The Billfish Foundation — The Billfish Foundation recently held the 2019 Tag & Release Awards Ceremony on February 14th, 2020 at Jungle Island’s Bloom Ballroom.
The global reception included TBF members Chris and Elisa Sheeder from Costa Rica and his family from Hawaii, Laura Jessen and her crew from Costa Rica, Samuel Urbain and family from France, and past winner Kumie Saegusa and her husband from Japan.
The first recognized were the Tag & Release Program sponsors, whose representatives from Garmin, Yeti, Costa, King Sailfish Mounts, Casa Vieja Lodge, and the International Game Fish Tournament Observers accepted plaques highlighting their dedication to conserving billfish and promoting the sportfishing community. Well-known fishing titans, including Gray Ingram and Chris Sheeder, were also recognized during the evening. Up-and-comer Jill Yates, won five awards and Luke Lulfs won eight. Winners were presented with awards made by King Sailfish Mounts.
Top Overall Release Angler was Gray Ingram while Camila Ingram won Top Overall Release Lady Angler. Top Overall Release Youth Angler was Luke Lulfs, Top Overall Release Captain was Chris Sheeder. Top Overall Tagging Angler and Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler were awarded to Laura Jessen. Ben Horning won Top Overall Tagging Captain, and Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler was Hefner Appling.