Anglers reel in records at Silver Sailfish Derby

— Sailfish anglers shattered records in the 75th annual Silver Sailfish Derby tournament based at Sailfish Marina.

After all lines were in on the final day of fishing Saturday, a record 1,174 sailfish had been released by 46 boats in three days of fishing. The previous Derby record, 958 releases, was set by a 50-boat fleet in 2006.

"It's unprecedented," Tournament Director Tom Twyford said. "For Atlantic sailfish, this is uncharted territory."

Hot sailfish action on the first day of fishing Thursday followed a cold front that moved in Tuesday.

Fishing teams found sailfish leaping from the water and "tailing," or moving south in waves driven by the north wind.

Thursday's total catch - 659 releases by 46 boats - shattered the previous one-day release record for the Derby by 262 releases. By Friday afternoon, the release total had climbed to more than 1,000 for the first time in the tournament, founded by the West Palm Beach Fishing Club in 1935.

Captain Quinton Dieterle of Miami led the team on Get Lit to top-boat honors, with a three-day total of 58 releases.

The Get Lit team set a new one-day tournament record on Thursday with 36 releases.

Finding Nino Captain Chip Sheehan said the sailfish "would just pop up" on Thursday morning. "Everywhere you looked, everybody was hooked up."

The fishing team on Jichi finished second in the derby, with 44 releases, followed by Sandman with 42 and El Placio de los Jugos, with 41.

Bill Danko of Cincinnati, fishing on Get Lit, won top angler with a three-day total of 24 releases.


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