The 2006 Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament and Baywalk Festival is gearing up for it 24th year! The tournament will be held April 6th through 9th, 2006, out of the beautiful Miami Beach Marina on South Beach in Florida.
The weekend festivities will commence with a Kick-Off Party hosted by Bonefish Grill Restaurant on Thursday, April 6th, including final registration and captain's meeting. The next three days will be all about fishing for top cash awards, prizes and trophies, along with arts, crafts and fun for spectators, families and the general public.
Free and open to the public, everyone is invited to attend the tournament's daily Baywalk Arts Festival and dock parties. The Baywalk Arts Festival features various local artists, craftsman, and a farmer's market, while our popular dock parties offer great food and drink specials, live music, exhibitors, raffles and entertainment and giveaways at the weigh-station. On Sunday afternoon, the festivities culminate with exciting events taking place in the tournament's 10,000 square foot, air-conditioned tent. It all begins with our huge Live and Silent Auctions, offering incredible opportunities to bid on and purchase merchandise such as trips, jewelry, artwork, fishing tackle, consumer and marine electronics and much more. During this time, our tournament awards ceremony and dinner will be held. Last year, total cash awards of over $187,000 were paid out to top anglers of the participating 469 fishermen, juniors and women, not to mention the great trophies and prizes that decorated some of the sport's best! The evening's finale is our famous raffle drawings, the first of which is for a 200hp 4-Stroke Yamaha Engine, followed by the drawing for a 25' Contender Boat complete with a 300hp Yamaha HPDI Outboard Engine, a Bluewater Towers T-top and Lean Post, and a Continental Trailer.
For 2006, almost 4,000 spectators are expected to fill the docks of the Miami Beach Marina and more than 100 boats are anticipated to register, making this a great competitive and social event for everyone! Even Pee Wee's, juniors, ladies and families can join in special divisional competition thanks to the focus on Family Fishing Fun!
Participation is easy and here is how to catch a piece of the action: Basic competition entry fee starts at $300 per person (early entry fee of $250 available) with a variety of added value categories available. Anglers compete for billfish (all release), as well as Fun Fish, which includes dolphin, tuna, wahoo and kingfish. There are also prizes of $5,000 for the heaviest Dolphin and Kingfish Challenges brought to the docks! In addition, the Miami Beach Marina Libertad Challenge, sponsored by Shelley Realty, is an even more exciting as anglers battle for a cash award of $25,000!
As the YCMBT is a qualifying event for two international tournament series - The Rolex IGFA Invitational Tournament of Champions and The World Billfish Series, many international anglers are expected again this year. All out-of-town anglers are invited to take advantage of special YCMBT dockage and hotel discounts by contacting the tournament office or visiting our web site at www.miamibillfish.com. We are pleased to announce the Doubletree Grand Bay is the 2006 Host Hotel for the Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament.
The Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament was founded 24 years ago with the goal to raise money for marine conservation and promote preservation awareness. In the last decade, over $440,000 has been donated to various organizations such as The Billfish Foundation, The Coastal Conservation Association, and the Florida Keys Marine Laboratory. The event is supported by sponsors and product donors nationwide interested in giving back to the marine industry. Principal sponsors this year include Yamaha Motor Corp., Contender Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Berkley Fishing, Yale Mortgage, Shelley Realty, Costa del Mar and Okuma Fishing Tackle.