December 8, Results 151 Releases, Location Palm Beach, Florida
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December 8, Results 151 Releases, Location Palm Beach, Florida
For Live Updates Click Here
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18 Teams Competing
November 28, 2017 Stuart, Florida The Fish Heads “Quickie” is underway with 17 boats. Stay tuned for updates and what we all hope is the beginning of a great Florida sailfish season.
November 29, 2017
Thank you to all that participated in Fish Heads of Stuart Quickie! It was a great few days! Cheers to the entire fleet for your tireless efforts. 3rd place goes to Challenge, 2nd place Miss Victoria and 1st Showtime! Nice work and cheers to the kickoff of the season!!
3:30PM update for the 2nd Day of the Fish Heads of Stuart Quickie Total 28
Fa La Me 1
Lisa K 1
Lo Que Sea 1
Miss Victoria 1
Martha D 3
Sea Hag 2
Old No. 7 1
3PM update for the Fish Heads of Stuart Quickie Total 35
Old No. 7 1
Lisa K 2
Miss Victoria 7
Sea Hag 2
Martha D 1
Champagne Lady 2
Team Chupacabra wins the 37th Annual Bisbee Black & Blue Tournament
CABO SAN LUCAS, BCS, Mex. – Team Chupacabra showed the rest of the sportfishing world a thing or two about big game fishing catching the largest fish and winning the 37th Annual Bisbee Black &
However, Chicago-based Team Ten Brothers walked off with the largest winnings overall, $961,518.75, for their three-day angling effort. Total winnings for all teams in all categories including daily jackpots amounted to $3,255,750.
During the event, conducted at the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez, 807 anglers on 120 teams accounted for 14 black marlin, 54 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin, and one sailfish for a total of 78 fish with a hookup-to-catch conversion of 88%.
All of the fish brought to the scales were donated to Hope for Los Cabos, a charity operated by Jen and David Limpert that helps feed the hungry. The catch amounted to 11,249 pounds or 33,747 meals.
2017 Bisbee Tournament Winners totals.
Ten Brothers $961,518.75
Go Deeper 60 $876,350.00
Wild Hooker $439,987.50
Pocket Aces $39,100.00
Sneak Attack $21,802.50
Chinto Bonito $ 7,020.00
October 24, 2017 Congrats to all the Los Cabos Winners
August 28, 2017 It was a week that not only saw a total eclipse of the sun but also saw a total cash purse eclipse the previous MidAtlantic tournament record payout! It was also the first time in the tournament’s 26-year history where a participant won two of the event’s major categories. The 2017 MidAtlantic tournament ended on Friday night with awards presentations at both Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May and Sunset Marina in Ocean City with a tournament record $3.24 million awarded to all the lucky winners including well over $1 million alone to one lucky crew! Larry Hesse of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and his crew of the Brielle, New Jersey-based Goin’ In Deep including Captain Walter Harmstead and Hesse’s son Larry Jr. were the big winners at this year’s event as they doubled up and nabbed the Blue Marlin and Tuna categories top prizes thanks to the 680-pound blue marlin and 184-pound tuna weighed on Day Four of the tournament and walked away with $1,110,634!
It was a picture-perfect morning as 145 boats headed offshore on the final day of the 2017 MidAtlantic tournament. A light breeze made for calm seas and as is usually the case, Day Five would prove to be Moving Day once again at the tournament with fortunes made for some and dashed for others as several significant changes to the leaderboard occurred. Though the billfish bite was somewhat slow by MidAtlantic tournament standards several large white marlin were reported boated during the day. It was shortly after the evening’s weigh-in session got underway at 5 p.m. when Scott Poole’s Waste Knot from Morehead, North Carolina with Captain Patrick Kannan at the wheel pulled to the scale in Ocean City and weighed a white marlin of 75 pounds for angler Kyle Mayer which hurdled the others to the top of the leaderboard in the category. Poole and his crew of the Waste Knot were among those eyeing the scale as minutes later Captain JJ Logan wheeled Rich Van Camps Reel Rodeo from Fort Lauderdale, Florida into the marina with an upright white marlin flag flying indicating they had a boated billfish aboard. Moments later angler Andrew Kennedy’s billfish would weigh 71 pounds and Reel Rodeo would finish with the third heaviest white marlin for the tournament and won $73,602. Poole and his crew aboard the Waste Knot let out a sigh of relief as their heaviest white marlin gave the crew $796,509! Ken Hager’s Taylor Jean from Tinton Falls, New Jersey held on to take home the second heaviest white marlin prize and a check for $217,665 for his 72-pound billfish. In other news in the white marlin category on Day Five Captain Pete Ryan wheeled Rich Ryon’s Anthracite to the scale in Cape May and weighed a 70-pounder for angler Drew Parker to get on the board while Andy Schlotter’s My Time from Hilltown, Pennsylvania weighed a 68-pounder for angler Tom Schlotter to join the crowd on the leaderboard.
In other news on Day Five, Cody Steen’s Book Ends from Fort Lauderdale, Florida weighed a 53-pound wahoo in
Cape May to finish with the second heaviest in the category and won $53,744 while Olney, Maryland’s Todd
Dickerson aboard his Top Dog weighed a 33-pound ‘hoo in Ocean City which was good enough for third heaviest in the category and received $17,766. The dolphin category saw Secaucus, New Jersey’s Michael Verzaleno weigh a 17-pounder in Ocean City from his Reel Steel to make the leaderboard. Denny Howell of Malvern, Pennsylvania also weighed a 17-pounder from his Big Dog in Cape May and Chad Jackson of Estero, Florida weighed a 16-pounder from his Toddy Times 3 in Ocean City to join the fray.
No qualifying blue marlin were weighed on Day Five which left Art Kontos’ Let It Ride from Vero Beach, Florida with the second heaviest billfish in the category at 677 pounds and won him $142,929. It should be noted since no third place blue marlin was caught, that prize money was divided between Goin’ In Deep and Let It Ride.
Though several tuna were weighed on Day Five, none were able to make the leaderboard much less top Goin’ In Deep’s 184 pounder. Denny Howell’s Big Dog hung on to take the second heaviest in the category and won $80,088 while Pat Healy’s New Gretna, New Jersey-based Viking 62 and Brick, New Jersey’s Mike Murray aboard his The Caitlin finished in a tie for third heaviest tuna at 72 pounds and won $164,837 and $116,929 respectively. It should be noted that prize winnings awarded are based on the various levels of calcuttas each participant enters and is reflected in their winnings.
Boats with significant billfish releases on Day Five include John Conrad’s Grets 3 Js with seven white marlin released while Pat Healy’s Viking 72 released six white marlin. James Romero’s Absolute Pleasure and Martin Truex’s Clamaholic each released five white marlin while Peter Cherasia’s Shark Byte, Art Kontos’ Let It Ride and Adam Youschak’s Reelin’ Feelin’ each released four white marlin. William Roohan’s Team Player released three white marlin while Jon Duffie’s Billfisher released three white marlin and a blue marlin. Ed Russo’s Big Deal and Tom Kilareski’s Intuition each released a blue marlin and a white marlin.
Cash Prize Winners
* Please note well over 60 individual cash awards are possible due to the wide variety of calcuttas. See below the payout for the species indicated and please note payouts vary by the number of calcuttas each participant enters. It should be noted that no less than seven winners received a payout of more than six figures and an additional 10 winners received payouts of $25,000 or more!
Heaviest White Marlin – 75 lbs. – Waste Knot – Scott Poole – Morehead, NC – $796,509
2nd Heaviest White Marlin – 72 lbs. – Taylor Jean – Ken Hager – Tinton Falls, NJ – $217,665
3rd Heaviest White Marlin – 71 lbs. – Reel Rodeo – Rich Van Camp – Fort Lauderdale, FL – $73,602
Heaviest Blue Marlin – 680 lbs. – Goin’ In Deep – Larry Hesse – Fort Lauderdale, FL – $580,762
2nd Heaviest Blue Marlin – 677 lbs. – Let It Ride – Art Kontos – Vero Beach, FL – $142,929
3rd Heaviest Blue Marlin – No qualifying third place blue marlin was caught. Prize money divided between Heaviest and 2nd Heaviest winners.
Heaviest Tuna – 184 lbs. – Goin’ In Deep – Larry Hesse – Fort Lauderdale, Florida – $529,871
2nd Heaviest Tuna – 126 lbs. – Big Dog – Denny Howell – Malvern, PA – $80,088
3rd Heaviest Tuna – Tie – 72 lbs. – Viking 62 – Pat Healy – New Gretna, NJ – $164,837
The Caitlin – Mike Murray – Brick, NJ – $116,929
Aug 24, 2017 This year’s Loop, as with those of the past, challenged the brawn and endurance of the competing teams with 3 non-stop days of fishing… no port calls, no cheeseburgers in paradise. The Ironman of Billfishing, the Loop, was also the final leg & capstone for the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series. This year we added points for successful tag and releases. We are proud to report 98% were tagged and look forward to working with the Billfish Foundation with research data from the middle Gulf of Mexico.
With 9 teams competing, Team Twisted Bills – Captain Daniel Munyan and crew – eclipsed last year’s winners, Team On Course and, roared to the win with Two Blue Marlin with tags and 1 White Marlin with tag.
1st Place Team Twisted Bills – 1282 pts
Daniel Munyan and crew
Two Blue Marlin with tags and 1 White Marlin with tag
2nd Place Team On Course – 761 pts
Bill Currie and crew
One Blue Marlin and One White Marlin with tag
3rd Place Team For Now – 220 pts
Dan Snyder and crew
Two Sailfish with tags (Caught both on 8/17)
4th Place Team Seahawk – 220pt
Pat Young and crew
Two Sailfish with tags (double hook up) caught both 8/18
1st Place Team For Now 20.82lbs
2nd Place Team For Now 18.34lbs
3rd Place On Course 17.05 lbs
4th Place Jumbo Shrimp 16.42lbs
5th Place Team Hooker 15.91lbs
6th Place Seahawk 13.24lbs
1st Place Jumbo Shrimp 18.60lbs
2nd Place Haulin Grass 14.78lbs
3rd Place For Now 13.19lbs
4th Place Twisted Bills 8.57lbs
1st Place For Now 36.24lbs
1st Place Twisted Bills 167.56lbs
2nd Place For Now 64.64lbs
Pirate’s Cove Marina, Manteo, North Carolina: Point Runner was on point all week long. The 60-foot Guthrie charter boat based at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center led the 2017 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament from start to finish with 20 white marlin releases and the top tuna prize. Captain and owner Chris Kubik, Capt. Lucas Jolly, mate Scotty Simpson and the experienced team of anglers earned a payout of $231,193 for multiple awards. Point Runner was the top boat of the week, first place overall, first place tuna (69.8 pounds), first place in the Day One daily and jackpot and second place in the Day Two daily.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” Kubik explained after Friday’s awards presentation. “This means everything to me as a new boat owner and the newest captain in the fleet. I never thought I would get here this fast. And I couldn’t be prouder of my team.”
Fellow charter skipper Arch Bracher and his crew aboard Pelican, a 56 Paul Mann also based at Oregon Inlet, took home a consolation prized of $151,036. The team won second place boat and overall points, plus first place in the Day Two daily and jackpot for 17 white marlin releases.
Fin Planner, a 58 Buddy Harris run by Capt. Chris Gornell (with mate Danny Prettyman) came in third place with 15 billfish releases. The team earned $55,048 for its efforts. Chasin’ Tail, a 68 Bayliss with Capt. Butch Davis at the helm and Hovie Aiken in the cockpit, won trophies for fourth place honors (14 releases). Rigged Up was fifth overall with 13 billfish released. Capt. Charles Haywood and mates Graham Alexander and Garrett Holden crew the 54 Omie Tillet.
A total of 555 billfish were released by the 79 boats participating in the this year’s event. The catch included 429 white marlin, 46 blue marlin, 78 sailfish and two spearfish. No blue marlin were weighed, but releases with photo verification earned an extra 50 points. Boats earned prize money for the top releases per day and daily jackpots. The first billfish caught each day was worth $5,000.
Sandra D, a 58 Hudson with Capt. Mike Merritt at the helm, won $87,472 for first place in blue marlin release division with three fish. Derek Anderson is the Sandra D mate. Capt. Will Ross, mates Mike Fulgam and Joel Groetsch and the team aboard Full Choke, a 38 Jarrett Bay, took second place in the blue marlin release points and the first fish of Day 4, good for a $42,488 payout. Sea I Sea, a 72 Viking run by Capt. Rob Mahoney, and Sea Hag, a 61 Blackwell with Capt. Dave Ed Graham, both won $68,464 for daily payouts (seven and six fish, respectively). Other boats claiming prize money for daily catches include Ann Warrrick, Builder’s Choice and Wave Paver. Traveller, Plane Simple and Sea Toy joined Full Choke as the $5,000 first fish daily winners.
In the individual angler categories, Ryan Dayton was named the top angler for six billfish (650 points). Dayton was fishing aboard Martha D, a Viking 52 run by Capt. Scott Fawcett, with mates Matt Copolletta and Kyle Francis. Stacey Allen earned top lady angler honors for nine billfish released (900 points). She was fishing on Wall Hanger, a 59 Paul Spencer with Capt. Gray Blount on the bridge and Jason George, John Muter and Jonathon Oglesby manning the cockpit. E.J. Nettles represented the future of the sport by snagging five billfish and the top junior angler title. Nettles was competing aboard Short People, a 48 Ocean run by Capt. Jeff Hagan.
Ross Darling wound in the top dolphin of the week, a bull that tipped the scales at 50.7 pounds. Darling and his team won $10,853 on Desperado (VA) with Capt. Bryan Peele on the throttles. Gary Ingram won the same amount of money for his 54.3-pound wahoo, caught on Trophy Box, a 57 Island Boatworks with Capt. Ronnie Fields. Micheal Lamb was on the rod for Point Runner’s winning yellowfin. Game fish totals for the week included 12 dolphin, 14 yellowfin tuna, plus three blackfin tuna and wahoo each.
Major sponsors of the 2017 PCBT were the Pirate’s Cove Marina, Pirate’s Cove Realty, Golfito Marina Village, Simrad and Release Marine. Goslings Rum, Jefferson’s Bourbon and Tito’s Vodka were the week’s bar sponsors.
“What a great week with the Oregon Inlet charter fleet setting the pace,” Tournament Director Heather Maxwell said at the conclusion of the awards presentation. “We had an impressive number of billfish released and some nice game fish brought to the scales. Thank you all for fishing with us. Please come back again next year and bring some friends, ‘cause we’re going over $1 million mark in prize money.”
The 2018 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament is set for August 13-17 at the Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.
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’.