Crosthwait Fishing Tournament

Tournament History


Celebrating our 35th year, we are proud to be the largest amateur fishing competition on the West Coast of Florida. Originating in 1983, the tournament serves a tribute to Colonel Sam Crosthwait, in recognition of his passion for his high moralistic ideals and love for the distinct camaraderie that surrounds the unique sport of angling.  The event will take place May 18-20,  2018, at the Bradenton Yacht Club.  Each year in May, hundreds of anglers and thousands of community spectators attend this cherished community event, which is run by a volunteer committee of more than 40 people.


The Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament was founded in 1983 by several Bradenton Yacht Club Past Commodores to honor fellow Past Commodore Colonel Sam Crosthwait. Colonel Crosthwait lived and fished in Manatee County for the last 25 years of his eventful life. He was Commodore of the BYC and a frequent tournament winner who fished in many countries around the world. His high standards for personal conduct, sportsmanship, and his reverence for nature provide an example for all those who fish the Crosthwait.


Known as the “Granddaddy of Them All,” the Crosthwait is the largest and oldest amateur fishing tournament in Florida and is always held at the Bradenton Yacht Club each year in May. Many of the committee volunteers and anglers have participated in the tournament for decades, and span multiple generations. There are four primary divisions: Offshore, Inshore, Under 19 Junior and Under 16 Junior.

Additionally, Crosthwait hosts a River Master Pro Tournament held on the Friday before the tournament, and a Children’s On the Wall Tournament on Saturday of the tournament.


Tournament proceeds after expenses and prizes go to educational scholarships for local students, community youth centers and youth-serving organizations, Manatee Fish and Game Association, the Marine Mechanics program at Manatee Technical College and more.

The Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit corporation.


Project Healing Waters

In partnership with Project Healing Waters, Crosthwait also hosts an event for Veterans on Saturday of the tournament each year. Local fishing guides and other volunteers donate their time to teach Veterans the peace and tranquility provided by fishing and boating. Each year, roughly 30 Veterans and their guests participate in the program, which involves a morning of guided fishing, followed by a lunch reception at the BYC.