There’s Something for Everyone at the Texas International Fishing Tournament
Surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Laguna Madre Bay and Gulf of Mexico, Port Isabel and South Padre Island play host to Texas’ largest saltwater fishing tournament—the Texas International Fishing Tournament.
Founded by Doc J.A. Hockaday in 1933, the tournament was designed to tell the story of phenomenal fishing in the Rio Grande Valley to anglers from around the world. Now entering its 81st event, TIFT offers the best of bay and offshore fishing to enthusiasts of all ages. Always the first full weekend in August, TIFT is expected to attract as many as 1500 anglers and more than 500 boats during its two days of fishing activities.
Fisherman young and old will compete in one of three divisions: bay, tarpon and offshore. Dockside, thousands of spectators will turn out to view impressive catches of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish brought in by the big boats offshore. Bay anglers will be weighing in mouthwatering catches of speckled trout, redfish and flounder during the two days of fishing. One of the most rewarding sights at the weigh docks are the junior anglers weighing in their stringers of catches that range from a single small piggy perch to impressive catches that adult anglers will envy. Every child registered in the tournament is awarded a trophy for their effort.
The tournament starts with late registration on Wednesday and Thursday with a special Playday for junior anglers on Thursday. Fishing gets underway early Friday morning with bay boats required to return to their berths each night and offshore boats being allowed to stay out overnight while still adhering to tournament start and stop fishing times. For more information on offshore rules changes, see the related link on our home page. The tournament wraps up with a lunch and awards ceremony on Sunday.
TIFT’s mission statement is to provide a quality family oriented fishing tournament for anglers of all ages and it is a pledge the tournament’s Executive Board takes seriously. Planning for each year’s event begins immediately after the awards ceremony.