HMY a Proud Sponsor of the 2023 Skip Smith Bahamas Spring Fishing Tournaments
Springtime in the Bahamas means world-class fishing, and there’s no better way to celebrate than taking advantage of the tournament fishing. This year, HMY is proud to be sponsoring the famous Skip Smith tournaments and kicking off the season with the 2023 White Marlin Roundup at the Abaco Beach Resort & Harbour Marina from April 19th through April 22nd. Join us at this inaugural tournament that offers the perfect transition from sailfish to marlin season.
Following this first leg, the Abaco Diamond series will continue at the Abaco Resort with Skip Smith’s Shootout: Production vs. Custom. This invitation-only event will take place from May 3rd through May 6th and features production boats challenging custom boats in an all-release format. Just 55 inboard boat teams, 33’ or larger, are invited to participate.
On the heels of that exciting melee, 60 custom boat teams (32’ or larger) will represent the custom boat community in an all-release format during Skip Smith’s Custom Shootout. From May 16th through the 20th, this all-charity event benefits organizations such as the Breast Cancer Foundation, IGFA and Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital, among others.
What Sets Skip’s Tournaments Apart?
A Sense of Camaraderie
Skip Smith is credited with keeping springtime fishing competitions alive by expanding on the Bahamas Billfish Championship, founded in the 1970s. Whereas the original competition was dispersed across several islands, Skip has concentrated his event to one location to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and give everyone the same chance at the championship.
The winner-take-all format certainly fuels excitement and competition, and there are guaranteed bragging rights at stake. But the equal measure of mutual respect within the community, and a sense of togetherness shared between captains, crews, and fishing enthusiasts throughout the duration truly sets them apart.
Much of that is owed to Skip, who ensures the event isn’t just about showing up, fishing, and turning around to go back home. Special gatherings take place throughout to encourage mingling, including a kickoff party, dockside activities, and gourmet cookouts. Skip’s tournaments are also among the only series that ensure everything takes place at the marina so that everyone — from crews to captains to family members — is part of the fun.
It doesn’t hurt that the Abaco Beach Resort & Harbour Marina encompasses everything you could wish for. Not only is it one of the only places in the Bahamas with the capacity to host so many boats and people, but the resort does an exceptional job of it. From their wonderful, welcoming staff to the top-notch accommodations and cuisine, the resort has everything participants need to enjoy a comfortable extended stay. For anyone who does wish to venture out, the resort is located near Hope Town, a secluded village where golf carts are the main mode of transportation for getting to gift shops, eateries, and scenic destinations like the local lighthouse.
Of course, sport fishing is the main draw of the tournaments, and every detail has been thoughtfully planned to promote the best possible outcomes for participants. Dates have been chosen strategically to give anglers the best conditions, including ideal phases of the moon. (The tournaments also have an impact on anglers in North and South Carolina — the Abacos are situated in a near-straight line geographically to Charleston; all the blue marlin that swim by the Abacos eventually wind up off the Carolinas, so those east coast sportfishermen look to the Abacos to see how their season will go.)
Each tournament provides participants access to world-class fishing with an excellent variety of species. Many HMY brokers are longtime tournament attendees and some of their fondest memories are being on boats that landed the coveted grand slam, in which anglers pulled in a white marlin, blue marlin, and sailfish all in one day. With such thrilling prospects, it’s no surprise that many of the tournament attendees show up for the first event and stay for all three.
Although it may be one of the most exciting months for sport fishing enthusiasts and the local community of Abaco, the tournaments leave a far-reaching, lasting impact. Over the years since they began, not only have the tournaments helped boost the local economy, but the participants have become part of the community, providing a remarkable amount of support after catastrophic hurricanes, including dozens of trips to provide post-storm supplies.
Skip’s fishing tournaments offer up some of the best sport fishing of the year, and we have plenty of other events on deck, as well. Stay up-to-date on upcoming tournaments, boat shows, and more on our events page. And, catch highlights of all the action on HMY’s Facebook and Instagram pages.