The 2020 Sailfish Smackdown was full of thrills, excitements, and multiple EKFT records. As the weather reports came in for the scheduled event taking place on January 18th and 19th, the EKFT committee knew this two-day event would become a one-day tournament.

Unfortunately, Saturday was canceled due to unfishable conditions, but Sunday still looked promising.  As Sunday approached anglers were rested and ready to put everything on the line in one day.

Shoot off was at 7:30 am and within the first hour the SA. Co. Safety boat received the first call of a Sailfish hookup. Angler Jon Venarchick was the first angler to land and safely release his Sailfish. Soon after that first anticipated recording, it was Sailfish hookup chaos.

The SA. Co. Safety boats were racing to get to the anglers that were hooking up. One after another was recorded all within the morning. Even a double header was recorded at 9:33 am and 9:40 am by angler Stephen Klein.

As far as EKFT records go…first, Rob Rodriguez did the unthinkable and caught 4 Sailfish throughout the one-day tournament. Second, a total of five anglers recorded 2 Sailfish each, which includes a double header. Third, an astonishing 22 Sailfish were landed and released and 17 were lost throughout the one-day event.

​2020 Sailfish Smackdown Winners

1st place: Rob Rodriguez, 4 sails $5,000.00 Yak Gear & Turbo USA, Global Fishmounts Sailfish trophy.

2nd place: Stephen Klein, 2 sails (double header) 9:33 am, 9:40 am $2,000.00 Nautical Ventures, Global Fishmounts plaque

3rd place: Christian Childs, 2 sails 9:55 am, 10:57 am $1,000.00 Dodge Ram, SA Co. Global Fishmounts plaque

4th place: Shaun Roles, 2 sails 9:02 am, 11:28 am $500.00 Nautical Ventures, Global Fishmounts plaque

5th place: Justin Ritchey, 2 sails 10:04 am, 11:40 am $250.00 Global Fishmounts plaque

6th place: Jon Venarchick, 1st sailfish 8:40 am Global Fishmounts sailfish plaque

7th place: Jared Schuster, $600 Kingfish Calcutta – 13.6lbs

Anglers can now register for the inaugural Exotic Bass Roundup scheduled for April 18th and the popular Extreme Kayak Fishing Summer Slam Series taking place May 30th and August 29th For more information on these events and pictures and videos of previous events go to Extreme Kayak Fishing.


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