"Sea Base" Staves Off Late Run from Dustin Johnson's "Just Chillin" at Walker's Cay Open, Advances to Zane Grey Championship Playoffs

"Sea Base" Staves Off Late Run from Dustin Johnson's "Just Chillin" at Walker's Cay Open, Advances to Zane Grey Championship Playoffs

Capt. Wendell Black and "Sea Base" Stave Off Late Run from Dustin Johnson's "Just Chillin," Punch the Season's First Ticket to the Zane Grey Championship Finals, Oct. 19-21, in Cabo San Lucas.

(Walker's Cay, BS) – Capt. Wendell Black and Sea Base, one of offshore fishing's top Atlantic Division teams, clinched a victory at the Inaugural Walker's Cay Open on Saturday, and punched their ticket to the first-ever Zane Grey Championship Playoffs in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Oct. 19-21. 

While it was Capt. Black at the helm leading the Jupiter-based team, fishing on their magnificant 70' Spencer, it was First Mate Frank Fini who was the first to ascend to the top of the historic Walker's Cay gantry and "capture the flag" in front of a crowd of competitors below. 

"We're so grateful to Walker's Cay and the SFC for this incredible opportunity," said Fini. "It didn't hit me until after (the flag ceremony) that in a few decades, we'll look back at this moment and I was the first to climb to the top of the gantry and capture the flag. I owe it all to this team (Sea Base)." 

LIV Golf superstar and 2X PGA major champion Dustin Johnson's "Just Chillin" team made a run late Friday afternoon that continued into Saturday morning, racking up three blue marlin releases between 4:27pm (Friday) and 9:56am on Saturday. While Team Just Chillin nearly completed the epic comeback, it was Sea Base's Tony Canha who released a blue marlin at 3:15pm on the final day of competition that ended up being the insurance points Sea Base needed to stave off Johnson's comeback efforts. 

The Walker's Cay Open continued the iconic venue's two-week stretch of hot fishing, following the 2024 Walker's Cay Invitational. The Open racked up 45 total billfish releases, including 29 blue marlin. 

Matt Osheroff was recognized at the conclusion of the competition as the Walker's Cay Open's "Top Angler," fishing aboat Osh-It, who finished T-3rd to end the tournament.

With the victory, Capt. Black and Sea Base punched their ticket to the 12-team Zane Grey Championship Playoff in Cabo San Lucas. The Walker's Cay Open is one of three "win and your in" Qualifying Events in the 2024 SFC Billfish Championship Season where the winning team automatically advances into the playoff.

Next week's Alabama Offshore Open (Orange Beach) and the Oak Bluff's Bluewater Classic (Falmouth) in July serve as the other two tournaments where a victory clinches a birth into the playoff.

The new Zane Grey Championship Playoffs competition format advances the league's top 12 teams into the three-day competition. The field will include the top four scoring teams from the '24 Season (including the Atlantic and Gulf Division Champions), plus the winners of the three "win and you're in" competitions, and seven additional teams who will receive invitations based on their SFC competition resume for the year. On the final day of the season, four teams will go head-to-head to award a champion.

The Alabama Offshore Open is the next stop on SFC's 2024 Tour, and will be hosted at the historic Mobile Big Game Fishing Club, June 12-15, in Orange Beach, Alabama. 




About Sport Fishing Championship

SFC is the world’s largest owner and media rights holder of saltwater fishing tournaments, found on network television, SFC Digital Network, YouTube and more. In 2024, SFC’s Billfish Championship (professional offshore fishing league) will feature tournaments from April through August across destinations in the Gulf of Mexico, up the Atlantic seaboard, and in the Bahamas. On April 20, 2024 SFC will debut the second annual edition of The Catch, an offshore fishing competition that pairs current NFL greats with SFC star anglers. The two-hour event is broadcast live on network television.

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