This one is a classic. Comments are accepted here and on our facebook. As always, the winner receives a Free one year subscription and our readers receive a belly full of laughs.
This one is a classic. Comments are accepted here and on our facebook. As always, the winner receives a Free one year subscription and our readers receive a belly full of laughs.
Garmin® earns top NMEA® honors and eight product awards
Named Manufacturer of the Year for the third consecutive year
OLATHE, Kan./Oct. 03, 2017/Business Wire – Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced that it was named Manufacturer of the Year for the third consecutive year, an honor given to the most recognized company in the marine electronics field for its support of products in the field, voted on by members of the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA). Garmin also dominated the NMEA’s Product of Excellence Awards with eight wins in the following categories: radar, autopilot, multi-function display (MFD), mobile application—aid to navigation, mobile application—utility, fishfinder, AIS, and multimedia entertainment. The honors were announced at the prestigious 2017 NMEA Convention held last week in Bellevue, Wash., Sept. 26-28.
“As the world’s leading marine electronics manufacturer1, we’re honored to again be recognized by the industry for our continued commitment to design, manufacture, sell and support industry-leading products,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president global consumer sales. “We are incredibly proud and humbled by these recognitions and we look forward to continuing to move the marine industry forward by delivering first-class hardware, software and support.”
For the second year in a row, Garmin won the MFD category for its GPSMAP® 8624, a 24-inch all-in-one touchscreen chartplotter that boasts the highest screen resolution on the market. The GPSMAP 8624 comes preloaded with both BlueChart® g2 coastal and LakeVü HD inland maps, and is fully network compatible for support of radar, autopilot, instruments, multiple screens, sensors, remote sonar modules, digital switching, thermal cameras, and more.
FUSION®, a Garmin brand, also received consecutive honors in the multimedia entertainment category, this year for the AV755 Marine Stereo System, a NMEA 2000-certified marine-ready DVD/CD player with Bluetooth® connectivity that can be controlled from a compatible MFD.
For five years running, Garmin received the top spot in the autopilot category, this year for its
GHP ReactorTM Hydraulic Autopilot with SmartPump. The GHP Reactor was Garmin’s first recreational autopilot system to utilize AHRS technology and boasts the usability, installation flexibility, and many other features that prove to be valuable for any vessel.
The new FantomTM 24 radome with MotionScopeTM technology took top honors in the radar category. The Fantom radars use Doppler processing and have revolutionized the way mariners use radar, as its MotionScope technology instantly detects and highlights targets in different colors as they move toward or away from the boat, helping to identify collision threats faster.
Smartphone applications are essential tools for mariners in today’s connected world, and Garmin’s mobile app offerings were once again recognized. Garmin BlueChart Mobile, a route planning application with streaming weather capabilities, was named the best mobile application aid to navigation; and Garmin HelmTM, an application that allows mariners to view and control their chartplotter from a smartphone or tablet, won for mobile application utility.
Other Garmin products honored include the GSDTM 26 black-box sounder with broadband spread-spectrum signal technology in the fishfinder category, and the AIS 600, a blackbox transceiver that sends and receives vessel information and AIS target data in the AIS category.
Garmin’s portfolio includes some of the industry’s most sophisticated chartplotters and touchscreen multifunction displays, sonar technology, high-definition radar, autopilots, high-resolution mapping, sailing instrumentation and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability and ease-of-use.
For decades, Garmin has pioneered new GPS navigation and wireless devices and applications that are designed for people who live an active lifestyle. Garmin serves five primary business units, including automotive, aviation, fitness, marine, and outdoor recreation. For more information, visit Garmin’s virtual pressroom at garmin.com/newsroom, contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200, or follow us at facebook.com/garmin, twitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.
1Based upon 2016 reported sales
About Garmin International Inc. Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN). Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin, GPSMAP, BlueChart and Fusion are registered trademarks and GHP Reactor, Fantom, MotionScope, Garmin Helm and GSD are trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Garmin is under license.
All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:
This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of such Form 10-K is available at http://www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Viking reinforces its reputation for building the best high-performance express fishing boats in the industry with the announcement of the 44 Open. This model allows Viking to bring new members into our family, and gives seasoned owners looking to downsize the opportunity to continue experiencing Viking quality and performance. The 44 Open excels as both a hardcore sportfishing boat and a comfortable cruising yacht, delivering the fishability, accommodations, comfort and performance that you demand on the water.
With her raked bow, swept-back wraparound windshield and gently sloping sheer, the 44 Open presents a picture of strength and style. The running surface is equally adept with a 14.3-degree transom deadrise and a design that provides lateral response and confidence in a seaway.
The command deck of the 44 Open shares many of the practical and notable aspects of its larger siblings including our signature and tournament proven centerline forward helm station on a raised platform for enhanced visibility. A raised molded fiberglass console can hold a bank of electronics displays, and has space for engine instrumentation and other accessories. Recessed compartments accommodate radios and additional equipment, plus accessory switches and controls. Like all Viking yachts, the 44 Open can be appointed with custom Atlantic Marine Electronics’ packages for navigation, communication and entertainment accessories, and using this Viking subsidiary allows the yacht to be delivered turnkey ready. The Costa Clear enclosure and optional air conditioning will keep you comfortable on the command deck.
The spacious command deck with a molded nonslip fiberglass sole affords generous seating options, including three adjustable pedestal seats. A table accompanies a four-person L-shaped lounge outfitted with comfortable padded seating. The port console holds refrigeration and stowage.
Outfitted with a custom designed and built Palm Beach Towers’ tuna tower, another of Viking’s experienced subsidiaries, the 44 Open comes ready to fish with a second complete helm with additional electronics, a fiberglass buggy top and Rupp outriggers.
A sliding door and a sturdy staircase leads to the climate-controlled salon. With its 16 ft. 4 in. beam, the widest of any boat in this class, the salon is particularly noteworthy by taking full advantage of the square footage, fostering a prime social area for relaxing and entertaining. The starboard-side galley, which sits opposite an L-shaped lounge with a dinette table, includes teak cabinetry with meticulous joinery and fit and finish, expansive Corian countertops, an electric range, separate under-counter refrigerator and freezer units and a microwave/convection oven. Other notable amenities include a stereo system with a 24-inch flat screen HD TV.
In the forward master stateroom, the island queen bed with mattress has a lift-up top with gas pistons and maple-lined storage underneath. There’s also a maple-lined hanging locker. Air conditioning, a 19-inch flat screen television and access to the head and shower are among standard amenities.
The head has custom Amtico flooring, a one-piece molded Corian countertop with rounded edges and a sink with a satin nickel faucet. The aft stateroom on the port side features a double berth, a maple-lined hanging locker and other stowage areas.
We have engineered the 44 Open for the installation of a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer, which brings great stability to the vessel and elevates the overall comfort level. The 119-square foot cockpit just steps away from the command deck is tournament ready with flush rod holders, a transom live well, and a transom door with a lift gate, tackle stowage, step-box coolers and in-deck fish and stowage wells. Guests can take in the fishing action from the observation mezzanine’s aft-facing lounge seating (which has freezer storage underneath).
The engineroom, lazarette, forward bilge and anchor locker are all painted with snow white Awlgrip for maximum visibility and easier maintenance. A pair of state-of-the-art 800-hp six-cylinder inline MAN diesels power the 44 Open. A Delta-T engineroom ventilation system, an oil exchange system and an Onan 13.5 kW E-QD (electronic quiet diesel) Series generator are just some of the standard mechanical and electrical equipment.
The 44 Open will be one of the headliners at our Annual Dealer Meeting and Sea Trial Event, September 11-13, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Please contact Viking’s Gina Waldron or your authorized Viking dealer for more information. The boat will make its world-wide premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Nov. 1-5. We encourage you to come and see this exciting new boat, which is yet another example of our relentless effort to build a better boat every day.
Viking 44 Open
|Overall Length||45’ 1” 13.74 m|
|38’ 0” 11.58 m|
|Beam, overall||16’ 4” 4.98 m|
|Draft||3’ 10” 1.17 m|
|Freeboard, forward||6’ 2” 1.88 m|
|Freeboard, aft||3’ 4” 1.02 m|
|Height: waterline to top: of flying bridge hardtop||11’ 7” 3.53 m|
|Height: flying bridge hardtop masthead light||14’ 7” 4.45 m|
|Displacement (with fuel and water)||46,010 lbs 20,870 kg|
|Water||120 gal. 454 l|
|Cockpit||119 sq. ft.
11.1 sq. m
Bayliss Boatworks Delivers Wave Paver
Bayliss Boatworks is proud to announce the delivery of Wave Paver, a 77-foot custom sportfishing yacht. This build holds a distinct combination of unique interior details, sleek exterior lines, and an assured purpose to travel the world and catch fish. Wave Paver was christened in August 2017, ahead of her projected fall delivery date.
Begun in March of 2015, she is the product of over 71,000 man hours, and nearly 30 months of labor. Her owners have run a long-standing and very successful program on the tournament circuit, which the new Wave Paver will mesh seamlessly into. Wave Paver’s hull is cloaked in the classic Matterhorn White, which pairs easily with a black boot stripe and bottom paint; her long bow deck brings a fresh silhouette to the Bayliss line.
The cockpit is designed with efficiency in mind; extensive refrigeration is the prime feature, especially the in-deck refrigerated fish box. A grill and tackle center, multiple electrical outlets, and tuna tubes round out a blueprint that is crafted with workability as the main attribute.
Wave Paver’s bridge console adds functionality to longer trips at sea with additional refrigeration and a large freezer in the bridge console. Four electric teaser reels sit comfortably above the helm to allow for flexibility in different teaser and dredge configurations.
Granite and marble are paired with a stunning combination of teak, Circassian walnut, and Sapele Pommele wood throughout Wave Paver’s interior. A dayhead and pantry are placed near the galley, adding practicality and function. The built-in custom rod locker rounds out the interior package of a boat that will explore new ground and catch more fish. The four-stateroom, five-head layout features a wraparound crew companionway that allows unique pump room access through the crew stateroom.
Wave Paver’s spacious pump room layout is a product of ultra-detailed systems planning. With extensive travel planned for this build, every system is installed with redundancy from ice makers to chillers. Additional drawer and accessory storage adds strength to an often-cramped space. Both the engine and pump rooms are equipped with fire suppression systems as a supplemental safety measure. She is stabilized with two Seakeepers, an SHD 12 and SHD 7. Her twin MTU M96L 2600 horsepower engines ensure Wave Paver is a swift mover. With top speeds of 43 knots, she evens out to cruise effortlessly at 35 knots.
Bayliss Boatworks has been building custom sportfishing yachts since 2002. Four additional builds are in progress at the company’s facility in Wanchese, including a recently begun 75-footer, a 64’ (named Lor-A-Di), and two GameBoats, sized at 60 and 62 feet.
Splash Date: August 2017
Length Overall: 77 feet
Beam: 21’ 11”
Draft: 5’ 8”
Displacement: 140,500 lbs.
Fuel: 2,700 gallons
Water: 450 gallons
Power: Twin 2600 horsepower MTU M96L
Top speed: 43 knots
Cruise speed: 35 knots
Additional information can be found at: www.baylissboatworks.com
Wave Paver 2015 Captain of the Year Russell Sinclair awards presentation Click Here
Hurricane Harvey – Fishing and Marine Industry Recovery Fund
A project of the The Houston Big Game Fishing Club and The Lone Star Shootout Tournament.The money raised will be distributed 100% to individuals and small businesses directly involved in the Texas offshore fishing and marine industry that have been severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey, from Corpus Christi to Beaumont, Texas. Priority on individuals – captains, mates, service techs, etc.
Charitable contributions are 100% tax deductible thru donation to the Houston Big Game Fishing Club, a 501C-3 Texas Charitable Corporation.
Distribution of funds to be managed by a committee comprised of Houston Big Game Fishing Club board members that are directly engaged in the offshore fishing and marine industry.
It’s about a great community coming together to help those in our community that need our help in the most desperate of time following the largest disaster of our lifetime.
A Captain’s “captain” on a mission
John Adams has been trolling Florida waters as a boat captain for 25 years and his devotion to the boating community has placed him at the center of a nasty waterfront battle.
Grumblings on the docks at Sailfish Marina Resort in Palm Beach Shores first caught Adams’ attention two years ago. Fellow boat captains and fishermen were angry because the marina was securing a state permit to demolish its north dock, with plans to replace 32 smaller boat slips with 12 mega yacht slips. Adams was infuriated, “I hope the boating community realizes that it’s an attack on all of us. It’s basically the fact that we’re losing slips, we’re losing access. Before you know it, you won’t be able to put your boat in the water anymore.”
Intimately familiar with shoreline currents, Adams and other longtime sport fishermen insist the north dock expansion would create a navigational hazard in the waters between Sailfish Marina and neighboring Buccaneer Marina. They also take umbrage with how the expansion will infringe on public access to the waterfront by turning out smaller boats in favor of yachts. In 2006, Palm Beach County paid Sailfish Marina $15 million dollars in taxpayer money to ensure public access to the north dock and surrounding waters. “People don’t realize this is more than just a rebuilding of Sailfish Marina, this is taking away what we paid for…it is taking away the public’s access.”
Adams grew up playing on the quiet streets of Palm Beach Shores where his grandmother lived and his father kept a boat at Sailfish Marina. The veteran boat captain resents that an out-of-state insurance conglomerate which owns Sailfish Marina could change the character of the town he loves. “The community of Palm Beach Shores has no idea what kind of affect this is going have on them, bigger boats, more traffic.”
Determined to stop Sailfish Marina, Adams alerted managers at Buccaneer Marina, who challenged the DEP permit. Months later in the spring of 2016, amidst public outcry over the plans, Sailfish withdrew its permit application. However, victory came at a cost to Adams, who had gone public with his concerns. This summer, Adams’ employer received an email from Sailfish Marina about docking his boat at Sailfish Marina next season. “The email said Sailfish Marina was reluctant to give my employer a slip because his captain had been counterproductive to their dock plans. They said they would welcome him back with a different captain.” Adams is being blackballed by the marina where he has worked as a boat captain for the last five years.
Sailfish Marina is not giving up. Earlier this year, owners applied for a DEP permit for a similar expansion plan for its north dock. Buccaneer Marina has filed a lawsuit and is again challenging a DEP permit. Boat captain John Adams is again speaking out. Given his reputation among fellow boaters who describe him as “a captain’s Captain and a straight shooter of the highest degree,” there is little doubt, the boating community is listening.
The following is sponsored content
Spotter Power: The Eye in the Sky
From the Vault- This article was previously published in InTheBite The Professionals’ Sportfishing Magazine.
by Dale Wills
One definition of passion is when you put more energy into something than is typically required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement. Meet Mike Kasten, a tower spotter with eyes like a frigatebird. He personifies his passion by spotting fish in a spread before anyone else.
Kasten’s love for spotting fish began in the Florida Keys several years ago when he realized he had a knack for it. I was fortunate enough to work for some of the best captains in the keys sight fishing sails , mahi , and cobia. In 2010, Kasten persuaded Team Galati to give him a shot spotting fish from the tower. “They broke me in by going 26 for 28 on white marlin off Ocean City, MD the first time I went offshore with them and since that trip I was hooked,” he says.
“I never want to take my eyes off the spread or miss a fish. It drives me nuts if the captain or someone in the cockpit sees a fish before me,” says Kasten.
“I love coordinating the communication between the anglers and the fish,” he reports. “My job is to let the anglers know where the fish is and what it’s doing, like whether it’s lazy or aggressive. I also notice if there’s a tangle or if there’s a fish on the dredge that nobody in the cockpit can see. Seeing the fish and alerting the angler gives them an extra second to engage the fish versus letting the fish engage the angler. There are certainly a lot of boats that do not have towers and are successful tournament winners but if it’s a close race I am certain that I can be the difference in a few extra fish because I’m up there doing everything I can to help the team win,” says Kasten.
Kasten has also taken the tower communication to the next level by wearing a headset mic that lets him correspond clearly via a Bluetooth speaker in the cockpit, which he says all but eliminates the usual yelling and shouting during the fishing day.
When asked about how far back the long riggers are trolled and visibility of the bait, Kasten explains, “I have the guys fish the longs close enough to where I can just barely see the bait. If they are too far back, the fish usually ends up being a sneak bite and I’m no help. I probably drive them crazy because I’m always saying ten less or ten more feet on the rigger baits. If I can warn them the anglers love it.”
“Nine times out of ten, I see the fish before he gets to the bait depending on the light conditions. If the sun is on my back I can see everything in our spread and a sailfish or marlin sticks out like a sore thumb. If the sun’s in my face and there is a glare, I look for fins cutting through the water or a wake made by the fish. It also helps that I was blessed with 20/10 vision. If a fish comes up either very aggressive or lazy, I’m able to help the angler drop back to try to get the fish to eat but most of the time the fish wants to chase that bait and I try to not have them drop back unless he fades off. There have been countless times we have gotten a bite and not come tight and I will let the angler know if the fish is coming back to eat again and most importantly if they still have a bait. Another thing I help with is when we hook a fish and make our turn, sometimes you can’t tell where the hooked fish is and I’m vigilant at watching to make sure we don’t run over the line. I’ll let the captain know hard to port or starboard and give him a read on where the fish is.”
As you can probably tell, Mike Kasten is taking the job of spotting fish from the tower very seriously and has become an integral part of the Galati fishing team. Kasten adds that you also need to make sure the seas are not too rough to risk injury by climbing a tuna tower in the first place. “It’s something you should get comfortable doing at the dock before you try it offshore. It’s not for everyone but it’s an amazing view and something I love doing.” When it comes to sunglasses, blue mirror Costa sunglasses are his favorite for bright days in blue water. “They make the dark shadows of the sails stick out very well,” he says. “On a cloudy overcast day, I wear amber Costas to brighten things up.” Adding a tower guy can pay dividends. Just follow Team Galati via InTheBite as they compete around the world and remember that Mike Kasten will be riding 40 feet above the boat like a frigatebird waiting to dive on its prey. “Left long rigger!”
Kasten utilizes a Harmon Kardon headset with a wireless transmitter which transmits to the cockpit speakers. Communication is a low key, no-yelling affair which keeps anglers calm during the bite.
Team Galati spotter Mike Kasten keeps a watchful eye on the spread from his perch high above in the tower.
After the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced today its approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit that allows longline boats to fish in Florida’s east coast closed zone, Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation (TBF) said, “Florida anglers, all anglers who fish off Florida’s east coast and the recreational fishing industry should be irate at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Highly Migratory Species for not valuing or respecting recreational fishing by their approval of the Exempted Fishing Permit, which allows longline boats to fish inside Florida’s East Coast Closed Zone.
Florida has more anglers than any other state in the nation, 2.4 million, and the related industry generates an economic impact of $7.6 billion dollars (2015/16) and supports 109,300 jobs! This is a slap in the face of all connected to recreational fishing in Florida especially after strong opposition was expressed by the industry and community participants. This decision could have a negative impact on Florida’s wide ranging marine tourism.
Peel added, “she was not surprised, though held out some hope, the NMFS would realize allowing longlines back into Florida’s east coast closed zone to land the conservation benefits accrued over 16 years of closure would be illogical. The NMFS has accommodated the one scientist at NOVA, who filed for the permit, project after project, regardless of prior results or inappropriateness of this project. The hypocrisy of the situation is blatant for the scientist, along with the owner of many of the longline boats that will fish in the zone, were part of a CNN interview in 2012 (see video here), in which they made the argument that longlining was not a clean gear and should be replaced by buoy gear. Now that the scientist and boat owner can sell the conservation benefits their story has changed. The longlines will kill billfish, swordfish, sharks and sea turtles. Be prepared, the NMFS, HMS may issue more restraints on recreational fishing so there will be more fish for the “research longlines” to kill if their illogic continues. Keep in mind that the State of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission opposed the permit being issued.”
The Billfish Foundation is the world’s leading science-based sportfishing conservation organization that advances research, education and advocacy for responsible management and conservation of billfish (marlin, sailfish, spearfish, swordfish) and other highly migratory fish, including tunas.
Within the first 40 minutes on the last day of weigh-ins at Harbour Island, $3 million dollars changed hands. To win the biggest share of the $4.9 million dollars in prize money, a white marlin would have to top the 86-pound white caught off The Griffin from Palm Beach, FL on Wednesday. That’s a big white and would have won 36 of the last 43 tournaments. A closer look, however would reveal that it would have only won 4 of the last 8 events. Still, Wilmington Delaware angler Mike Donohue had to like his chances to hold onto the $2.6 million-dollar prize.
The scale for the last day of weigh-ins opened at Harbour Island Marina at 4:00 PM. Waiting at the 3:30 bridge was MR Ducks from OC, Md. The boat was carrying OC, Md. angler Joe Andrews with a white to weigh. The digital scale judged Andrews’ fish to weigh 79.5 pounds which didn’t affect Donohue’s $2.6 million, but jumped into 2nd knocking another OC boat, the Berzerker down to third place.
Yet another Ocean City boat, the Wire Nut made the 4:00 PM bridge and cruised toward the HI scale with a quiet confidence. Angler Glen Frost, an attorney from Stevensville, Md. knew that he had to beat a large white, but the crew felt the measurements indicated that was possible. When the digital scale read 95.5 pounds the celebrating started. It was the third largest white marlin ever caught in the 44-year-old event and it was Frost’s first white marlin catch!
So, Frost’s first ever billfish catch earned first place in the 2017 WMO and $1,654,800 in prize money. That fish cost Donohue $1,400,000 but Donohue and The Griffin still earned $1,525,964 for the 2nd place white. MR Ducks and fell to third with earnings of $164,673.
The tuna category produced 8 winners including a White Marlin Open record $866,553 tuna payout to Joe Sadler off the Intents both from Jupiter Florida. Other top tuna winners were $90,380 to James Boynton of Situate, MA fishing aboard the Blue Runner out of Manasquan, NJ for their 67-pound tuna. The Warden Pass from Cape May NJ carried Buena, NJ resident Kris Rainear who caught a tying 67-pound tuna and earned $52,950.
Tuna also earned big bucks for small boats. The Lisa from OC Md. carried angler Mike Cutler who hones his billfishing skills in Leawod, Kansas. Team Lisa won $112,050 for small boat top tuna and small boat big fish.
Jimmy Michael on the Dawg Haus out of OC, Md won $51,300 in the small boat white marlin division with his 58 pound tuna since no qualifying small boat white marlin were weighed.
The money in the Daily Meat Fish division is split between the heavy wahoo and heavy dolphin. The dolphin fishing was the slowest in memory and only one dolphin qualified. The one dolphin that did qualify, however, took big money. Ashton, MD angler Andrew Cohen aboard Annapolis based Silly Money weighed the a 23-pound dolphin to win all the daily money for dolphin and earned $74,841. The 3 wahoo shared the daily prizes and the Hog Wild, G-Force and Karen Marie each won over $25,000 for their fish.
The Restless Lady from Ocean City, MD took $7,091 for the only shark weighed when Frank Snover from White Township, NJ caught a 126 mako shark.
In the Daily Release Point division, the Bar South took first with 735 followed by Fender Bender with 700 points and Weldor’s Ark with 665 pts. Those same boats took the top three places in the prestigious Billfish Points division.
The top Tournament Anglers who will receive the coveted Master Angler Rings are: Jack Owens off the Rebel, John Roberts on the Weldor’s Ark, and Kevin Pento aboard the Singularis.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. A total of five blue marlin released in three days of fishing earned Doña Lucy the top boat prize in the 45th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT). Incredibly, the San Juan, Puerto Rico-based team scored four of these fish on today’s last day of fishing to take the trophy over A1A, which also released five blue marlin total, but had to settle for second place based on time. Doña Lucy’s triumph was in a Davy versus Goliath-style as the 41’ Ronin sports fisher was half the size of other ABMT competitors.
“We had a team meeting last night and our captain, Juan Garcia, said he had a feeling it would be a good idea to fish the tournament’s last day up off Anegada,” says Doña Lucy angler, Rafael Caicedo. “This is where we released our first fish on Day 1. We fished the North Drop yesterday, with all the rest of the boats, and didn’t catch a thing. The idea was, as the smallest boat in the tournament, we had to break away from the pack. Luckily, we did. We found a small patch of blue water without weed and trolled in that patch.”
The Doña Lucy team raised its first fish of the day late morning, but it wouldn’t bite. Then, barely a half hour later, anglers Bryan Ramos and Efrain Rodriguez hooked up a blue marlin double header and landed both. With barely time to set the baits back out, Rodriguez hooked, caught and released a blue marlin weighing an estimated 500 pounds.
“Two minutes later, Efrain hooked up the big girl. It was about a 650 to 700-pound blue marlin and took 2 hours and 15 minutes to fight and release. It was during that time that A1A almost caught up to us. However, we were the first to reach five when we released that big fish,” says Caicedo.
There were three secrets to the Doña Lucy’s team’s success. One, the skilled anglers successfully caught everything that bit. Secondly, dead bait rather than lures was the team’s preferred fish attracting method. Third, the anglers and crew had a great boat.
“We just finished building the boat and this is only the second tournament we’ve fished,” says Caicedo.
The beautiful little Ronin was the last unfinished hull sitting in the factory when the Ponce, Puerto Rico-based yacht builder closed. Two weeks before the hull was to be sent to the crushers, says Caicedo, he and his fellow fishing team moved it to a small shed and spent five years finishing her. This is the little Ronin’s debut summer.
“It’s the little boat that could and did,” says Caicedo.
A1A, a 72’ Jim Smith based out of Florida, finished in second place in the boat standings with five blue marlin releases. Angler/owner, Bill Waldorf, earned Top Angler, caught and released all five blues. Business Stinks, a 72’ Merritt with Brazilian-based owner/angler Lucas Abud aboard, ended third with three blue marlin in the boat standings.
The 8-boat tournament fleet released a total of 22 blue marlin in the three days of fishing.
Boats competing in the ABMT were A1A, Angela, Business Stinks, Cheeseburger, Doña Lucy, Gulf Rascal, Reel Tight and Sodium.
The ABMT was run this year as a team tournament under IGFA rules only, without the call for competitors to adhere to additional special tournament rules such as the need for anglers to rotate rods hourly.
On land, the 5th Annual MarlinFest concluded with a Shrimp Boil and Caribbean Show in the parking lot of the Red Hook Shopping Mall.
The ABMT and MarlinFest benefit the locally-registered not-for-profit Marine Vocational Program (MVP). The MVP’s goal is to serve as a vocational institution that provide U.S. Virgin Islands youth with a career path into the marine/hospitality/tourism industries. Current MVP programs include learn-to-swim, sailing, scuba diving and small boat handling and operation skills.
Started by Chuck Senf back in 1972, the ABMT has evolved into one of the most competitive saltwater sports fishing events in the world or the ‘Super Bowl of Sports Fishing’.