opportunities on the water the moment they see them, but they can only be in one place at a time and there is A LOT of water out there! Whether finding yourself in the right place at the right time is due to luck or skill, consistently turning those opportunities into tournament wins comes down to the preparation and ability of everyone on board.
A summary of our long history of winning tournaments and breaking records is available on our tournament page including our most recent 1st place tournament win two days ago. If you wish to inquire about fishing a Tournament with a Main Attraction crew call 305-289-0071 or contact us here.