Sailfish Tournament Champions Crowned

First Place Overall Champions Team 3 Natives

Anglers caught and released 57 sailfish during the Cheeca Lodge & Spa’s 30th annual Presidential Sailfish Tournament in the Florida Keys. The late January event is the second leg of the Florida Keys’ Gold Cup Series.

The two-day competition featured 83 anglers on 22 boats competing in the sportfishing tournament. Clinching first place was Team Three Natives with six sailfish catches. Team members included Matt Turner of Tallahassee, Fla.; Tim McGavern of Tampa; and Moriah Davis of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Outstanding Captain and Mate Awards went to Richard Black and Ross Render of Tavernier. Captain Richard Black was the Artificial Division Champion Guide at Cheeca’s 7th Annual All-American Backcountry Fishing Tournament last year. 

“We were excited to celebrate the tournament’s 30th anniversary with top-shelf competition by anglers from all over the world. We appreciate the tremendous support of our anglers and sponsors, and are proud to be part of the Florida Keys Gold Cup,” says Lisa Thornhill, Tournament Director. Cheeca Lodge & Spa is a 27-acre private estate in Islamorada, Florida.

Overall, 29 sailfish were released on the first day of the tournament and 28 were released on the second day, for a total of 66 hookups and 57 releases by 83 anglers on 22 boats.