The top sailfishing teams in the country are heading back to West Palm Beach, FL on December 9-13 for the 4th Annual Operation Sailfish, the first leg of the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. This year the estimated purse for the entire series is $2.5 million and teams are amped up to get their first slice of the pie at Operation Sailfish.
Money isn’t the only reason these teams are gearing up to fish the largest sailfish series in the country. The most iconic achievement in competitive sailfishing is up for grabs – the Quest for the Crest Jacket. Operation Sailfish is the first opportunity for teams to accumulate points towards the series, getting them one step closer to the Crest Jacket and the title of the top sailfishing team in the world. In order for a team to be able to take home this title and sport the most prestigious award in competitive sailfishing, they will have to perform at the highest level throughout all four legs of the series. Last year’s champion, BAR South, did just that by scoring a total of 97 points for the entire series to take home over $358,570 in prize money.
BAR South also claimed the top spot in last year’s Operation Sailfish, with a total of 12 releases and a payout of $157,170. They received a set of 6 custom jewelry style dog tags to celebrate their achievement, designed and presented by Altier Jewelers of Boca Raton. Following closely behind BAR South was team Swagger in 2nd Place, also with 12 releases, earning them a check for $92,980. The total purse for last year’s Operation Sailfish was $541,270 – a number that is expected to be even larger this year!
A new optional entry category called the ‘Release Roundup’ has been added at each leg of the series this year. In this rollover style category, there are 4 rounds of fishing, each lasting 4 hours, and a number from 1 to 8 is drawn from a sealed container at the start of each round. The number drawn represents the minimum number of sailfish a team must release in order to advance to the next round. At the conclusion of the final round, if there is no winner, the prize money in the pot will roll over to the next tournament of the series where it will continue to grow until one lucky team hits the jackpot!
The patriotic spirit of Operation Sailfish is enhanced through its support of Operation Homefront, a national 501c(3) military based charity that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. The tournament plans to honor the men and women who have courageously served our country by donating a portion of the proceeds to the charity. Together they will also host a ‘Take A Hero Fishing’ day on Thursday, December 10th where military heroes will be invited to fish with some of the teams competing in the tournament.
Operation Sailfish will once again take place at Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. The kick-off party and captain’s meeting is December 9th at the Buccaneer, which is next door to Sailfish Marina. Operation Sailfish opens with a presentation of the colors and singing of the national anthem to recognize and show our deepest gratitude for the men and women who serve the greatest country in the world! Tournament fishing days are December 11 & 12 with an awards brunch back at the Buccaneer on Sunday, December 13th. Credentials are required for access to all event activities. Early entry for the tournament is $3,750 per team (plus tax) valid through November 20th. After November 20th, registration is $4,500 per team (plus tax). For more information on Operation Sailfish visit http://www.operationsailfish.com or call (954) 725-4010. The entire Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series schedule can be found at http://www.questforthecrest.com.
There will also be a pre season party to kick off the Quest for the Crest at the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. The party is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th and is sure to be a great time! There will be live music, delicious cuisine from one of the local food trucks and free Quest for the Crest Ale for all registered teams.