24 March 2017
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Billfish are the primary target and significant cash prizes are the “bait” for anglers in the Final Sail, a boat tournament scheduled Tuesday through Sunday, April 25-30, in Key West waters. The tournament is the grand finale of the prestigious four-leg Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series.
 
According to event organizers, the overall purse for the 2016 Final Sail exceeded $800,000 including team and divisional payouts, heaviest fish awards and additional daily prizes.
 
The 2017 Final Sail is to start with a kick-off party at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Margaritaville Resort & Marina, 245 Front St. The party is to feature live music, food and drinks, and silent and live auctions. A captains meeting is set for 6:30 p.m.  
 
Anglers can fish from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. Friday is a designated lay day.
 
A brunch and awards ceremony round out the weekend schedule beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 30, at the Margaritaville Resort. 
 
Sailfish, blue marlin and white marlin are the primary targets during the Final Sail, and all billfish must be released to count for points. In addition, each boat team can weigh in one of each eligible fun fish species — dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, cobia and tuna — for points during the tournament.
 
The early entry fee is $3,975 per team, including tax, if received on or before April 4. The fee enables an unlimited number of anglers to compete on the team. After April 4, the entry fee is $4,770 per team, including tax.
 
In the general division, the top team takes home $50,000 and a Tigress kitefishing package. Cash prizes of $18,000 and $10,000, respectively, are slated for the second- and third-place teams. Cash prizes and trophies await other winners as well.
 
Teams also can compete in optional entry categories that provide additional payouts, including those for daily top scorers, for additional entry fees. Among them are the high-stakes Big Easy category with a first-place award of $66,150. 
 
 
Event information and registration: bluewatermovements.com or finalsail.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing
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