In early January, 1986, 25 sport-fishing boats hailing from South Florida and as far away as South Carolina and Texas descended upon Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida, for the inaugural Reef Cup. During the day, they were treated to some of the hottest sailfish action in the U.S., with dockside celebrations and sumptuous dinners each evening. That tradition continues each year, as the Reef Cup has become one of the Ocean Reef Club’s most highly anticipated annual events.
This year’s Reef Cup was held January 17 to 21, 2017, and amid fierce competition, several teams rose to the top of the tournament leaderboard. The team on Seraphim held the hot hand, releasing nine sailfish over the four days of fishing for the win. Vanessa Falk had five of those releases to earn top angler and top lady angler honors for the tournament. The team will have the opportunity to represent the Reef Cup in the prestigious 2017 Offshore World Championship tournament in Costa Rica.
In amazingly tight competition, Lights Out was second with eight sailfish releases and Team Sharky’s Revenge was third, also with eight sailfish releases, fishing on Kahuna. Sixty-one teams and 316 anglers released 157 sailfish in the tournament.
Marlin‘s editor-in-chief, Andrew Cox, fished the Reef Cup with BAR South. Check out his photo gallery.