Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Bill in 2014 with former Polly Whippen Trophy winners

For longer than most of us can remember, Bill Whippen has been a fixture around the Stuart Sailfish Club.  For many years, Bill and Polly lived in Hobe Sound on one of the canals, with his boat, Kugels, behind the house.  Later he resided here in Stuart, and the past five years at Allegro.  On November 3rd, Bill passed quietly in his sleep.  He was 96.  He didn’t want to be a bother to others with a service or such, but requested only that his ashes be scattered in the Gulf Stream out the St. Lucie Inlet.  That will happen in early December.

Bill was very active in the Club, running tournaments, serving on committees, or just helping out with whatever needed to be done.  He served on the Board of Directors for more than 30 years up through 2015 and as president from 1999 to 2001.  Unless he was out of the country, the gentleman with the warm friendly smile and sparkle in his eye rarely missed an event.

After his wife died in 1998, Bill sponsored the Polly Whippen Memorial Trophy that was awarded each year to the Top Lady Angler Club Member at the annual Ladies Tournament.  According to his son, Wayne, through his will, Bill left the Club money to continue this award  into the future.  He also provided the brass plaques every year that participating boat owners received tor fishing the Light Tackle Tournament.  Bill always represented what made this Club what it has been for so many years and we’ll miss him.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

75th Anniversary Tomfoolery

I thank our president from the bot TOM of my heart and also from the en DYER membership for leading us to this celebration tonight.

A couple of weeks ago, when one of the taller members of the club came by and DAVE me the opportunity to talk tonight, I wasn’t sure POWELL I’d do. It has been years since I’ve spoken before the Stuart Sailfish Club.  He said, “ We’d really like KUBIAK.”  ANDY told me that for the 75th they were going to really put on the FRITZ.   I thought to myself:  That sounds a lot better than sitting around and throwing a couple of hot dogs on the GRELL.   I thought maybe it would be appropriate to talk about the past presidents.  Over the years, all of those volunteers DAVE MILLS of their time and effort to keep this club alive.   But it seems that recently my memory GENE must have a DETMER in it. – (and I’m not even 75 yet!!) I mean lately it has really taken a WHIPPEN.   Half the time, I can’t remember what the BILL I did yesterday!!

However the name of one past president does come to mind: He was always the Weather Chairman for the Club’s Small Boat Tournaments.  The committee felt it was necessary to do a SEA CHECK of ocean conditions each morning.  You know, when our St Lucie Inlet gets an East wind on an outgoing tide, it can get BARRY RUFO.

But really what I’d like to do tonight is just share a little TOMFOOLERY with you.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far far away…. There lived a family of commercial fisherman along the East coast of Florida in a little town named Stuart. They were struggling a little bit because fish prices were dropping.  Now, these were wise men, because soon it WHITICAR to them that they no longer had to GANNETT fish for a living.  All they had to do was greet the Northerners visiting the local Pelican Hotel & Sunrise Inn with a friendly HOWDY in the morning, SKIPPER them out to the GULFSTREAM, catch a bunch of sailfish, take a NORWESTER course back to the inlet, CAPT. ADD up their profits and they wouldn’t have to live like a HOBO anymore.
By and by, the Stuart Sailfish Club was formed.  It advocated releasing sailfish for future generations to catch. The waters off the St Lucie Inlet continued to team with sailfish. And the town was to become known as the Sailfish Capitol of the World.
As time went on, the membership started the great tradition of the Light Tackle Tournament, which has seen many changes over the years…
·         from linen to mono
·         from star drags to lever
·         from dead boat to backing down
·         from no riggers, to sophisticated RUPP riggers
·         from no tops, to Bimini tops, to BAUSCH hardtops and towers

A dredge was a secret weapon for a tournament.  Now we use them every day. The list goes on and on.

Imagine the plight of the proud owner of an older sportfish;  As they were heading out at 20 knots for the 8:30am lines in: Before he knew it, the ole girl HATTERAS overtaken by the entire fleet!!  It WHITICARd to him that something was wrong.  He yelled up to the bridge: ”What the L&H makes this ole RYBOVITCH so slow?”  The captain put her on autopilot, came down and consoled the owner. “This ole girl has MERRITT, but she is no longer the VIKING of the sea.  In order to pay TRIBUTE to the sport, and be competitive today, you’ll just have to SPENCER.  If you WILLIS permission to not BAYLISS than 2 or 3 million dollars to build a brand new all AMERICAN CUSTOM GARLINGTON of a sportfish… one that not every JIM SMITH owns, we can be competitive again in about 2 years.”

Well… the owner thought and pondered, and pondered and thought.  He finally answered,  “Frankly, the thought of going 40+ knots in a 65 footer SCARBOROUGHs the hell out of me!!”

And, so it was that tournaments like Stuart Sailfish Club Light Tackle helped to raise the bar for anglers, captains, mates and boats.

And, now as we celebrate our 75th anniversary, instead of focusing on the past, I would like to look into my Crystal Ball and tell you the LONG STORY of the future MY WAY:

Ahh… Yes… I foresee a tremendous amount of HOPE for the Stuart Sailfish Club.  As soon as they learned that the U.S. Government would no longer OUTLAW any FLORIDIAN to make a trip to Cuba, the club organized a tournament there during the PRIME TIME of this coming June.  Now, this tournament was not to be your average DAY MAKER.  It would be 5 full days of fishing.

The volunteers have been working without RESTITUTION and have made the rules CLEAN-N-SIMPLE.  If you are any kind of SEA HUNTER, you would have already called and said: “I’M ON

Everyone wanted to participate.  Why someone even called in and asked: ” Can we enter R KA NU?”  The Office Manager couldn’t help herself.  She kinda let out a Tish, Tish,  but answered, “That would be very CAVALIER of you, but are you a TEASER?,    or just PLANE CRAZY?  You need to take a LISCENSE TO CHILL.”

By and by, June 11th finally arrived and the fleet left Key West and took the WALKER’S RUN across the TRUE BLUE Florida Straits that can sometimes be a real BONE SHAKER.  No SEA CHECK was necessary, the trip turned out to be an EASY RIDER.

As they made their FINAL APPROACH, the PATINA’d buildings of Havana appeared like a DESERT ROSE.  Soon, they would set up BASE CAMP at Marina Hemmingway and await the big day,

At sun up the next morning, it was SHOW TIME!  The fleet would kick off the Cuban CHALLENGE.

The tournament progressed very well. One angler turned out to be a HAL-RAISER. One night, with a lot of BAYLEYHOO going on, he was having too much HEDGE  FUN and really made an OSCEOLA out of himself.  But, you know… what happens in Cuba, stays in Cuba.

Speaking of which: I would be SEA LION II ya if I didn’t say that I noticed LISA K and LAURA K posing as local SIGHT-SEA-ERs aboard a big sportfish across the marina. They would apparently ANHINGA the local COCONUT EXPRESS every day to visit. The boat never left the dock.  Every day was a lay day!!. I think the 3 AMIGOS aboard would get their TRIPLE TAILs in the DOG HOUSE when they got home!!

By and by as the fleet trolled and fished and fished and trolled, the competition finally came to the end.

The weather was UNBELIEVABLE, and the fishing was OFF THE CHAIN.  So the fleet gathered their gear, headed out to the Gulfstream for the ride home thru the St Lucie Inlet and back to Stuart, Florida where they would all live happily ever after.

                                                                                                                                    Tom Hawken

75th Anniversary with Gala

Stuart Sailfish Club celebrates 75th anniversary with gala

By Jeannette Weiss
When guests at the Stuart Sailfish Club's 75th Anniversary Gala walked into the dining room at Flagler Place the first thing they saw was a glittering 3-foot- tall sailfish sculpted entirely of ice.

The impressive centerpiece was an early indication of a spectacular evening of food, awards and entertainment.

More than 100 members and friends attended the gala, a celebration of the Club's history and a thank you to the members.

Guests also witnessed the presentation of the inaugural Ernie Lyons Lifetime Achievement Award for Extraordinary Dedication and Support.

The recipient of the award, Andy Kubiak, was presented with a trophy made by club member Dave Powell.

In addition to the dinner and open bar, each guest received an anniversary pin replicating one designed by Captain Curt Whiticar in 1941, given to Stuart Sailfish Club tournament anglers for letting a sailfish live.

The Stuart Sailfish Club is one of the oldest sportfishing clubs in the United States and is dedicated to marine conservation.

Sponsors of the event included STS Aviation Group, Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, Stuart Magazine, IHeart Radio, Wilmington Trust, Bonner Mobile Bar, TentLogix, Southern Eagle, City of Stuart, Martin County, Cuisine 256, Smallcakes, Marine Industries Association and the Treasure Coast Sports Commission.

Next on the agenda for the Club is hosting a flotilla of fifty member boats to the "Invitation Only" 66th Ernest Hemingway Billfish Tournament in Havana, Cuba in June.

To See All Photo's from the nights events, click here

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2015 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Another great time at the Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on January 29. 2016. The staff at Mariner Sands did their usual great job with fine food and excellent service for 100 or so members, sponsors, and guests. No complaints on anyone’s part at this well done event.   

Click here for the entire presentation to get complete information on Director/Officer updates, Club Updates/Achievements and Award winners... 
Thank you Ashley Dillon for the excellent photo's.  Click here to see all the photos from the evening.

Special thanks to Retiring Directors: Dave Mills, Erika Long, Rob Miller, Butch Bailey, Bob Chapman, Allison Wigley and  Dick Roland.

Outstanding Mate Award in Honor of Ben L. Glaspey Michael Powell
2015 Annual Tournament Award Winners Top Catches for 2015, Adult: Cobia, Conrad Casselli, 32 lbs Kingfish, Erika Long, 29 lbs 13 oz Snapper, Conrad Casselli, 3 lbs 8 oz

2015 Annual Tournament Award Winners Top Catches for 2015, Junior: Redfish, Baylor Bullock, 4 lbs

2015 Top Private Member Boat 3rd Place: Magoo 7 releases Mark Bullock 2nd Place: My Way 7 releases Conrad Casselli

2015 Top Private Member Boat 1st Place: SHOWTIME! 61 releases Fred & Nancy Hardwick

2015 Top Charter Boat 3rd Place: Dog House Fishing Charters, 7 releases Capt. Russel Frederick Owners, Russel Frederick 2nd Place: Teaser, 37 releases Capt. Chris Fowler Owners, Glenn Lieberman & Christian Demers

2015 Top Charter Member Boat 1st Place: Challenge 83 releases Owners; Mike & Jodi Fogel

2015 Junior Angler
2nd Place
Anthony Caputo

2015 Junior Angler
Outstanding Junior Angler
Baylor Bullock

2015 Lady Angler Billfish Division 3rd Place: Terri Frederick, 1 releases 2nd Place: Erika Long, 1 releases 1st Place Nancy Hardwick, 21 releases

2015 Adult Angler Billfish Division 3rd Place: Michael Fogel, 1 releases 2nd Place: Nancy Hardwick, 21 releases 1st Place & Outstanding Angler Fred Hardwick, 25 releases

2015 Ed Sellian Sailfish Release Award Fred Hardwick

Outstanding Mate Award in Honor of Ben L. Glaspey Michael Powell Hope

Sailfish Pendants for 25 releases Nancy Hardwick – 31 Releases

Diamond Certificates 1 diamond for ea. add’l 25 releases Fred Hardwick – 4th Certificate Nancy Hardwick – 1st Certificate

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Stuart Sailfish Club Hosts Successful 62nd Light Tackle Tournament at Exclusive Sailfish Point

PORT SALERNO, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 2015 – Despite moving rain showers and waves at 6-8 feet, The Stuart Sailfish Club hosted a very successful return of the 62nd Annual Light Tackle Tournament and the 2nd Annual Florida Sailfish Amateur Championship December 10-13 at the prestigious Sailfish Point Marina on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, Florida.  


Tournament Chair Thomas Dyer, who is also President of the Stuart Sailfish Club, was pleased with this year’s event.  “This is one of the most successful tournaments we’ve had in years.  The participation was high, despite the weather, and everyone had a great time.  Our partnership with Sailfish Point has really made a difference in this tournament; it’s a wonderful venue and they were very accommodating of our crews.”  25 boats participated in the two events, with a total release of 91 sailfish.  The Tournament is one of several leading up to the Treasure Coast Sailfish Championship. 


1st Place winner of the Pro division was Cowpoke while the 1st place winner of the Amateur division was Sea Check.  Final standings for all entries can be found at http://www.stuartsailfishclub.com/#!ltt-pro/c16v7 for the Professional Division and http://www.stuartsailfishclub.com/#!ltt-amateur/c1ndt  for the Amateur Division.
Congratulations Cowpoke - First Place Pro Division!!
Congratulations Sea Check - First Place Amateur Division!!
The next Tournament the Stuart Sailfish Club will participate in is the 66th Annual Hemingway Billfish Tournament in Cuba.  The Club has been invited to participate in the tournament as part of it’s 75th Anniversary and any member of the club is eligible to join the flotilla going to Cuba in mid-June. For more information about membership, contact the Stuart Sailfish Club at sailfish@stuartsailfishclub.com or call (772) 286-9373.