Top national and international fishing teams are to test their mettle against Florida Keys sailfish during the 11th annual World Sailfish Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The acclaimed tournament is scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, April 10-14, with a new invitation-only format.

According to chairman and founder Chris King, the prize purse should exceed $1 million in 2013. King said more than $10 million has been awarded since 2003, the inaugural year of the event that has been called the world’s richest sailfish tournament.

The sailfish spectacular offers three days of competitive angling complemented by social and charity events. It is scheduled to begin Wednesday, April 10, with a 1-4 p.m. final registration at tournament headquarters at the Westin Key West Resort & Marina, 245 Front St.

The mandatory Bass Pro Shops captains meeting is set for 5:30 p.m., followed by a kick-off party, color guard presentation and military flyover.

Competition is to commence with lines in the water at 8 a.m. Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12. Lines-out is to be called at 3:30 p.m. both days.

After a nonfishing “lay day” Saturday, the battle for angling supremacy culminates Sunday with fishing from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tournament social events include the “Cocktails and Fish Tales” party Thursday evening and a Friday night “Duval Crawl” exploration of emporiums along Key West’s renowned main street. The anglers’ awards banquet is to be presented by Westin’s Sunset Key Guest Cottages at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Competitive angling teams are to request an invitation to participate. The entry fee is $8,000 plus tax per boat for five anglers and a designated captain, and includes six VIP social passes and six gift bags.

Event information and invitation: www.worldsailfish.com or 866-550-5580

Logo courtesy Florida Keys and Key West

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