The final tournament of the 2021 Quest for the Crest series, Final Sail, returned to the docks of Miami Beach Marina and certainly lived up to the hype: A fleet of 41 boats tallied 402 sailfish releases in two days of fishing. The bite was on and the competition was as fierce as ever in South Florida as the world’s best live-bait teams battled it out within sight of the picturesque Miami Beach skyline.
In the end, two teams would emerge as champions. With the final event of the 2020 Quest series canceled, the winner from last year would also be determined at Final Sail. Rob Gothier Jr.’s BAR South released just three sailfish on Day One but rebounded with 11 more on the second day—a strong rally that secured first place in the standings for the 2020 Quest for the Crest, winning the team their second champion burgundy jackets. BAR South’s Capt. Raul Gonzales also was named the top captain of the 2020 series.
Capt. Nick Carullo led Showtime to a comeback of their own. In 13th place in the standings after a lackluster first day, their chances of a championship title seemed slim. But champion teams don’t quit; 15 sailfish releases on Day Two and 21 for the tournament gave them a boost ahead of first-place-team Native Son to win the 2021 Quest for the Crest series and their second set of burgundy jackets as well.
The team on Priceless had a solid start and never slowed down, with 11 sails on the first day and another 15 releases on Day Two, setting a new tournament record for the most releases at 26. With their prize money and optional jackpots, they won $185,750. Not a bad weekend of fishing.
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Capt. Art Sapp’s Native Son team came up just short of the Quest championship by six releases but won $128,215 in optional jackpots. Showtime held on to second place with 21 releases, good for $115,550, while Sandman finished third with 18.
This article was originally published in the August/September issue of Marlin.