Jersey Boy Wins Prestigious International Gamefish Award - The Fisherman

Jersey Boy Wins Prestigious International Gamefish Award

Karl-AndersonThe International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced its 2023 Tommy Gifford Award winners, an annually-bestowed accolade that recognizes captains, guides, or crew members who have made extraordinary contributions to recreational angling through innovation, leadership, or outstanding accomplishments in their trade. Among the 2023 winners was accomplished journalist, offshore innovator and Long Beach Island native Capt. Karl Anderson, a longtime resident of Beach Haven, NJ.

According to IGFA, Capt. Anderson held his first paid mates’ job at age 13 and has since risen to become a globally-known figure in the world of big game fishing. Having fished the world over from Key West to Australia to Nova Scotia and beyond, he captains and manages several custom sportfishing yachts to some of the world’s finest sportfishing destinations, with thousands of billfish and tuna releases to his credit.

Beyond his remarkable work as captain, Anderson is also an accomplished journalist whose writing, photography, and video work have permeated a sweeping list of industry publications and resulted in many national awards.  A graduate of Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin and Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, Anderson serves as an International Representative for the IGFA and chairs the Rules and Recognition Committee of the IGFA’s North American Regional Council.

Named for one of the greatest saltwater charter skippers of all time, Tommy Gifford Award recipients are selected through a rigorous nomination and vetting process conducted by the IGFA Legendary Captains and Crew Committee.  Other 2023 winners include renowned billfish specialist and conservation catalyst Capt. Gene Vander Hoek; boat-building innovator Capt. Paul Spencer; seasoned saltwater authority and accomplished tournament winner Capt. Ray Rosher; and renowned Key West charter Capt. Brad Simonds.

“Captains, guides, and crewmembers are often the unsung heroes of sport fishing,” said IGFA President Jason Schratwieser. “The Tommy Gifford Awards allow us to celebrate those individuals whose devotion to their craft has led to remarkable achievements and continued innovation, paving a promising pathway for the anglers of tomorrow.”

According to IGFA, Gifford  is considered one of the most innovative blue water anglers and greatest game fish captains to have ever lived, and ruing his 50-year career he served as a guide and consultant to some of the most illustrious names in saltwater angling such as Ernest Hemingway, Michael Lerner, Charlie Lehman, and Van Campen Heilner.   Learn more at