Auspicious // 1,350 points
Bermuda Billfish Blast 2nd Place – 300 pts.
Bermuda Big Game Classic 1st Place – 500 pts.
Sea Horse Anglers Club 2nd Place – 300 pts.
Bermuda Triple Crown Overall Champions – 250 pts.
A hook-shaped island approximately 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, Bermuda truly is the land of giants. However, as the summer months typically see crews converge from around the world, this year was much different. Obviously, it was an extremely unusual year.
“I think probably one of the most important things for us is that we took the initiative to go, given all of the unknowns. What had the most influence on our summer season is that we took a risk to go there. Not personal risk, but the risk of the unknown. What was going to happen? Were they going to let us in? Were they going to let us stay? We went to Bermuda with an attitude that under any circumstances we were going to make the most of it. It’s a unique opportunity to go there and we were gonna make the most of every second,” says Capt. Edward “Cookie” Murray.
Recognized by the gold leaf lettering on the transom of the 80-foot Viking, Auspicious had one of those seasons where everything just came together. “Sometimes it falls into place, because the emphasis is on the right thing. We were going to have a good time. It was really up in the air day to day what was going to happen. When we got there, we were quarantined. Specifically quarantined to the dock. What we were confident in was that if we got tested before we went, we knew we could get in and most likely if we were going to be quarantined, then we could leave the dock to go fishing. We were getting there right around phase IV, so within a few days it did open up. There were no people there, but at least we could get out, the restaurants were semi-open. When you are fishing every day, you are not really looking to do other things. Bermuda is a place where you go for the summer and you fish some tournaments in between, but this year was strictly about the days you fished. We didn’t hang out at the hotel or other things, which is good I think,” Murray says.
The first event of the summer was the Bermuda Billfish Blast. Under calm seas and clear skies, Murray was quick to find the fish releasing three blue marlin to win the first day and lead the tournament with 1,500 points. The team didn’t catch a fish either of the next two days, although their opening day points tally was enough to secure second place overall. “I think for me it’s always the little things that influence the overall outcome. The weather was really nice every single day. It made it easier to fish everywhere, where some other times you can’t do that. So, it spread the boats out which is advantageous because you can pick and choose where you want to go.”
During the 20th annual Bermuda Big Game Classic, Auspicious caught a blue marlin early, which helped them take the first-place daily release jackpot. Day two also started off strong for Capt. Murray and crew, converting a double header before noon to secure another daily release jackpot and also push them into first place overall. A single blue on the third and final day was enough to solidify the win. The following weekend was the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament.
“I think it helps that the tournaments were back to back. There’s a continuity to that you sometimes don’t have when there’s a break in between,” Murray says. The Palm Beach-based team remained the ones to beat during the Sea Horse, releasing the first blue marlin to win the daily release jackpot and take the lead in the tournament. The final day of fishing saw two blue marlin releases for anglers Joe Rahman and Carl Copeland, moving Auspicious into first place with less than three hours left in the tournament.
While Murray’s anglers tallied a total of five blue marlin over the course of three days, Uno Mas bumped them out of first place with a walk-off release. However, it was Auspicious who won the points race, earning the team the Triple Crown win and Murray a celebrated Captain of the Year Cup. “We have an awesome program, an awesome team and everyone is there first and foremost to have a good time. It’s not any one person. Carl Copeland, Kevin Stafford, Mark Brochu, and our stewardess Amy Laird. Everybody that is involved in anything that we do makes us successful. We also have a Bermudian that fishes with us, David Soares. I cannot say enough about my crew. As it stands for us, it is our intention to go to the D.R., spend some time in the Bahamas and then go back to Bermuda. Probably fish the Big Rock in between, the White Marlin Open and the MidAtlantic. It’s totally awesome what we do and the opportunities that we have,” Murray says.
- 2020 Capt. Edward “Cookie” Murray // Auspicious // 1350 Points
- 2019 Capt. Jason Parker // Reel Steel // 1550 Pts.
- 2018 Capt. Greg DiStefano // El Suertudo // 900 Pts.
- 2017 Capt. Russell Sinclair // Wave Paver // 2150 Pts.
- 2016 Capt. Victor Julio Lopez // Tranquilo // 2100 Pts.
- 2015 Capt. Russell Sinclair // Wave Paver // 1950 Pts.
- 2014 Capt. Rob Moore // Fa-La-Me // 1650 Pts.