The boats fishing the International Billfish Tournament of Club Náutico de San Juan released 79 billfish, and Peje won top honors in the boat category, scoring five blue marlin releases on the last fishing day, coupled with two previous fights, to take a comfortable win in the 62nd fishing tournament.
Peje, owned by Carlos García, grabbed the top spot with seven releases (2,275 points), followed by Carlos Ramirez’ Reel Affair and Rafael Marti’s Pez Piedra, scoring four marlin each (1,300), followed by Lady Aby and Zumbate, in fifth position, which had the thrill of a triple hookup on the last fishing day.
“We produced results using 30-pound test line,” said Ricky Jaen, tournament director of this 62nd edition of the IBT. “We showed that we can and we are going to become the premier light-tackle fishing event,” he said, referring to the use of 30-pound test line, compulsory this year.
Veteran angler Caíto Chapel, the Peje’s team leader, won best local angler and best overall angler with three releases (975 points), followed by Alberto “Tito” Serra (650) on the Reel Affair and Edgardo Canales on the Showtime (also 650).
In the international teams division the winners were the United States 07, Venezuela 02 and CNSJ Puerto Rico. United States 07, comprising marine artist Carey Chen, John Moore and Andy Wilson (975 points), also won the coveted recognition of Best International Team, followed by the Venezuelan banner with Victor Bennaroch, Iván Casanova and José Diaz Umpierre.
Representing Puerto Rico under the CNSJ 01 flag was a “dream team” made up of veteran anglers Jorge Torruella, Bruno Rodríguez, and Jaime Fullana. All three teams scored three releases for 975 points.
Jaén said the sea, the tides and full moon were determining factors in the marlin bite during tournament days, using advance sea-surface technology provided by FishTrack.com. There were a lot of bites in the north between Cangrejos and Vacia Talega areas, San Juan and Carolina.
Positioned as inter club teams where the Club Nautico of Dorado with Caíto Chapel, Lisa Evans and Carolina Stubbe, followed by PRLTA 03 with Tito Serra, Donald McLeod and Gerald Torres. In third place was Cangrejos Yacht Club 04 with Mauricio Ucros, Luis Vázquez and Alfredo Rodríguez.
A total of 10 lady anglers fished the tournament.
A total of 196 local and international anglers participated with 50 registered boats. Six countries were represented: Guatemala, Ecuador, Venezuela, England, United States, and Puerto Rico. There were also 15 IGFTO observers.
For more information go to sanjuaninternational.com or call 787.722.0177.