While Americans enjoy a holiday weekend full of turkey, pie and football, the end of 2016 is rapidly approaching. While winter means different things to different people, the eyes of the sportfishing community in South Florida turn to sailfishing. The tournament season is fast upon us. Not only are their tournament checks and bragging rights on the line, but the Contender Florida Division of the ITB Captain of the Year is a close race. The Captain of the Year will be determined by how the remaining 2016 tournaments play out. The Palm Beach Sailfish Classic took place from Nov. 18-20. The tournament scoring system awards differential tallies to dead bait and live bait-caught fish. These tournaments provide an interesting element of strategy. Should you try to catch more fish with live bait, that are worth fewer points each? Should the captain and crew target fewer, more valuable fish on the troll? The approach of the top three teams is evident in their their scores. While the top boat caught eight more fish than the second place crew, it’s point total was only 200 points more than second place. Here is how it played out: Top Boat: Doing it All– 22 fish, 4400 points. Second Place: Martha D– 14 fish, 4200 points. Third Place: Hellreyzer– 14 fish, 2800 points. Which approach would you take? So while the remainder of the world relaxes their way through Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, the professional sportfishing community of South Florida is already in high gear. Far from being relaxing, it is the winter time in which they earn their money. Winter means sailfish in South Florida. Sailfish mean tournaments. If you’re anything like us, you’re looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Good luck to all. Happy Thanksgiving, too.