History

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History 2018-08-16T14:28:16+00:00

Stuart Sailfish Club

The Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation (SSCF) began in the 1930’s and was incorporated in 1941 as a non-profit organization. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious fishing clubs in the United States, formed to encourage conservation of Gamefish and to promote fishing in area waters.

When the Stuart Sailfish Club was incorporated in 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States, the average price for a new car was $850.00 and the number one song was “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller. Meanwhile, in Stuart Florida, the largest sailfish run in Florida’s history occurred off the St. Lucie Inlet and club records show an excess of 5,000 sailfish were caught with many single boats catching 20 in a day.  On the peak day recorded, more than 200 sailfish were boated by 40 charter and private boats.  While many sportsmen released their fish, far too many were slaughtered.

That slaughter led to an idea that is championed today, 75 years later. Captain Curt Whiticar suggested and later designed a yellow gold and enamel release pin to be awarded for letting a sailfish live and thus began the club’s promotion of conservation policies in earnest.  The pin had a gold sailfish leaping across the deep blue of the gulf stream with white fluffy clouds and enclosed in a silver band.  Ernie Lyons, editor of the Stuart News reported “Release buttons are worn as a league of honor among sail fisherman, pledged to the sport, and not to the wasteful killing of a species.”

The Stuart Sailfish club is one of the oldest sport fishing clubs in the United States, and the pursuit of sailfish is one of the original tourist draws to this area. In fact, the Palm Beach Times reported in a story in 1949 that New York Mayor William O’Dwyer celebrated his wedding in Stuart and spent part of that memorable occasion sail fishing. Now, with a seven decades long history of conservation, The Stuart Sailfish Club maintains the same strong visions today. From the novice fisherman to the saltiest boat captain, SSCF has something to offer everyone.

As a member of The Stuart Sailfish Club you will enjoy monthly events such as BBQ’s, cocktail parties, dinners and more.  Even our fishing tournaments are held at fun locales like the Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort where families can enjoy swimming in one of three beautiful pools, or at the wonderful local beach or play on the 18-hole golf course. Our General Meetings give anglers the chance to swap ideas, brag a little, or lament about the ones that got away.

The SSCF conducts several fishing tournaments a year. The Jr. Angler Tournament is for kids 15 years and under, a great time for the entire family and sponsors Florida Sheriff Youth Ranch kids from all over Florida. Saltwater Sisters, our Lady Angler Tournament held in October, is a fun party atmosphere tournament benefiting Breast Cancer Patients and helping to fund free mammograms for uninsured men and women.

We invite you to come out and meet our more than 350 members where you will have the pleasure of associating with other like-minded individuals who love the water, boating and family lifestyle.  Join us as we continue to offer a wide range of fun, family-friendly events. Need not be a member of the Club or a boat owner to join us!