Team Gypsea Captain Taylor Sanford and NFL running back Dalvin Cook eye another big win

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Stakes are high and expectations are set for any champion looking to defend their title. After Team Gypsea won last year’s inaugural The Catch, the crew helmed by Captain Taylor Sanford with NFL celebrity angler Dalvin Cook is most certainly up for the task to repeat the feat this Saturday April 20th in Ft. Lauderdale. 

“The best part of The Catch is that it’s all or nothing,” said NFL star Dalvin Cook. “It's like the playoffs or the Super Bowl - you win and you’re in, you lose and you’re out. It’s a one-shot deal. That’s the competitiveness I thrive in.”

Cook’s mindset for pinpoint focus and success is echoed by Captain Sanford. “Sailfishing in South Florida is super competitive,” said Sanford. “It looks like we may have some challenges. The forecast looks like there will be minimal winds which isn’t good to put up the kites or work baits for sailfish. But we’ve been faced with adversity before and will make the proper adjustments to get multiple bites. The key to winning The Catch is getting as many sailfish released as possible and that’s the game plan.” 

Most hardcore sportfishing crews have worked together for long periods of time, but at The Catch there are many teams who have never fished together or have limited experience in the cockpit, and that makes for interesting situations. 

“I learned how to sailfish for the first time last year and our team won,” said Cook. “Captain Taylor made sure everything was good, and once I got the handle of how to set the hook properly, things got way easier.” That sentiment of cooperation is reaffirmed by Captain Sanford. 

“When we get people on board who have limited sailfishing experience, whether they are charter guests or NFL players, we need to coach them up a bit. The greatest advantage about fishing with the NFL players is that they are used to being coached and are superb listeners who take direction well, whether it's coaching them how to set circle hooks, or when to reel and when not to. That’s what makes a successful team, listening to all the players in the cockpit. It’s a total team effort.”

As for a repeat win, Cook may just have an ace up his sleeve to win for a second straight year as he is a native Floridian who could have Lady Luck on his side. “Yeah, I think coming from Florida gives me the home field advantage for sure. Even though sailfishing is new to me, I think my home waters will treat me well.”

The Catch Powered by Verizon kicks off at Pier Sixty-Six in Ft. Lauderdale with a shotgun on Saturday the 20th. Lines are in at 9 am and out at 4:45 pm. The event will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network from 3-5 pm ET on Saturday.  The weekend’s activities also include The Catch Pro-Am tournament (Friday, April 19th) and The Catch Kickoff Concert featuring Loud Luxury, Big Boi and Klingande. The events support the United States Coast Guard Foundation. Joining Verizon as new partners are fellow NFL sponsor Crown Royal, plus Continental Tire, OluKai, Twisted Tea, Harvey Gulf, Visit Lauderdale, INEOS Grenadier, Castaway Coffee, Everglades Fishing Company and OceanFoam. Returning partners include Fathom, OneWater Marine and Salt Life.

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