With travel opening up, the TBF Team hit the road (or, more accurately, the water) to promote conservation. It’s our goal to be everywhere the action happens, representing billfish conservation and advocating for the recreational fishing community. Here’s where we’ve been so far this year!
- The Tag & Release Awards Ceremony – South Florida
- In our second ever virtual event on Facebook Live, TBF announced and honored the winners of the 2019-2020 Tag & Release Competition. During filming, we visited our friends Viking Service Center in Riviera Beach and King Sailfish Mounts in Fort Lauderdale. Both of these companies work diligently with TBF to promote the healthy catch and release of billfish worldwide. The event was a huge success, due in large part to everyone that joined us to celebrate online.
- Casa Vieja Lodge – Puerto San Jose, Guatemala
- TBF consultant Elliott Stark jetted off in March to visit longtime sponsor of our Tag and Release Program, Casa Vieja Lodge (CVL). There, he spent a few days fishing and highlighting the importance of billfish conservation in safeguarding future fishing opportunities. You can read more about his time at CVL on The TBF Experience.
Viking Key West Challenge – Key West, Florida
- In April, TBF President Ellen Peel and Adrienne Katz headed South to the Viking Key West Challenge (VKWC). Viking Yachts is a longtime supporter of The Billfish Foundation, and we are always so excited to visit them and say thank you! At the tournament, Ellen and Adrienne chatted to attendees and spread the word about our programs. They also handed out TBF gift bags to youth anglers.
- Chub Cay Invitational Tournament – Chub Cay, Bahamas
- When TBF Director of Conservation, Peter Chaibongsai, was asked to help out at Robert “Fly” Navarro’s tournament in Chub Cay, Bahamas, the answer was a resounding “see you there”! At the tournament, Peter helped out behind the scenes in the radio room and on the chase boat. Of course, he couldn’t help chatting with participants and encouraging them to get involved with the Tag & Release Program whenever he got the chance.
- Orange Beach Billfish Classic – Orange Beach, Alabama
- The Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC) is the largest tournament donor to TBF and is so important in helping advocate for billfish conservation in the Gulf of Mexico. With all of that, of course TBF had to make an appearance. TBF’s Peter Chaibongsai was in attendance, talking to crews about our programs and current work domestically in the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, we were able to share an exciting presentation from Dr. Jeremy Higgins about TBF’s 2019 satellite tagging trip – more details to come!
- Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic – Venice, Louisiana
- Back in the Gulf, TBF Experience consultant Elliott Stark ventured to Louisiana for the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic. Cajun Canyons is another tournament that promotes conservation and supports TBF, so we love to make an appearance. Once there, Elliott competed with the team aboard Miss Remy. In between fish, he made sure to advocate for billfish conservation to tournament participants.
- Ladies Fish Off – Pompano Beach, Florida
- Ladies Fish Off is a longtime supporter of TBF. In fact, LFO donates all of the tournament proceeds to charity, including billfish conservation! As if that weren’t enough, they are so important in encouraging women to get involved in fishing. TBF’s Adrienne Katz is a member of the LFO Committee and worked behind the scenes and during the event to help make it a success.
- Pelagic Triple Crown – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- TBF’s Adrienne Katz and Faith Benner jetted off to Cabo San Lucas to visit our friends Dave and Geri Christman. Dave and Geri are longtime supporters and members of TBF, and Geri even took home the coveted Top Tagging Lady Angler for Pacific Striped Marlin in the 2019-2020 Tag and Release Competition. Adrienne and Faith spent an awesome few days fishing the Pelagic Triple Crown Billfish Release Tournament. They were even able to get a tag in a striped marlin while aboard the Geri Lynn.
- Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic – Miramar Beach, Florida
- For TBF’s last June event, Peter Chaibongsai traveled to Sandestin Resort to attend the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (ECBC). ECBC has supported TBF for years, and we always try to make it out there to thank them and the boats who came out to fish. Peter also made sure to meet the new tournament director, Jason Draughn, who made the event an incredible success.
- Pensacola International Billfish Tournament – Pensacola, Florida
- The Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club, the first Gulf of Mexico club to become a Founding Member of TBF, celebrated its 50th International Billfish Tournament in July. The Club has supported TBF during its 35 years. At the awards ceremony, TBF President Ellen Peel presented the Club with an honorary plaque commemorating its accomplishments.
With all of our travel, plus our work in advocating for responsible fisheries management, managing our Tag & Release Program, creating youth education materials, and more, 2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for TBF! Make sure you get involved by becoming a member, subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, and checking out the TBF shop for tagging equipment and merchandise. You won’t want to miss what we have in store for the rest of the year!