By Gaige Davila
The Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT), a staple of the Laguna Madre area’s annual summer events, is cancelled this year.
“The T.I.F.T. Executive Board did not come to this decision lightly,” a press release announcing the tournament’s cancellation states. No specific reason was given for the tournament’s cancellation.
TIFT Tournament Director Kristi Collier told the PRESS that registration fees can be refunded or used for next year’s TIFT tournament. Students slated to receive TIFT scholarships will still receive them, Collier said.
TIFT will hold a tournament next year, from July 28 to August 1, 2021, according to the press release.
TIFT, then known as the Rio Grande Valley Fishing Rodeo, was a tarpon-fishing-only tournament when it started in 1933, eventually moving to sailfish, giant grouper and other species, displayed on the Port Isabel Lighthouse’s lawn. Home base and weigh-ins for TIFT were at the Queen Isabella Inn on South Garcia Street in Port Isabel.
In 1949, the “Rodeo” got a name change: the Texas International Fishing Tournament, in an effort to attract more anglers, according to documents from the Museums of Port Isabel.
TIFT has only been cancelled or postponed a few times in its more than 80 year history: the first cancellations were during World War II, and after Hurricane Dolly, when the storm caused significant destruction of the Laguna Madre area in 2008.
Those who registered for this year’s tournament are encouraged to contact Collier at firstname.lastname@example.org about refunds.