The 17th annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Tournament (June 1-6, 2021), presented by H&E Equipment Services, featured 35 boats fishing for a total purse of $689,500. Hosted by Cypress Cove Lodge & Marina in Venice, Louisiana, the tournament attracted a fleet ranging from 37 to 95 feet in length and represented each of the five Gulf Coast states.
The fishing was good with 29 blue marlin and two white marlin releases.
The Fleur de Lis, a 72’ Viking from Lake Charles, Louisiana took home the first place blue marlin with a 547.8-pound fish. On the rod was none other than Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. Their first place fish was worth $289,100.00.
The Release Division, sponsored by Release Marine, came down to who reached their point total first. Three teams each released three blue marlin. The final standings for the Release Division were:
- Southern Charm: 1st Place Release 63’ Hatteras Capt. Landon Bell 1500 points $127,900.00
- A Work of Art: 2nd Place Release 92’ Viking Capt. Jason Buck 1500 points $92,265.00
- Fleur de Lis: 3rd Place Release 72’ Viking Capt. Scooter Porto 1500 points $53,995.00
With a total of 2047.8 points, team Fleur de Lis also received the C.R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy for Top Billfish Boat and an invitation to fish the 2022 Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica. Fleur de Lis also had some optional tuna money that brought their total winnings to $350,250.00
The Tuna Division produced some nice fat yellowfin.
- Reel Dirty: 1st Place 52’ Hatteras Capt. C.J. Graham & Angler Jayme Guerra 189.6 lbs.
- Second Wind: 2nd Place 72’ F&S Capt. Marlin Brown & Angler Phil Azar 176.9 lbs.
- Wynsong: 3rd Place 66’ Viking Capt. Allen Staples & Angler Gavin Ward 155.8 lbs.
The Dolphin Division was tough fighting scattered Sargasso Grass everywhere!
- C-Student: 1st Place 66’ Viking Captain Ken Blackman & Angler Hunter Megarity 44.1 lbs.
- Reel Dirty 2nd Place 52’ Hatteras Captain C. J. Graham & Angler Bryan Ostinderf 24.3lbs.
- Share E 3rd Place 68’ Viking Captain Matt Thomas & Angler Buell Polk 23.3 lbs.
The Wahoo Division was tougher than the Dolphin division, again Sargasso, ugh!
- Panhandler: 1st Place 63’ Hatteras GT Captain Chase Pate & Angler Paul McMullen 33.4 lbs.
This was the only wahoo brought to the scales.
The Top Angler Trophy, in memory of Dale Artigue, went to Damon Chouest fishing on his 68’ American Custom Yachts, Mon Chari with Captain Matt Coppoletta. Damon released two blue marlin and one white marlin for a total of 1200 points. The Top Female Angler Trophy, sponsored by Costa del Mar Sunglasses, went to MacKenzie Davis, fishing with her mom Lisa Davis and dad Ronald Davis with Captain Landon Bell on the Southern Charm. MacKenzie released two blue marlin for a total of 1000 points.
Thirteen-year-old Thomas Engquist, fishing with his grandmother Marty Engquist and grandfather John Engquist with Captain Clayt James, on their 80’ Weaver, Chasin Tail caught a 42.4-pound. tuna. He was awarded the Top Youth Trophy and a Seamount Fishing stand up harness. The Top Youth Angler Trophy was presented by Jonathan Peachey as it is in memory of his father, Jim Peachey.