The Pelican Yacht Club’s annual sailfish tournament is one of the most highly anticipated, and hotly contested, events of the year for the south Florida sailfish circuit. The competition is incredibly tough, and to win, a team must truly master its skills in a variety of areas. That was the case this year with Wallis Higginbotham’s Grand Slam team, competing from their new Forbes 50. Higginbotham and his team of Capt. David Grubbs, Adam White and Jeff Wright caught and released 33 sailfish during the three-day tournament, held January 10 to 14, 2017. They led the fleet and won by a margin of 10 sailfish releases, an incredible accomplishment.
In second place was another top local team: Cruiser and Christy Crews on Cowpoke. The team released 23 sailfish during the tournament. Captained by Mike Brady, Cowpoke is a 57-foot Island Boatworks. Assisting in the cockpit were anglers Dave Meyer, Mike Barry, Terry Hancock and Paul Murrey. Landing in third place was Vintage, skippered by Hans Kraaz. The team, Hanz Kraaz Jr., Hunter Kraaz, Sebastian Blackman, Reed Macey and Jason Brown, released 22 sailfish on their 43-foot Torres. Lo Que Sea and Let’s Roll rounded out the top five respectively, each releasing 21 sailfish. For the tournament there were 343 sailfish released by the fleet.