WHO WE ARE

About Us

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Who We Are

The International Light Tackle Tournament Association came into being in March 1946 during the Annual Sailfish Rodeo in Acapulco, Mexico. Dr. Roy B. Dean was the founder of I.L.T.T.A. and a staunch supporter of the Club until his death in 1990 at the age of 95.

Dr. Dean’s vision of an International All Release Light Tackle Tournament was met with some trepidation in view of the fact that tournaments in that day and time were all “on the dock” or “kill” tournaments. Doc’s idea was to have competition between teams of three individuals representing clubs all fishing under IGFA rules. These three-man teams would fish separately; changing boats and partners each day of the tournament. It obviously was a superb idea since it is still going strong. I.L.T.T.A.’s International Light Tackle Tournament rules have been utilized by many major tournaments and they have been refined and proven for over 50 years.

Roy B. Dean - IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame

TOURNAMENT ORIGINS

The top prize, designed by Doc himself, was to be an ornate Mexican fishing belt as the perpetual trophy with four plaques also being awarded (one for the winning club and one for each of the participating anglers).

The first “BIG BELT” has been retired to the IGFA Museum in Dania Beach, Florida, USA, with a total of 50 silver plates attached and all are engraved with the winning club and year. A second “BIG BELT” was made and to date is adorned with¬† silver plates indicating past winners. Each winning club keeps the Perpetual Trophy “BIG BELT” from the time they win it until the next tournament. The uniqueness of I.L.T.T.A. lies in the fact that it is truly “International” with past representation of clubs from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Netherlands Antilles, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, South Africa, East Africa, United States, Brazil, Italy, Panama to name a few. Each year member clubs host a tournament in their area. There are many lasting friendships made as a result of these tournaments and the camaraderie developed is something that is hard to explain.

The focus of I.L.T.T.A. is not just the promoting of release light tackle billfish tournaments. We also promote conservation and have a scholarship program at the University of Miami in Florida for students continuing their education in the marine science field.

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