Each year, the best sport fishermen in the world travel North America to compete for the most prestigious award in the field: The Sport Fishing Championship. After years of independent tournaments, the SFC was formed to determine a season-long champion across some of the best sport fishing spots on the continent. There are 11 tournaments throughout the season, and here’s a look at where they are:
Montauk, New York
The SFC season gets started with a qualifying event at the New York Offshore Open in Montauk, New York, with sport fishermen settling at the Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina. Montauk is a world-famous fishing destination located at the very eastern top of Long Island and is home to the most saltwater fishing records in the world.
Grand Isle & Venice, Louisiana
Dozens of sport fishermen take off from Cypress Cove Marina in Venice, Louisiana. This is the home of the Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, which is a week-long party that spans two of the most popular fishing spots in the gulf.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The only trip the SFC takes out of the United States during the season is to the Dominican Republic for the CNSD White Marlin Tournament. The tournament is held at Club Nautico, a popular tourist destination located at the eastern tip of the island country where warm weather is a guarantee.
St. Augustine, Florida
On the hunt for more marlin, St. Augustine is home to the NEFMA Bluewater Tournament, one of the longest-running professional sport fishing events. Held prior to Memorial Day weekend, St. Augustine hosts the fishermen at the Camatchee Cove Yacht Harbor.
Orange Beach, Alabama
Among the biggest sport fishing tournaments of the year is the Gulf Coast Masters which has a six-figure prize pool. Located at the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club, this Memorial Day weekend classic is nationally televised with many locals staying at the Perdido Beach Resort to take in the action.
Not too far from the Gulf Coast Masters is the next event, the SFC Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic in Biloxi. Each June, the SFC’s top fishermen catch thousands of pounds of marlin and get to have a lot of fun in the process since the tournament’s headquarters are located at the Golden Nugget casino.
Miramar Beach, Florida
A return to the marlins of Florida, the next event is the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, which has been taking place since the early 2000s. With over 80 competitors each year, this SFC event takes place in late June with the Hotel Effie Sandestin being the HQ in Miramar Beach.
Cape May, New Jersey
For a couple of weeks in July, the SFC heads to the northeast, starting with the South Jersey Yacht Sales Offshore Showdown. One of the younger tournaments to be included in the SFC, the SJYSOS is hosted in a resort town with plenty to offer for spectators and fishermen alike.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
The final northeastern event on the SFC calendar is at the gorgeous Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Known as the Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic, this tournament has a pair of marinas to operate from with some of the best sights of the tour.
South Padre Island, Texas
The SFC’s only stop in Texas on the year is at South Padre Island for the Texas International Fishing Tournament. This tournament draws in perhaps the largest crowd of the year with tens of thousands of people partying at the Laguna Madre Bay off of the Gulf of Mexico.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Among the most popular sport fishing destinations in the world, San Juan, Puerto Rico plays host to the final event of the SFC season, with the famous San Juan International Billfish Tournament. Taking place in mid-August over four weeks, “Blue Marlin Alley” is where some of the biggest catches of the year are made.