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Miami Dolphins Wrap Up 25th Annual Fins Weekend With World-Record Blackfin Tuna Catch

The Miami Dolphins hosted the 25th edition of Fins Weekend on May 31 - June 1, bringing together Dolphins players, coaches, alumni, cheerleaders and fans for a two-day celebration and fundraiser. This year's annual fishing tournament was highlighted by a biologist-certified unofficial world record-breaking catch of a 50.1-pound blackfin tuna, a first in the tournament's storied history, as Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Miami Dolphins head coach, Jimmy Johnson, who helped launch the first-ever Fins Weekend in 1997, was on hand to celebrate the historic feat.

The festivities began Friday evening with an invite-only Captain's Reception, where tournament participants received gift bags and enjoyed light bites and drinks. The following morning, anglers were up at sunrise at the Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove and took to the seas angling to capture the largest kingfish, dolphin and tuna. The tournament was directed by Jamie Bunn of Blue Water Movements.

Once the lines were out of the water and the boats returned to the Grove Harbour Marina, contestants brought their hauls to the Fins Weekend weigh-in. Angler Bob Kowalski, the Sinnick family and captain Gareth Haddam of Miss Britt 34 Express set an unofficial world record when their blackfin tuna weighed in at 50.1 pounds. Pete Sinnick and his family are longtime Miami Dolphins fans from Chicago and have traveled to South Florida, chartering a boat to enter in nearly every Fins Weekend tournament since its inception.

"I think I've been to 21 of the 25 years of Fins Weekend," Sinnick said. "It started with my wife and I, then it expanded to my dad and my sons. I grew up a diehard Dolphins fan and I guess I made some impressions on them to be fans as well. We started out with Manny Fernandez from the 1972 team, who is a hero of mine, on our boat years ago, and we got to know him and that was really cool."

More than a dozen Dolphins players and coaches took part in this year's Fins Weekend fishing tournament, including notable veterans like defensive tackle Zach Sieler, running back Raheem Mostert and quarterbacks/passing game coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The weekend culminated on Saturday evening with the Fins Weekend Night Party at Regatta Grove. More than 70 Miami Dolphins players and coaches joined participants for the festivities featuring music, live auctions and raffles that capped off with a fireworks show. The winners of the Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament also were announced, with Seapremacy taking home the first-place honors with a total of 165.9 pounds.

2024 Fins Weekend Fishing Tournament Winners

Largest Kingfish: MacDaddy, 35.3 lbs.

Largest Dolphin: Knot the Same, 16.3 lbs.

Largest Tuna: Miss Britt Express, 50.1 lbs.

First Place Finishers: Seapremacy, 165.9 lbs.

Fins Weekend began in 1997 when head coach Jimmy Johnson and the organization began a fundraiser in memory of an employee, Scott Chait, who had recently passed away from cystic fibrosis. The event has supported various causes benefitting the South Florida community over the years, but the fishing tournament has remained a centerpiece throughout its history. After a three-year pause due to the pandemic from 2020-22, the event celebrated its 25th edition in 2024.

"It was in Scott's vision that we wanted to do something for charity in his honor back in 1997," Johnson said. "It brings the players, coaches and Dolphins fans all together for something we love, and that's fishing. So when they asked me to come back for the 25th anniversary because I was part of the first one, I was more than happy to do it."

The proceeds from Fins Weekend support the Baptist Health Orthopedic Institute Youth Athletic Outreach Program. Through this program, the Dolphins sponsor athletic trainers for youth and high school football games throughout South Florida. In addition, the program provides voluntary EKG screenings to all high school athletes in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and continuing education in sports medicine for high school athletic trainers, coaches and athletes.

By ML Staff. Content/Image courtesy of Miami Dolphins


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