Ditch Digger Tops Gold Cup Tournament

Team sets record for most release points on dead bait

ditch digger first place gold cup sailfish release flags
Ditch Digger capped a great tournament weekend with some incredible sailfishing.Courtesy Sailfish Club / Leonard Bryant Photography

This year's Gold Cup sailfish tournament, held January 8 to 12, 2017, and hosted by the Sailfish Club of Palm Beach, Florida, saw incredible sailfish action by the participating boats. Ditch Digger, a 72-foot Viking, emerged victorious with 38 sailfish releases in three days of fishing. This also sets a new tournament record for billfish releases using dead bait. The Showtime! team, led by Fred and Nancy Hardwick, placed second with 32 sailfish releases, while Byron and Laura Russell's Hit 'n Run, a 68-foot F&S, was third with 31 sails released. The event's top angler was Anthony Cummings on Krazy Salts with 13 sails, and the top lady angler was Nancy Hardwick with 10 sailfish releases. Non-offset circle hooks and 20-pound-test line are mandatory in this event, which hosted a fleet of 21 boats for their 45th annual event.

sport fishing sunrise
The boats head to the fishing grounds just a short distance offshore as the sun rises in the distance.Courtesy Camila Hidalgo
Hit 'n Run third place Gold Cup sailfish
Hit 'n Run finished in third place in this year's tournament.Courtesy Sailfish Club / Leonard Bryant Photography