Grand Slam Wins Pelican Yacht Club Billfish Tournament

Team outpaces the fleet by a substantial margin

January 16, 2017
2017 Pelican Yacht Club Grand Slam
Wallis Higginbotham’s Grand Slam won the Pelican Yacht Club tournament with 33 sailfish releases. Courtesy

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.

Read about the Forbes 50 boat review here.

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.

2017 Pelican Yacht Club Cowpoke
Cowpoke took home second in the Pelican with 23 releases. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club Champagne Lady
Champagne Lady shows her colors at the dock. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club
A dock full of beautiful sport-fishers is a sight to behold. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club fleet
The Pelican fleet heads for the inlet. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club fleet
Just past the “Resume Normal Safe Operation” sign, the throttles are hammered and the boats roar offshore. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club sunrise
Running into the rising sun and heading for the fishing grounds at top speed. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club Free Spool
Free Spool heads back to the dock at the end of the day. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club Let It Ride
Let It Ride returns to port. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club Lisa K
Lisa K departs the inlet. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club max bet
Max Bet backs into her slip after a day of fishing. Courtesy
2017 Pelican Yacht Club
Riggers full of release flags signal another successful day of sailfishing off Florida. Courtesy

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