MADEIRA BEACH – The Madeira Beach-based Old Salt Fishing Foundation, with 43 years of tournament and membership experience, is now an international sanctioning body.
The request was supported by thousands of anglers and tournament directors after the recent closure of the Southern Kingfish Association.
“Our focus, that of the Old Salt Fishing Foundation, has always been and always will be, do what is best for all anglers,” said president Tom Verdensky. “The Old Salt Kingmasters National Kingfish Series is just that, a tournament series for the anglers. The past sanctioning body’s focus was primarily on the southeastern United States. We will not only reunite these tournament directors and anglers but revive and combine them with the synergies of the Old Salts.”
As part of the new series, the Kingmasters World Championship will be held in May 2015 in Madeira Beach.
One of the driving forces in the move was Brazilian angler Guilherme Rodrigues who landed a 74.13-pound king mackerel off Brazil’s Itzcolomi Islands. The catch may qualify him for a line class world record from the IGFA.
“This catch brought our attention for the need to add an international division to the series,” said Verdensky.
Discussions with event organizers are already being put in place from Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Central and South America to name a few.
“Speaking from the city of Madeira Beach’s perspective, the city has been impressed with the Old Salts in how they conduct their massive fishing tournaments,” said Madeira Beach City Manager Shane Crawford. “I have personally worked with them on an ongoing basis and their professionalism, reputation and vigor make their events the biggest and the best in the area. They constantly continue to amaze me.”
The world championship also will be accompanied by a sponsor and director summit.