ESPN Outdoors announced Tuesday that the 2009 Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship will be broadcast as part of the second year of the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series on ESPN2 and will be presented on other ESPN Outdoors multimedia platforms, including daily tournament coverage at www.ESPNOutdoors.com.
"The IGFA Inshore World Championship continues to set the standard in the industry as a top-tier event and the addition of the World Championship to the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series schedule solidifies our position as a leader in outdoors events," said Jamie Wilkinson, senior director of event operations and business development at ESPN Outdoors. "We feel it will provide us with some compelling content across all of our multimedia platforms."
The championship, set for July 7-9 in Islamorada, Fla., began in 2001 and has grown into a premier inshore fishing event. Robert Collins of Naples, Fla., claimed the 2008 World Championship, his third in four years. At the 2009 World Championship, anglers will compete in two divisions: light tackle and fly fishing.
Anglers receive qualifying berths into the event by winning one of 36 inshore qualifying tournaments throughout the United States, Australia and Bahamas. The field will include 30 anglers, with 15 competitors in each of two divisions. Anglers will be scored on their ability to catch bonefish, tarpon, permit, redfish and snook.
"It makes sense to take the world's greatest inshore fishing tournament to the largest outdoors network," said Michael Myatt, IGFA chief operating officer. "People will want to watch the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series to see the anglers compete for the IGFA World Championship title. ESPN Outdoors is growing the sport and making heroes."
Sandy Moret's Florida Keys Outfitters, a renowned saltwater fly fishing shop, will manage the championship operations, while the IGFA will remain the championship's nonprofit benefactor with a fundraiser and auction to be held during the championship.
"Our goal is to take this tournament to new heights," said Moret, an IGFA rules committee member. "ESPN Outdoors will be able to help expand the importance of the IGFA in continuing its role in preserving the traditions and heritage of sport fishing."
For more information on the IGFA Inshore World Championship and qualifying tournaments, fishing fans can visit www.igfa.org.
The IGFA World Championship will be on the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series schedule in 2009 along with five other events. ESPN Outdoors will release the entire schedule later this week.