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April 14, 2008

2008 Tournament Time

Whether your favorite species is blue marlin, dolphin or redfish, this special section has you covered with all the latest news and contact information.

You can keep tabs on all upcoming tournaments at our Tournament Calendar

Each year, thousands of anglers love to ignite their competitive fires and enjoy the camaraderie found by fishing some of the many great saltwater-fishing tournaments around the world. Most would agree that the best annual events just keep getting better.

This year will hold special significance - and rockin' parties - for several events, such as North Carolina's Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. The Big Rock celebrates 50 years of bragging rights this year as one of the East Coast's premier billfish competitions. Farther south, the Bahamas Billfish Championship enters its 35th season with five leading events. And in 2009, Sport Fishing and Marlin magazines assume management of the prestigious IGFA Offshore World Championship in Cabo San Lucas, promising to elevate the event to even loftier heights.
 
Whether your favorite species is blue marlin, dolphin or redfish, this special section has you covered with all the latest news and contact information.

Cobia World Championship Tournaments
April 25-27, Harbor Docks Invitational
The northern Gulf of Mexico's cobia run is one of the most popular angling adventures in our sport. Some of the biggest fish migrate through the emerald-green waters of Florida's Panhandle at Destin, which makes this a great area to host a season-long event such as the 17th Annual Cobia World Championship. Anglers vie for top honors in aggregate weight, largest fish and largest daily fish. This event also hosts several sub-events. The Harbor Docks Invitational and the Frank Helton "Living Legend" Crab Cruncher Classic keep anglers focused and the winners well funded, and provide opportunities to reach out to the community during peak season. For more information, contact Roy Moore  at 850-837-2506, harbrdocks@aol.com, or visit www.harbordocks.com.

The Presidential Challenge Conservation Series
Sept. 12-14, Venezuela
Nov. 14-16, El Salvador
Nov. 21-23, Guatemala

The Presidential Challenge of the Central America Conservation Series events have been beacons of conservation to the people of this region since they were founded over a decade ago. Tournament organizer Joan Vernon says the real    winners have been the fish. "Over the past 11 years we have contributed thousands of dollars to billfish conservation in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean through The Billfish Foundation, IGFA and the support of research tagging and scholarships," she says. "We are hoping that 2008 will be a banner year for us and our endowments will continue to assist us in protecting the billfish population for generations to come." This year's kickoff event is in Playa Carrillo, Costa Rica, in mid-April and follows up with tournaments in Venezuela and El Salvador, before finishing with a bang at Marina Pez Vela, Guatemala. For more information, contact Vernon at 305-361-9258, pezvelajv@aol.com, or visit www.preschallenge.com.

32nd Annual New Smyrna/Daytona Beach Striker Tournament
May 22-25
The New Smyrna/Daytona Beach Striker Tournament convenes for the 32nd straight year in 2008. Each registered boat that weighs in a tournament fish over the minimum 15-pound weight limit receives an entry into the prize drawings of $9,000 in guaranteed cash, courtesy of Trophy Sportfishing Boats. Each boat can qualify for one drawing entry on Friday and Saturday, providing a chance to receive two total entries in the drawing. A boat/entrant can be a winner in three places within a fish category. Fish-category awards go to the boats catching the four (4) largest fish in each fish category including tuna (yellowfin, blackfin or bigeye only), wahoo, dolphin and king mackerel. The Striker's expected purse is $80,000 in cash and prizes. On land, the New Smyrna Beach FishStock festival entertains and educates visitors with a lively boat show, arts show and fishing seminar. For more information, contact tournament director Dan Jacobs at 407-571-4680, dan.jacobs@bonniercorp.com, or visit www.nsbfla.com, www.fishstock.com.

6th Annual New Smyrna Beach Redfish-Trout Challenge
May 23-25
With an estimated $20,000 in cash and prizes, the Redfish-Trout Challenge is the largest inshore event out of New Smyrna Beach. Hell's Bay Boatworks is supporting owners of their boats in a special division within the tournament. If fishing on board a Hell's Bay boat, you will be automatically entered in the added competition for more cash and recognition. You will have a chance to win up to $1,000 in three separate categories. The tournament has a fun, team format, including lady and junior-angler divisions. The New Smyrna Beach FishStock festival presented by Trophy Sportfishing Boats and Hell's Bay Boatworks entertains and educates visitors with a boat show, arts show, fishing seminars, food festival and KidStock. For more information, contact tournament director Dan Jacobs at 407-571-4680, dan.jacobs@bonniercorp.com, or visit www.nsbfla.com, www.fishstock.com.

Mobile Big Game Fishing Club
May 23-26, Memorial Day Tournament
June 20-22, Ladies Tournament
July 11-12, Junior Angler Tournament
July 25-27, Small-Boat Billfish Limited Tournament
Aug. 29-Sept. 1, Alabama Invitational Labor Day Tournament

Each year, the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club sponsors five world-class events for anglers of all ages who fish the Gulf Coast for various species. These events run over five weekends from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. Before each tournament, captains must attend a mandatory meeting at the club facility in Orange Beach, Alabama. All these events follow IGFA rules with regard to catch-and-release. Points will be rewarded for the catching and releasing  of billfish. These points are used to determine the top catch-and-release anglers and also the top boats participating in each tournament. The club has established a blue-marlin minimum fork length of 106 inches to support conservation of billfish. An Alabama saltwater-fishing license is required to fish any of these events. For more information, visit www.mbgfc.org.

Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic
May 27-June 1
Taking its name from the world-famous deepwater canyons off the coast of Louisiana, the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic is just that: a classic. Based in historic Venice, Louisiana, home to the first grander blue marlin caught in the Gulf of Mexico, this event features a modified-release format with big money prizes for blue marlin, tag/release, dolphin, tuna and wahoo. Other awards include top female angler, top youth angler and the C.R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy for Top Boat. Also, don't miss the kickoff and dock parties, awards ceremony and charity auction to benefit CCA Louisiana and The Billfish Foundation. For more information, visit www.comefishla.com. Contact the tournament director Steve Thomas at sbthomas@aol.com, or call 985-732-7280.