The Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament’s 2017 Sailfish Smackdown was one for the record books. This two-day competition kicked off February 17th at Galuppi’s in Pompano Beach, Florida for the captains meeting. EKFT had tons of great prizes displayed for their HUGE raffle, which benefits the Broward Children’s Center. Prizes included Hobie Livewells, AFTCO merchandise, Guy Harvey paintings, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, even a beautiful Sailfish Mount from EKFT’s trophy sponsor Global Fish Mounts and a Vibe Sea Ghost Kayak from Vibe Kayaks. After the anglers registered and filled up on some free grub, they were ready for an action packed weekend ahead.
Day one – Anglers from all over the USA arrived at the crack of dawn just north of the Pompano Beach pier to have their kayaks and gear inspected by EKFT committee members, and coast guards to make sure they were complying by the rules, and to check for their safety equipment. After several cups of Coffee provided by Dandee Donuts everyone was amped up and ready to shoot off. The golden hour was between 9am-10am when four Sails were landed back to back, and multiple lost. New York angler Richard Chavis took the lead on day one landing the first Sailfish of the tournament. Richard almost took a commanding lead before the end of the morning, when he hooked up on a Sailfish double header, but unfortunately he ended up loosing both which gave the locals a breath of new life.
Day two – Another beautiful morning in Pompano Beach, with less wind and current anglers had a better opportunity to fish without battling the elements. The morning was chaotic with multiple anglers calling in on their radios for their Sailfish to be documented. In the end local south Florida angler Benny Scoca killed it, and broke a Sailfish Smackdown record by catching and safely releasing FOUR Sailfish during the two-day competition. Benny was awarded $3,500.00 from Turbo USA for being the EKFT Sailfish Smackdown Champion.
On day two Rob Rodriguez and John McKroid landed two sailfish each, earning them second and third place respectfully. Rob won $1,000.00 and John took home $500 donated by Nautical Ventures. New York angler Richard Chavis came in fourth and won a 3-night all-inclusive package for the 2017 EKFT Battle in the Bahamas. Fifth place was awarded to Mitchell Terk Murphy who received Costa Sunglasses. Indiana native Nick Weber came in sixth place; many might remember him for catching a massive 39.1lb grouper in the 2016 Battle in the Bahamas. The $3,000 RAILBLAZA USA Kingfish Calcutta was awarded to North Carolina fisherman Andrew Imes who won with an impressive 24lb. Kingfish.
For the fourth straight year out of state anglers have produced in the Sailfsh Smackdown ranking in the top 6 consistently. This makes the Sailfish Smackdown a perfect destination tournament for anglers across the world.
A Special THANK YOU to all sponsors of the Extreme Kayak Fishing 2017 Sailfish Smackdown:
COSTA DEL MAR
GLOBAL FISH MOUNTS
ADRENALINE FISHING CUSTOM RODS