By Ed Killer for CAM
PORT SALERNO – The 68th annual Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle Sailfish Tournament went extra light when it fished over two days Dec. 10-11, 2021. The longest running fishing tournament on the Treasure Coast was fished by 15 entries in two divisions – Championship and Semi-pro.
Indian Summer conditions during the early winter in Florida did little to help move migratory sailfish south and into Treasure Coast waters. As a result, Light Tackle catch totals were among the lowest in the esteemed tournament’s history with just 36 combined by the fleet.
Canyon Lady led by Jamie Diller of Cape May, New Jersey won the event with six sailfish releases, edging out Vintage led by Hans Kraaz of Fort Pierce finishing runner-up. The two teams tied, but ties are broken by time of last sailfish released. Small Change owned by Jim Burns of Winter Haven finished in third place and was recognized for catching the first sailfish each of the two days.
In the Semi-pro division, Princess Lily was the winner led by top lady angler award winner Dawn Samuels. Cole Bates was the top junior angler aboard Vintage. Morgan Tolbert and Ryan Keaney were recognized with top mate awards aboard Canyon Lady. Diller was awarded the Capt. Ad Whiticar top captain award and the Joe Lehner top owner award.
The Light Tackle Tournament benefited Project LIFT and the family of the late Capt. Patrick Price.