“It Was This Big!”

You stand firm where lesser fishermen buckle. Your poise behind a rod and reel is worthy of rendition through chiseled sculpture. And your tackle skills? Why, they’re the stuff of champions. You sir, are a Master Baiter. Prove it to the world this weekend at the 44th Annual Billfish Tournament.

The tradition is long-standing: The country’s most accomplished sport fishermen have been flocking to the Florida tournament for more than four decades, with each year marking another chance to reel in bigger cash prizes and even bigger bragging rights. The ’08 edition saw $134,000 fins divided amongst the most successful participants who ensnared behemoth dolphin, wahoo, tuna, kingfish, and, of course, sailfish. And with the stock market dropping faster than a long line studded with lead sinkers, you should justify the entry fee as your safest available investment.

Tonight’s registration kick-off party is a great time to razz your opponents with sea tales and stories of mythical catch. But come Saturday and Sunday, you’ll have to back those recollections up with results — should you want your piece of the payout.

The weekend’s activities launch out of the Las Olas Marina, at 240 E. Las Olas Circle, in Fort Lauderdale. The kick-off bash goes down at 6 p.m. Registration is available in three categories: One Day Slam, Two Day Classic, and the new Sailfish Pro Series — enrollment fees vary accordingly.
Feb. 5-8, 2009

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Jamie Laughlin