Winter Sailfish Tournaments in the Florida Keys
It is almost that time of the year again, Sailfish Tournament fishing! Starting in December through March, Main Attraction Fishing Charters partakes in as many Sailfish tournaments in the Florida Keys as our schedule allows. Our clients often hire us to fish these tournaments for a shot at a big money prize. Our Tournament record includes many wins and placements. As we have discussed in previous articles, the key to our tournament success is preparation. From making sure all the rods and reels have been re-spooled and are in the best operating condition possible, to catching TONS of live bait, as well as inspecting our vessels thoroughly to avoid any unexpected surprises.
Tournaments are full of energy and excitement, yet every tournament is different. In our video, you will see that some tournaments are done on the honor system and others have to be fully documented. You not only have to record the clean release, but you have to record in one full sequence a color card and number the committee boat will provide you with, prior to filming another release. Polygraph tests are also administered to the winning Captain at the end of the Tournament.
Most Sailfish tournaments use the same standard rules, but make sure to always review, as they might change. Chumming the water is generally prohibited, once a rod is engaged, an angler may not pass the rod off. 20 Lb test line or less may be used, only Circle hooks can be used to further ensure the health of the fish. Hook ups and releases must be reported immediately and ties are decided based on timing. Times for lines in and lines out are strictly enforced. Some tournaments also restrict the amount of lines that you can have in the water at any given time. A crew member can cast to a fish but must place the rod in a neutral position (such as a rod holder), prior to the angler picking it up and reeling. When the crew member touches the leader while the fish hooked, that is considered a “release”.
If you are interested in tournament fishing contact us for additional information about cost and availability since each tournament is different. You may call us at (305) 289-0071 or contact us here.