by Bob Wonders
Preparations are underway for the forthcoming sailfish tournament season in the United States and Dania Beach, Florida, has been the scene for the so-called ‘season kick off.’
Wouldn't you just love to be in that cockpit? - Sailfish Pro Series
Dania Beach, in the Greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, is an obvious setting for the season launch as it is home of the world famous International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) Museum and headquarters.
Incidentally, with the massive Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show opening tomorrow (October 27), there’s all be some action at the IGFA HQ with new inductions to the Hall of Fame taking place.
One new inductee is John Chibnall, a life member, I believe, of New Zealand’s Bay of Island Swordfish Club.
Australian and New Zealand anglers have been heavily involved with IGFA since its formation in 1939.
That’s another story, however, for now we’re discussing the 2011/12 sailfish season, and this week Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World was transformed into the ultimate destination for sailfish knowledge.
The event naturally was timed to coincide with the Fort Lauderdale show and therefore ensures that many of the numerous professional skippers and past competitors, along with fishing industry experts, will be on hand.
As one of the organisers pointed out, the launch offers the public the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the top sailfish teams in the United States.
The 2011/12 Sailfish Pro Series comprises four events and is scheduled to begin November 14-16 with the Sailfish Cup, at Miami Beach.
Next is the Sailfish Open, at West Palm Beach (February 1-3, 2012), the World Sailfish Championships (Key West, April 17-21) culminating in the Sailfish Pro Series Finale in Miami Beach.
Magnificent! A superb sailfish shows its style woith a spectacular leap during last year's tourament. - Sailfish Pro Series
The gala launch at the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World will include demonstrations by experts explaining tips and techniques for catching sailfish and will include a questions and answers sector for those keen to learn.
Danny Vinson, of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, said the organisation was fully supportive of the series and looked forward to introducing 'these remarkable anglers to our customer base.'
Among the teams expected to attend is the defending champion boat ‘Sandman’ with its owner Sandra MacMillan and skipper Captain Neil Orange Jnr.
And the winenr is....'Sandman', making her way to the dock after winning last year's series. - Sailfish Pro Series
Captain Orange described the launch as a 'great opportunity' for local anglers to meet and mingle with many of the top sailfish teams.
'Last year was an amazing season for our team and I’m looking forward to getting underway and starting it all over again,' he declared.
Christopher King, Chairman of the World Fishing Tour, said there was 'great enthusiasm' with the fourth Sailfish Pro Series ready to go.
'This extraordinary collection of teams represents the best the sport has to offer and I am looking forward to following the action and seeing who will claim this year’s title,' he added.
For further information, visit the website www.sailfishseries.com
This big Viking sportfisherman sets a course for the open water during last year's tournament. - Sailfish Pro Series
'Miss Britt' loaded for bear as she heads out during last year's tournament. - Sailfish Pro Series
'Marlin Darlin' heads out past one of the many cruise ships that flock to the Florida Keys. - Sailfish Pro Series
'Sandman', last year's winner, owned by Sandra MacMillan with Captain Neil Orange, Jnr at the helm. - Sailfish Pro Series
Lines out and ready for action aboard 'Sweet Release' during the last Sailfish Pro Series. - Sailfish Pro Series