And the 2017 winner is…
2017 Captain of the Year
Capt. Russell Sinclair,
Wave Paver, 77′ Bayliss
Homeport– Port Canaveral, Florida
2150 Points–White Marlin Roundup, 1st Place, 500 Pts.; Custom Shootout, 3rd Place, 100 Pts.; Custom vs. Production, 2nd Place, 300 Pts.; Custom vs. Production, Heaviest Marlin 358 lbs, 500 Pts.; Abaco Beach Blue Marlin, 1st Place, 500 Pts.; Abaco Diamond Series Champion, 250 Pts.
Captain Russell Sinclair is no stranger to the winner’s circle. The 2017 award is Sinclair’s second piece of Captain of the Year hardware. Sinclair’s trophy room will now have to accommodate the 2017 plaque and his 2015 edtion. With 2,150 points on the year, Captain Russell is also the winner of the Overall Rankings for the Captain of the Year Cup.
Sinclair’s performance was such that the International Division race has been decided for much of the year. His 2,150-points result from: White Marlin Roundup- 1st place, Custom Shootout- 3rd place, Custom vs. Production Shootout- 2nd place and heaviest marlin, Abaco Beach Blue Marlin Tournament- 1st place and an Abaco Diamond Series Championship. Sinclair won the division by an incredible 950-point margin.
Beyond being a highly intuitive fisherman, Sinclair’s perspective and approach to fishing makes him a pleasure to speak with. When asked about what made his 2017 special, Sinclair’s response is telling. “I wish I could tell you we had some special Chinese lure or something that caught everything,” he says with a laugh. “There wasn’t anything like that at all… We just kind of landed in the right areas and stayed there the longest. It didn’t happen every day, but some of them. There was nothing out of the ordinary for us, we just happened to win some tournaments.”
In describing his approach to fishing, Sinclair talks of his method of landing in the right spot. “If you’re fishing every day getting two bites and everyone else gets one bite, you are going to do well. That’s kind of how it turned out for us last year,” Russell says thoughtfully. “If you do that enough, there are going to be days that don’t turn out so well. But luckily that didn’t happen to us so often.”
Sinclair credits Garrett Van Orman, a key member of the Wave Paver crew, with clutch discovery. “In 2015, we had a great year. We won a lot of tournaments and I won Captain of the Year. In 2016, we didn’t do anything. 2017 was another phenomenal year for us,” Sinclair explains. What could account for the difference?
“Right before we went to the Bahamas last year, Garrett Van Orman discovered that we had a floating strut. He rebuilt the strut and floated it back into place right before tournament season.” In describing the impact of this discovery and repair, Sinclair is direct. “Garrett deserves credit for getting the hum back to something that attracts fish when you drive over them, instead of scaring them off. In 2016, we didn’t have many fish at all to the back of the boat. Last year, the majority of our fish came from the chains or closer to the boat.”
Just as 2017 has treated Sinclair and the Wave Paver well, the future too is bright. Jr Davis, the owner of the operation, took delivery of a new 77’ Bayliss in August. According to Sinclair, “We haven’t really put the new boat through the paces yet. We fished the Pirates Cove tournament and then shipped it to Nantucket.” The operation’s 2018 plans include a summer tournament fishing regimen followed by a southerly jaunt through the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
Sinclair credits the wave Paver team for much of the operation’s success. The boat’s anglers include Jr Davis (owner), Steve Davis (Jr’s son), James McNab and Steve Glasscock. Running the cockpit are Doug Southworth, Garrett Van Orman, and Bryan Boyle.
In spite of Captain Russell Sinclair’s reluctance to seek the limelight and the humility with which he describes his success, his second Captain of the Year Award is definitive proof of his prowess at the helm. From all of us at InTheBite, congratulations on the International Division victory and winning the World Wide Rankings.
2014 Capt. Rob Moore, Fa-La-Me, 1650 Pts.
2015 Capt. Russell Sinclair, Wave Paver, 1950 Pts.
2016 Capt. Victor Julio Lopez, Tranquilo, 2100 Points
Los Suenos Signature Billfish Series, Leg 1
Los Suenos Signature Billfish Series, Leg 2
Los Suenos Signature Billfish Series, Leg 3
Quepos Billfish Cup
Bahamas Billfish Championship, Leg 1
Bahamas Billfish Championship, Leg 2
Bahamas Billfish Championship, Leg 3
Bahamas Billfish Championship, Leg 4
International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout (2016: Did not meet the boat minimum requirement)
Baker’s Bay Invitational
Abaco Beach Blue Marlin Invitational
Bermuda Billfish Release Cup (2016: Did not meet the boat minimum requirement)
Bermuda Billfish Blast
Sea Horse Angler’s Billfish Tournament
Bermuda Big Game Classic
Virgin Islands July Open Marlin Tournament (2016: Did not meet the boat minimum requirement)
USVI Open, Atlantic Blue Marlin “Boy Scout” Tournament (2016: Did not meet the boat minimum requirement)
Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic
Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament
Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Tournament
Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Jackpot Tournament
Los Cabos Billfish Tournament
San Juan International Billfish Tournament
Aruba Caribbean Cup
Flor de Cana International
El Salvador International