Team ViceVersa emerged victorious at the 2nd Annual Marathon Premier Sailfish Tournament. The tournament started on April 20th, 2023, at the Fairfield Inn. Registered teams received tournament buckets containing promotional items, drink tickets, and wristbands for the banquet. Each team was also given a Gray Taxidermy tagging kit, neck gaiters, and hooded fishing shirts in their sizes.
This year, the tournament had 83 anglers, and the weather was much better than the previous year. The sun was shining, and the 30-mile-per-hour gusts from the previous year were replaced with a light ten-mile-per-hour breeze. While the rough sea conditions were a concern the previous year, the calm conditions this year left participants questioning whether the sailfish would even bite.
On the first day of the tournament, four sailfish were hooked within the first 17 minutes. Teams used giant helium balloons to help get their kites aloft. By lunchtime, the Sailfish bite slowed down, and the Sailfish gave everyone a chance to eat lunch. At 2:07 pm, team ViceVersa converted two releases on a double-hookup. For the final hour of fishing, three more sailfish were released, and day one of the tournament was complete.
The weather on day two was similar to the previous day, and 18 minutes into the tournament, team Killbox’s Joe Marino caught the first sailfish of the day. Team ViceVersa called in a release ten minutes later, and the sailfish were being caught steadily but not at the same pace as the previous day. By 9:15 am, Jill Paglia caught her second sailfish aboard the Executive Decision, putting her at the top of the female angler leaderboard. Six sailfish were caught that morning before the lunchtime slowdown returned.
At 2:40 pm, team ViceVersa called in a hook-up, and five minutes later, both ViceVersa and No Slack reported successful releases. Incredibly at 2:59 pm, one minute before the end of the tournament, three boats called in hook-ups at the same time! Although all three teams’ fish escaped, it was an exciting conclusion to the fishing portion of the tournament.
Team ViceVersa won the tournament with 500 points, followed by Team Big Game with 400 points and Team No Slack with 300 points. The top male angler was ViceVersa’s Tyler Rodriguez, the top female angler was Executive Decision’s Jill Paglia, and the top junior angler was Corbin Buckley from Delray Beach. Big Game Sportfishing won the trophy for most tagged fish, with four tagged sailfish.
The awards banquet was held at Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, where trophies were awarded to the winners, and the participants celebrated the conclusion of the tournament.