White Marlin Tournament Begins April 27

Dallas, Texas – Sport Fishing Championship (SFC), the governing body of saltwater tournament fishing, announced today the beginning of its 2023 sportfishing season with the 57th edition of the Club Nautico Santo Domingo (CNSD) White Marlin Tournament in the Dominican Republic, beginning on April 27. Viewers can tune into CBS Sports Network Thursday at 7 p.m. to catch the first day’s action. The season’s kickoff comes on the heels of SFC’s wildly successful The Catch Presented by Fritos, a made-for-TV competition that paired SFC’s top anglers with NFL players to create star-studded teams.

The CNSD is held at Cabeza de Toro, off the beautiful shoreline of Punta Cana. With white marlin as the predominant species, anglers will have an excellent opportunity to get started on building point totals toward the SFC Billfish championship.

The tournament will take place over three days. Beginning Thursday, boats will depart at 7 a.m. and return to the docks at 5 p.m. on each day of the tournament, culminating in the settling of results on Saturday, April 29. Fans can watch exclusive coverage on CBS Sports Network from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, all times ET.

“We are so excited to kick off our second season in gorgeous Punta Cana,” said Mark Neifeld, CEO and commissioner of SFC. “We expect a lot of action based on last year’s season-leading catch-and-release results, so our fans are going to witness quite a show. Good luck to all of our anglers as we get this season started!”

As a qualifying event for the SFC season, scores at this tournament will count toward teams’ regular season point totals, with blue marlin counting for 350 points (first catch for 450 points), white marlin and spearfish for 125 points, and sailfish and swordfish for 75 points.

Last year’s Punta Cana event featured a whopping 109 billfish caught and released. This was the biggest billfish haul of the season, almost double last year’s per-tournament average of 56. Team Doña Lucy returns to defend its 2022 title when, despite winning day one, the team needed a white marlin release just two minutes before lines out on day three to take the tournament.

Two Gulf teams will be kicking off their SFC season early in the Caribbean – Teams Bandito and Rising Sons. Team Bandito, comprised of Bobby Wade and Chad Solomon, finished seventh overall last year, while Team Rising Sons, with Toby Berthelot and Capt. Cricket on board, finished third overall. Both teams will be applying points earned in the tournament to their 2023 SFC point total.

The season schedule next brings anglers to Grand Isle, Louisiana, for the Gulf Coast Billfish Classic from May 1 to May 7. Events thereafter include: the Salt Life Bluewater Tournament in St. Augustine, Florida, May 10-13; Gulf Coast Masters in Orange Beach, Alabama, May 22-28; Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi, June 5-11; Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic in Sandestin, Florida, June 21-25; South Jersey Yacht Sales Offshore Showdown in Cape May, New Jersey, July 5-8; Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, July 11-16; Tri-State Canyon Shootout in Block Island, Rhode Island, July 23-27; Texas International Fishing Tournament in South Padre Island, Texas, August 3-6; and conclude with the San Juan International Billfish Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 23-26.

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