A total of 153 captains around the world scored at least 100 points in one of the 95 ITB-sanctioned events held in 2020. Consisting of five divisions— Florida, Hawaii, International, Gulf of Mexico and East Coast—InTheBite’s Captain of the Year Cup is one of the most prestigious awards in sportfishing, becoming more globally recognized as the sport continues to expand its reach.
Points are awarded based on a captain’s finishing position at the end of each event: 500 points for first place; 300 points for second place and 100 points for third place. If a tournament has a heaviest marlin division, then the winning captain will be awarded an additional 500 points. For a multi-event tournament series such as the Quest for the Crest or Gulf Coast Triple Crown, the top overall captain will earn another 250 points after the last event.
Last year, 10 captains tallied 1,000 or more points. This is a significant achievement and is the equivalent of winning two tournaments outright. The individual who tallied more tournament points than anyone else in 2020 was the Hawaii Division Champion—Capt. Shane O’Brien—posting an impressive 2,150 points.
Capt. Russell Sinclair, Wave Paver, 1000 Points
Capt. John Dudas, Sandman, 1000 Points
Capt. Jeff Shoults, Mollie, 2100 Points
Capt. Edward “Cookie” Murray, Auspicious, 1350 Points
Capt. Shane O’Brien, Wild Hooker, 2150 Points
2020 World Wide Captain of the Year Rankings
1. Capt. Shane O’Brien, Wild Hooker, 2150 Points
2. Capt. Jeff Shoults, Mollie, 2100 Points
3. Capt. Tracy Epstein, Last Chance, 1400 Points
4. Capt. Edward “Cookie” Murray, Auspicious, 1350 Points
5. Capt. Russell Sinclair, Wave Paver, 1000 Points
6. Capt. John Dudas, Sandman, 1000 Points
7. Capt. Brooks Smith, Uno Mas, 1000 Points
8. Capt. Greg DiStefano, El Suertudo, 1000 Points
9. Capt. Rudy Arguedas, Top Fly, 1000 Points
10. Capt. Myles Colley, Born 2 Run, 1000 Points
Heaviest Tournament-Caught Marlin in 2020
InTheBite’s Captain of the Year Cup also recognizes the captain who catches the heaviest tournament-caught marlin in each division. The largest tournament fish of 2020 belongs to Capt. Marty Bates of the La Onda, fishing out of Cape Verde. Bate’s 964-pounder won top honors in the Blue Marlin World Cup. The second-largest tournament marlin belongs to Capt. James Bach of the Miss Mojo. Bach’s 833.5-pound blue won the Skins Marlin Derby in Kona.
Release Marine International Division
Capt. Marty Bates, La Onda
964 pounds, Blue Marlin World Cup
Release Ruler Hawaii Division
Capt. James Bach, Miss Mojo
833.5 pounds, Skins Marlin Derby
AIRMAR East Coast Division
Capt. John Adams, Griffin
815 pounds, MidAtlantic
Furuno Gulf Coast Division
Capt. Jeff Shoults, Mollie
660.4 pounds, Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic