A Look at One of Sport Fishing’s Premier Events — the IGFA Auction and Banquet

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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

The International Game Fish Association’s Annual International Auction & Banquet was held this year on Jan. 25, at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida. The event has become synonymous with some amazing objects of art, exotic fishing trips and much more. This stunning live-auction sculpture, “Red Bull” by marine artist David Wirth went for $3,000, purchased by Kevin Muench.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

The calm before the storm at 6 p.m. As guests begin filtering in the front of the building, the banquet hall is set up for 300 guests.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Donated by Hell’s Bay and Mercury Marine, this limited-edition Whipray Classic with 40-hp Merc four stroke entices guests just before they enter the IGFA building. A $30,000 bid took it during the live auction.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Hundreds of items, from tackle to art and memorabilia, donated to the silent auction await the influx of guests.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

And the guests arrive in droves. The silent auction runs from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., during which time throngs of people divide their time between networking and placing bids.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Many tackle manufacturers (here, Normark/Rapala brands) donated packages with a great assortment of their best gear.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Before the banquet begins, a veritable compendium of who’s who in the fishing world can be seen chatting. Here, Capt. Peter Wright (left), an IGFA representative, and trustee Bill Shedd (AFTCO), seem to be having a grand time.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Talk about two big names in sport fishing! Guy Harvey (who needs no introduction) and on the right, fab marine artist and photographer Marc Montocchio.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Few anglers don’t know the name Sebile; on the left is its owner, lure-maker extraordinaire Patrick Sebile. To his right is IGFA trustee and tireless world-record setter, Marty Arostegui.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

World-traveling angler and enthusiastic IGFA supporter Barbara Wolfe of New York with IGFA trustee Agie Vicente from Puerto Rico. Wolfe is actively involved in the annual dispensation of the IGFA’s Chester H. Wolfe Outstanding Sportsmanship Award, given in the name of her late husband.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

As the silent auction ends, guests are called in to the banquet hall where this year’s appetizer is pretty evident on each plate.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Amazing ice sculpture, donated by Hugh’s Culinary.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

IGFA President Rob Kramer welcomes this year’s crowd as diners begin digging into Maine lobster. He noted that “guests and fishing dignitaries travel from all over the world to attend this event year after year.”
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Some of the most significant awards in sport fishing would be handed out in the next half hour or so.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

First on the list of awards is a big one: the IGFA’s Conservation Award. This year it goes to four recipients for their instrumental role in achieving passage of the Billfish Conservation Act of 2012 (outlawing commercial sale of marlin/billfish in U.S. waters excluding Hawaii and Pacific territories). Here, Ken Hinman accepts for the National Coalition for Marine Conservation (NCMC) of which he is president; Hinman has tirelessly fought for conservation to make sport fishing better for decades. He noted those involved had spent four years working to get make legislation law.
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Conservation award recipient Congressman Jeff Miller (R-Fla) gave his full support and sponsorship to the act.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Senator David Vitter (R-La) sponsored the Billfish Act as well as last year’s “rigs to reefs” legislation to prevent willy-nilly removal of coral-laden Gulf of Mexico oil rigs.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Tim Choate, NCMC chair, also received the Conservation Award. He selflessly cited Rob Kramer and Ken Hinman as “great team leaders” who ensured the Billfish Act ultimately became the law of the land.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Accepting the Bob Herder Light Tackle Award from Bill Shedd (far left) is Warren Klawans; accepting the Gil Keech Heavy Tackle Award from Rob Kramer (far right) is Barry Alty.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

The winner of the inaugural IGFA Great Marlin Race was Team Texas-Scot Connection. Representing the team is Bruce McKee (left) with Erin Benitez, the wife of the late Mike Benitez, who was the angler on the winning fish. The team tagged a blue marlin off Puerto Rico recaptured after traveling 4,776 nautical miles, the longest track ever recorded.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Before the live auction begins, Kramer holds the impressive door prize, a stainless steel marlin sculpture by Bodo Muche.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Excitement mounts as the auctioneer begins to do his thing.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Photographer Marc Montocchio (right) and the IGFA’s Clayton Phillips display Montocchio’s signed photo, “Shades of Gray: Sailfish Series.” High bidder was Bruce McKee, at $2,750.
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2013 IGFA Auction & Banquet

Another breathtaking sculpture by Kent Ullberg, “Grand Chase,” brought $5,000 to the IGFA, purchased by Skip Smith. Now, watch a video on the 2013 IGFA Conservation Auction.