When you think of big-money tournaments, what comes to mind: The Super Bowl – The World Series – NBA Playoffs – The Masters – The World Series of Poker – The US Open – The Stanley Cup? You better include saltwater sport fishing in that list! Offshore fishing tournaments have been racking up larger and larger payouts. Last year, the White Marlin Open alone had a $4.4M purse. Tournaments with more than $1M up for grabs have become common. All told, there is well over $50M up for grabs in offshore fishing tournaments worldwide.

But what really sets tournament fishing apart from other big-money events is that anyone can throw their hat in the ring. You don’t need to get drafted by a team, spend years training, and be the best in your sport. Anyone who can pay the entry fee can compete, and the entry fee may not be as prohibitive as you think . .. . especially considering that you’ll typically need about six anglers on your team and can split the costs.

Prize money aside, these fishing tournaments are exceptionally fun events. Anglers enjoy kick-off parties, captains meetings, bar crawls, and awards ceremonies. Of course, for most anglers the fishing is still the highlight! Each event has great food, drinks, entertainment, camaraderie, and sponsors with swag.

Beyond the entry fee, you will need to have a boat, or hire a charter boat and captain. Again, chartering a boat is easier than you think. Fin & Field has many tournament winning captains and makes it easy to search, compare, and book a charter for any of our favorite tournaments listed below (see the complete tournament calendar here). All you have to do is pick your crew, pick your tournament, hire a boat, and enjoy competing for life-changing amounts of money!

White Marlin Open

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $4.4M

2017 Dates: August 7-11

Location: Ocean City, MD

Teams: 329

Target Species: White Marlin

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $1,000

 

Fin & Field

Bisbee’s Black and Blue

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $3.5M

2017 Dates: October 24-28

Location: Los Cabos, Mexico

Teams: 121

Target Species: Blue Marlin, Black Marlin

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $5,000

 

Fin & Field

The MidAtlantic

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $3.1M

2017 Dates: August 20-25

Location: Cape May, NJ and Ocean City, MD

Teams: 157

Target Species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Tuna

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $2,500

 

Fin & Field

Bluewater Movements Quest for the Crest

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016-2017: $2.5M (Across all 4 legs of the tournament)

2017-2018 Dates:

Operation Sailfish – December 6-10

Sailfish 400 – January 17-21

The Sailfish Challenge – February 21-25

Final Sail – April 17-22

Location: Southern Florida

Teams: 45-65 teams in each leg

Target Species: Sailfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Release

Basic Entry: $12,767 for all 4 tournaments, or tournaments can be entered individually!

 

Fin & Field

Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $1.75M

2017 Dates: June 5-11

Location: Biloxi, MS

Teams: 81

Target Species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish, Swordfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $5,000

 

Fin & Field

Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring

Website2016 Recap Find A Boat

2016: $1M (Guaranteed $1.5M in 2017!)

2017 Dates: March 7-10

Location: Key Largo

Teams: 71

Target Species: Sailfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Release

Basic Entry: $3,900

 

Fin & Field

Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $600k

2017 Dates: August 12-18

Location: Outer Banks, NC

Teams: 72

Target Species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Swordfish, Spearfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $5,000

 

Fin & Field

Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $550k

2017 Dates: August 23-26

Location: Virginia Beach, VA

Teams: 75

Target Species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $2,400

 

Fin & Field

Pompano Beach Saltwater Classic

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $450k (Across all 3 legs of the tournament)

2017 Dates:

Saltwater Shootout – May 11-14

Saltwater Slam – June 8-11

Saltwater Showdown – August 3-6

Location: Pompano Beach, FL

Teams: 70-130 teams in each leg

Target Species: Dolphin, Kingfish, Wahoo, Blackfin Tuna, and Cobia

Gamefish Division: NA

Format: Weigh-In

Basic Entry: $1,170 for all 3 legs, or each leg can be entered individually. The Saltwater Showdown is invitation only!

 

Fin & Field

Huk Big Fish Classic

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $350k

2017 Dates: July 28-30

Location: Ocean City, MD

Teams: 67

Target Species: Sailfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Heaviest fish wins

Basic Entry: $600

 

Fin & Field

Texas Billfish Classic

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $250k

2017 Dates: August 16-19

Location: Freeport, TX

Teams: 30

Target Species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $1,550

 

Fin & Field

Los Cabos Billfish Tournament

Website2016 RecapFind A Boat

2016: $450k

2017 Dates: October 15-19

Location: Los Cabos, Mexico

Teams: 37

Target Species: Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, Striped Marlin, Sailfish, Spearfish

Gamefish Division: Yes

Format: Modified Release

Basic Entry: $1,550 Gamefish Only, $5,000 Base Entry

 

Giving Back:

Most of the tournaments take some of the proceeds and make donations to local and national charities. If you are primarily interested in the fun events, enjoying some fishing, and giving back to a great cause, then maybe a charity tournament is the best choice. Anglers For The Cure is a great option for a charity tournament:

Fin & Field

Anglers For The Cure

WebsiteAbout the TournamentFind A Boat

Cause: Prostate Cancer Awareness

2016 Donations: over $25k

2017 Dates: August 17-19

Location: West Palm Beach, FL

Teams: 67

Target Species: Kingfish, Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Wahoo

Format: Heaviest Fish Wins

Basic Entry: $200 for the KDW, $350 for the King of Kings

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