Marlin Madness 2017 Florida Bracket Preview | Marlin Magazine

Marlin Madness 2017 Florida Bracket Preview

These 16 teams lead the Florida tournament circuit.

Marlin Madness 2017

Follow the bracket to see how your favorite Florida tournament-fishing team is doing.

Illustration by Chris McGlinchy

It's March, which means it's also time for some madness, and not just on the basketball court. Marlin is bringing the tournament brackets out on the water to determine our top fan favorite tournament-fishing teams in the world. Sixty-four teams. Below are the 16 qualifying teams for the Florida region, listed in alphabetical order. First-round pairings will be drawn randomly within each region.

4 Aces

4 Aces fishing team

4 Aces

Courtesy Endless Imagery / Bluewater Movements

Peter Adrian and his team aboard 4 Aces has been near the top of many Florida tournaments the past few sailfish seasons. Capt. Ryan McBride and the team had a breakthrough win in the 2017 Sailfish 400, when it released nine sailfish to win the second leg of the Quest for the Crest series.

Champagne Lady

Champagne Lady team

Champagne Lady

Courtesy Pirate's Cove Resort and Marina

The team aboard Champagne Lady won the 2016 Pirate's Cove Sailfish Challenge, a three-day tournament that included 24 boats. Capt. Josh Chaney's team released 20 sailfish to win the early season tournament.

Crescendo

Crescendo fishing team

Crescendo

Courtesy Bluewater Movements

Crescendo began the 2016/2017 Florida sailfish season with quite a showing. Capt. Skip Dana's team released 10 sailfish in the opening leg of this year's Quest for the Crest series and barely edged Contender One, Sandman and Weez in the Keys, three consistent South Florida competitors.

Ditch Digger

Ditch Digger fishing team

Ditch Digger

Courtesy Sailfish Club / Leonard Bryant Photography

Ditch Digger's win in the January 2017 Gold Cup tournament is the victory the team needed to qualify for Marlin Madness. Capt. Jon Brooks' crew released 38 sailfish in three days of fishing. Now let's see how many votes the team gets.

Doing It All

Doing It All fishing team

Doing It All

Courtesy of Yatchtpics.com

Thanks to Capt. Mark Lamb's group's 22 sailfish releases, the Doing It All team won the Palm Beach Classic in November.

Double Take

Double Take fishing team

Double Take

Courtesy West Palm Beach Fishing Club

The crew aboard Double Take started its 2017 calendar with a narrow win in the highly prestigious Silver Sailfish Derby. The tournament, hosted in West Palm Beach, Florida, was in its 80th year, and included all sorts of dramatics. Capt. Mike Laufle's team released nine sailfish and won the event on time.

Grand Slam

Grand Slam fishing team

Grand Slam

Courtesy pelicanyachtclub.com

The crew aboard Grand Slam, a 50-foot Forbes, dominated the Pelican Yacht Club tournament. Capt. David Grubbs and the team won the 2016 event and followed by releasing 33 sailfish in a victory against 22 other boats in the 2017 tournament.

Indigenous

Indigenous fishing team

Indigenous

Courtesy Cheeca Lodge Presidential / JayHawk Photography

Capt. Travis Dickens and the Indigenous team made a mark early in 2017 with a big win, defeating 21 other boats in the Cheeca Lodge and Spa’s 27th Annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament.

Jichi

Jichi fishing team

*Jichi'

Courtesy of Quest for the Crest

Jichi is another team with two wins in the past two sailfish seasons, both coming last season. Capt. Gene Lebron's crew released 18 sailfish in the 2016 Sailfish Challenge and then released 25 sailfish to top the Sailfish Shootout field.

Martha D

Martha D fishing team

Martha D

Courtesy Martha D team

The 2016 Fish Heads of Stuart Invitational went Martha D's way. Capt. Scott Fawcett's crew released 14 sailfish in last November's two-day tournament.

Miss Britt

Miss Britt fishing team

Miss Britt

Courtesy Endless Imagery

Capt. Ray Rosher and the team aboard Miss Britt qualified for Marlin Madness in the last-possible tournament, the 2017 Sailfish Challenge, held February 24-25, 2017. The team released 16 sails to win the event. After consistently performing well the past few years — angler Stephanie Choate has had numerous Top Lady Angler victories throughout the Florida sailfish circuit — Miss Britt finally picked up the win it needed.

Relentless

Relentless fishing team

Relentless

Courtesy Islamorada Sailfish Tournament

Capt. Paul Ross' Relentless team won the 2016 Islamorada Sailfish Tournament with 15 releases, edging out second-place Last Dance's 14.

Sandman

Sandman fishing team

Sandman

Courtesy Endless Imagery / Bluewater Movements

Sandman is a name routinely near the top of Florida sailfish tournaments, but it was at the very top of last year's Final Sail in Key West, Florida. The team, led by owner Sandra MacMillan and Capt. John Louie Dudas, released 21 sailfish in the three-day tournament and finished third in the Quest for the Crest series last season.

Seraphim

Seraphim fishing team

Seraphim

Courtesy Carol Ellis

Seraphim qualified by winning two tournaments in the past two Florida sailfish seasons. Capt. Jerry Pohl's crew defeated a 61-boat field in the 2017 Reef Cup and also released 11 sailfish to win the prestigious 2016 Sailfish 400. Seraphim has been a consistent top boat in the Florida sailfish circuit for many years.

Toast

Toast fishing team

Toast

Leonard Bryant

The team aboard Toast won the 2016 Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Tournament, an extremely close competition with the winner and second-place finisher separated by just one release. Capt. Newt Cagle's crew released 14 sailfish in the tournament.

Utopia

Utopia fishing team

Utopia

Courtesy Endless Imagery / Bluewater Movements

Utopia showed an impressive amount of consistency during the 2015/2016 sailfish season in Florida. While Capt. Luis Coll's crew didn't win any individual tournament, it did win the three-leg Quest for the Crest series. In the Final Sail tournament, Utopia released 18 sailfish and finished as the event's runner-up team.

How the teams qualified

A team must have won at least one tournament in the past two years from a list of prestigious tournaments decided by the Marlin editors. Two wins earns an automatic entry. If there are more eligible teams than the 16 spots available, the most recent victory breaks the tie.

See the other three bracket previews: Gulf of Mexico bracket; International bracket; East Coast bracket.

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