The Sailfish Challenge hosted 64 teams, fishing for a total purse of over $530,000. With boats fishing from three Florida inlets from Miami to West Palm Beach, Florida, the challenge is really dependent on where to fish. Choose poorly and you can wind up fishing in a barren desert; choose wisely, and the payoff can be tremendous.
In the days leading up to this year’s Sailfish Challenge, the third leg of the Quest for the Crest series, conditions looked good off Miami but then shifted to the north. Capt. Ray Rosher decided to relocate his Miss Britt Contender team from his home waters off Miami north to Hillsboro Inlet. On Day One, his team released 13 sails fishing the area between Lake Worth Pier and Palm Beach inlet, easily winning the daily award and jumping into the lead. With three more releases on Day Two, Miss Britt Contender walked away with first place and nearly $175,000 in cash. Miss Britt Contender‘s Stephanie Choate was the event’s top angler and top lady angler with nine of the team’s 16 releases. Her teammate Matt Bierly was the top male angler with four releases.
Advanced Roofing/Sailsmen moved into second place in the tournament with a late-day doubleheader of sailfish on Day Two, giving them eight releases. Crescendo, winners of the first leg of the Quest for the Crest, also had eight releases in the Sailfish Challenge to finish in third on time. Sandman was fourth with seven releases, and with a consistent top five finish, they were able to maintain their lead in the Quest for the Crest series going into the last event, Final Sail, which is slated for April 25 to 30, 2017, in Key West, Florida.