Recap of the 2023 IGFA Permit Invitational and SoCal Open

Celebrating Angling Legacy, Conservation, and Sporting Excellence

The IGFA recently hosted both the 2023 IGFA SoCal Open and the 2023 IGFA Permit Invitational, two tournaments held in iconic angling destinations that have helped shape the very foundation of sport fishing. These tournaments celebrate the history, the fish, and the anglers of the famed waters off Southern California and the Florida Keys. 


2023 IGFA SoCal Open

The IGFA SoCal Open was held from September 29-October 1, 2023, with participants departing from various ports throughout southern California. This year the tournament transitioned from being strictly a swordfish tournament to include several other offshore species including marlin, tuna, dolphinfish, and California yellowtail.

Despite tough fishing conditions and uncooperative weather, the first year of the new tournament format was a success, as the weigh stations were kept busy over the two days of fishing with catches of bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphinfish, and yellowtail. While no swordfish were caught this year, one striped marlin was released, which ended up winning the tournament for team C-Ripper out of San Diego.

Team C-Ripper took home top honors with a striped marlin release.

Congratulations and thank you to all the teams and participants, especially those that walked away with a trophy and some top-notch prizes from our partners at PENN, Pelagic, AFTCO, and Costa. The IGFA would like to thank all our sponsors who helped make the IGFA SoCal Open possible, and the Dana Point Yacht Club for the incredible venue and service. And special thanks goes to the tournament committee and IGFA Representatives Sally Kurz, Chris Wheaton, and James Gowan, for their invaluable support in executing another successful tournament!

Please stay tuned for the dates of the 2024 IGFA SoCal Open which we will be announcing soon!



2023 IGFA Permit Invitational

The fourth annual IGFA Permit Invitational took place from October 3-6, 2023, out of the beautiful Ocean’s Edge Resort & Marina in the lower Florida Keys. This year saw a record number of participants in the tournament at 22 of the maximum 25 slots filled.

The 2023 IGFA Permit Invitational was blessed with favorable weather conditions throughout the three days of fishing, and there was no shortage of fish seen by participants. Taking home both the Grand Champion and Biggest Fish trophies this year were angler/guide duo Wesley Smith and Ian Slater, who accumulated a total of 70 points.  Second place went to Alejandro “Sand Flea” Vega and Capt. Shawn McKay with 62 points. Third place was awarded to Drue Eyeman and Capt. Jeff Holland with 58 points.

Wesley Smith and Ian Slater, the angler/guide duo, secured both the Grand Champion and Biggest Fish trophies with a total of 70 points, followed by Alejandro  "Sand Flea"Vega  and Capt. Shawn McKay in second place with 62 points, and third place was claimed by Drue Eyeman and Capt. Jeff Holland with 58 points.

The IGFA would like to congratulate and thank all teams that participated in the 2023 IGFA Permit Invitational, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year from October 1-4, 2024. A big thank you also goes to our host venue at Ocean’s Edge Resort & Marina, and all of our incredible tournament sponsors who helped make this event possible!


IGFA Tournament Series Online Auction Fundraiser

As we have done in previous years, the IGFA held an online auction in coordination with these two tournaments to help generate additional revenue to fund the IGFA’s conservation initiatives. Due to the tournament dates falling so close to each other, the two auctions were combined into one large auction which was held from September 25 – October 8, 2023. In total, this “tournament series” auction raised an incredible $155,108 from the 179 different packages that were donated by our generous corporate supporters.

As such, the IGFA would like to thank all our corporate members, partners, captains and guides who donated to this auction to support these tournaments and the IGFA’s mission. And of course, thank you to everyone who participated in the auction by purchasing one of the great items featured – happy fishing!