Texas International Fishing Tournament promises five days of fishing and fun

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TIFT Host Caroline Miller poses for a photo with brothers James and Isaiah Garza and their catch of mangrove snapper, redfish and speckled trout Saturday afternoon, August 6, 2022, during the Texas International Fishing Tournament at the Southpoint Marina in Port Isabel. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Gone fishin’.

It’s more than a bumper sticker, it’s a passion for anglers everywhere, many of whom will descend on Port Isabel and South Padre Island next month for the Texas International Fishing Tournament.

“It’s our 83rd annual, which is quite an accomplishment,” said Kristi Collier, tournament director.

“It’s the largest saltwater fishing tournament in Texas.”

The event, from Aug. 2 to 6, will allow sports men and women to compete in three divisions: bay, tarpon and offshores, said the tift.org website.

“Dockside, thousands of spectators will turn out to view impressive catches of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish brought in by the big boats off shore,” says the website. “Bay anglers will be weighing in mouthwatering catches of speckled trout, redfish and flounder during the two days of fishing.”

Those two days of fishing will be Aug. 4 and 5, and anglers will weigh in at South Point Marina in Port Isabel.

Collier pointed out quickly some new things at this year’s TIFT.

“One of the new things this year is that the Driscoll Health Plan has sponsored kids age 7 and under so they can fish free,” Collier said. “That’s a new thing for TIFT this year which we are really excited about.”

However, there’s more to TIFT than just fishing.

“We’re having Play Day on Thursday, Aug. 3 for all children regardless of whether they’re registered in the tournament or not,” Collier said. “So we’ve transformed the South Padre Island Convention Center into a playground for the kids. That’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, and that always brings a lot of energy into the tournament. And it’s always a lot of fun.”

Anyone wishing to register for the tournament can do so at www.tift.org.