PORT SALERNO — Is there a sailfish worth $1 million swimming along the Treasure Coast?
That will be a burning question asked with every one caught during the 11th annual Quickie Sailfish Tournament being fished Tuesday and Wednesday out of Finest Kind Offshore Tackle and Sailfish Marina.
In a unique format, fishing teams that catch and release a tagged sailfish will have an opportunity to draw an envelope from 200. One envelope could yield a winning ticket worth $1 million.
Five-time Quickie winner and defending champion Capt. Glenn Cameron will lead the team aboard Lo Que Sea. Anglers Jim Vaughn and Mark Wodlinger return along with mate Austin Robbins and others. Cameron said the sailfish action lately has been very inconsistent and is not close to the pattern enjoyed during last year’s near record Quickie. Although the charter boat Sea Check with Capt. V.J. Bell did have an 8-of-13 sailfish day Friday.
“We have not had great fishing up the line — instead a lot of fish have been holding to the south,” he said. “We’ll see what the week brings.”
During the 2010 Quickie, Cameron and team fishing aboard the boat Zues, wound up catching 19 sailfish in the event’s two days, the highest total for a boat in the tournament’s run. The 21 boats last year caught and released 116 sailfish, just four shy of the tournament’s record 120 caught in 2005.
This year 18 boats will fish, according to tournament chairman Krista Chasmar.
Cameron said sometimes, when there is a fleet of boats fishing for sailfish, the fish seem to just show up.
“Once everybody is out there and putting out their ‘A’ spread, things can change quickly,” he said.
The Quickie is the opener for the five-event Treasure Coast sailfish tournament season. Next up is the Pirates Cove Sailfish Classic Friday through Sunday.
Teams will fish Tuesday and Wednesday for a payout in excess of $100,000. Boats may leave through St. Lucie or Fort Pierce Inlets and must return to Manatee Pocket by 5 p.m. For more information visit www.finestkind.com.
Tuesday: West winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. A moderate chop on intracoastal waters.
Wednesday: Northwest winds 10 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. A light chop on intracoastal waters.