Out of all the saltwater fishing tournaments hosted around the world, a few steal the show with their massive prizes. These high-stakes competitions are extremely costly to enter, but the high fees allow them to splurge. Thanks to hefty contributions, these tournaments are able to invest millions into their events. Their larger than life prize pools create payouts that are too big for most anglers to ignore. For this reason, many teams save up all year to be able to compete in these costly tournaments.
Even though there’s no shortage of high-dollar saltwater fishing competitions, a few manage to stand out. Their prize pools run into the millions, which puts them in a league of their own. This lavish display of showmanship lures in participants from all over the world. It’s an intriguing sub-culture to examine, which is why we are diving into it with this article. Through extensive research, we compiled a list of the most expensive saltwater fishing tournaments in the world. Prepare to be shocked by the size of their prizes, they are large enough to inspire the most hesitant angler!
Most Expensive Saltwater Fishing Tournaments
Tournament #3: Mid-Atlantic Saltwater Fishing Tournament (MA500) – Ever since this lavish tournament was founded in 1991, it has set the standard for premium fishing tournaments. The MA500 operates out of the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey. This strategic location allows them to host an epic five-day competition. The base entry fee is $2,500, and anglers can participate in different categories to increase their changes of winning. From billfish to tuna, there’s no shortage of species to target.
While the options are extensive, the payouts are even more impressive. Each year seven teams win more than six figures while 12 more take in $40,000 or more. The MA500 paid out $2,812,010 in 2015, which makes it one of the most lucrative fishing tournaments in the world.
Tournament #2: White Marlin Open (WMO) – Boasting over 300 participating boats a year, this is the largest billfish tournament in the world. The WMO operates in Ocean City, Maryland, which has been dubbed the “White Marlin Capital of the World”. This lavish tournament has been operating for 45 years, which has firmly established it in circles of elite fishermen. The base entry fee is $1,000, but the prize pool is absolutely staggering. In 2015, the total winning pot exceeded $3.5 million. This nearly unlimited budget allowed them to give a $1.1 million prize to Cheryl McLeskey & her team for reeling in an 84-pound white marlin!
Tournament #1: Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament – For the last 37 years, this tournament has set the standard. Every year hundreds of teams hailing from 18 countries descend on Cabo San Lucas to compete in this revered event. While the base entry fee is $5,000, across the board fees are $71,500. This hefty investment gives anglers the chance to potentially become millionaires. In 2006, Bad Company 55 made history when they won $3,902,997.50. This was the biggest payout in fishing tournament history, which makes this the most lucrative event an angler can participate in.