In 1987 a group of charter boat skippers and crewmen in Kona got together and created the Big Island Marlin Tournament to offer the world a competition that was created by professional big-game fishermen, not theorists. Capt. Jody Bright created a second competition the following summer, the Firecracker Open Big Game Fishing Tournament. Eventually Jody created a parent company, Tropidilla Productions LLC, to run the tournaments.
Over the past 26 years, many formats and events have been launched and perfected or thrown out, settling in with the current Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series. The HMTS is comprised of five qualifying contests and a series championship.