The Crosthwait Memorial Fishing Tournament is proud to be the one of the largest fishing competitions 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.  Each year in May at the Bradenton Yacht Club, 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.

Originally founded 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 one of the largest and oldest fishing tournaments 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, in addition to specialty tournaments every year including our popular new Children’s On the Wall Tournament on Saturday of the tournament.

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.

In 2014, Crosthwait joined ranks with the Florida West Coast Blue Water Series. Crosthwait hosts the 2nd leg of this series at the BYC in late Summer. For more information, visit

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.

Crosthwait Tournament Registration