Anglers on teams from more than 30 countries on six continents are preparing for the most prestigious bluewater catch-and-release fishing tournament in the world, the eighth annual IGFA Offshore World Championship, May 20 – 25.
A record 68 teams, the single largest contingent of international teams ever to compete in a fishing competition will converge on-the-water for four days off the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula at Cabo San Lucas one of the world’s most prolific billfish regions. The teams qualified by winning one of 132 IGFA sanctioned tournaments held in 40 countries worldwide during 2006.
“The skill levels of the anglers and teams who are competing as well as the diversity of countries increases each year,” said IGFA OWC Tournament Director Mike Myatt.
There will be 48 teams representing tournaments in the countries and territories of Angola (4), Australia (3), the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda (2), Brazil (2), Canada (2), Costa Rica (2), Ecuador, England, Grenada, Guatemala, Italy (4), Jamaica, Kenya (2), Kingdom of Tonga, Mexico (5), New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Senegal, Spain (3), Sultanate of Oman, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Vanuatu and Venezuela.
Many of the teams will be represented by anglers from a number of additional countries such as Holland, Singapore, the Canary Islands and Ireland.
From the United States 17 are registered.
Three past Rolex/IGFA championship teams are also registered including defending back-to-back 2005 and 2006 winners Tom Schramm of Roselle, Ill., fellow Chicago-land teammate Scott Segal, Libertyville, Ill., and RayRosher, Miami, Florida.
Each day the teams will fish on a different boat, all guided by local Cabo captains, for marlin, sailfish and other billfish species. The top team will win engraved watches along with trophies and merchandise. Awards are presented through to the third place finishing team.
Partners and sponsors for the IGFA Offshore World Championship are Secretaria de Turismo de Baja California Sur, Costa Del Mar, Hotel Finisterra, Momoi, Guy Harvey, Inc., Mold Craft Products, Picante Sport Fishing and Yacht Sales, Cabo Yachts, Outdoor Channel, K D & G Sea Life Masterpieces, Shimano, Hook & Tackle, Murray Products, AFTCO Bluewater, Bodo Muche, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Stidd Systems, Corona and Modelo S.A. de C.V. Mexico, Trans Cabo Group, API Dock, Daiichi, Minerva’s Baja Tackle, Pisces Fleet Sportfishing and UltraJewels.