(George Town, Cayman Islands) The Cayman Islands’ first-ever Cayman Billfish Rundown awarded more than US$260,000 in cash prizes to 14 teams hailing from both local and international shores. Held May 14-17 on Grand Cayman, 41 teams registered in the sportfishing tournament, presented by Hurley’s Media Ltd., Dart Enterprises and The Residences at Seafire.
Managing Director of Hurley’s Media Ltd. Randy Merren said he was pleased with the outcome of the tournament. “It’s incredible to see Cayman Billfish Rundown come to life after a year of planning and preparations. We are grateful for the support from the local and international participants, and based on the feedback received, we expect even higher numbers next year,” Mr. Merren said.
Carey Chen brought his experience and expertise as the Official Artist and Tournament Ambassador, taking news of the tournament to global waters. “I’ve been fishing the Cayman Islands since Million Dollar month in the 80s. The offshore fishing is less than a mile from land in the clearest water you can imagine,” Mr. Chen said. “Cayman Billfish Rundown in its debut is one of the most organized tournaments I have been to and this will only get better,” he said.
The winning team, ‘Uno Mas’ from Florida, captained by Brooks Smith, released three billfish to win the top prize of US$100,000 for the Most Billfish Release Points and the Captain’s Award of US$10,000 presented to the Captain of the Boat with the Most Release Points. The team also entered seven additional categories that flexed its billfish skills and rewarded Uno Mas with additional payouts of more than US$16,000, making its total winnings for the tournament close to US$130,000.
In second place, ‘Happy Days’ from the Cayman Islands, took home US$35,000 for the second most billfish releases, as well as an additional US$2,250 for the smallest boat with the most billfish releases. Small boats were considered under 36 feet Length Over All (LOA).
Third place for most billfish release was tied, with seven teams earning equal points through catching and releasing a Blue Marlin. Down to time stamps, ‘Suntide’ took home third place and US$20,000, inching ahead of ‘Lazy Lady’ and ‘Trading Time’ by releasing their Marlin 10 and 20 minutes earlier respectively.
Angler Shaun Bodden from ‘Cool Change’ hooked the heaviest yellowfin tuna, weighing 77.2 lbs., which awarded his team US$10,000 from the guaranteed payout and an additional US$10,000 for entering and winning the ‘Tuna Doubler’ category.
The heaviest wahoo was caught by Baron Jacob from ‘Ecks-Change’ weighing 39.2 lbs. The heaviest dolphinfish was caught by Nathan Ebanks from ‘Reeladdiction’. Both teams won US$10,000 and each team kindly donated U$1,500 to the Alex Panton Foundation, the charity the tournament chose to support. Anglers were encouraged to donate a portion of their winnings to the Alex Panton Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to improve the mental health of the Cayman Islands’ children and young adults.
Forty-one boats entered the tournament with 230 registered anglers, including 41 international anglers and 28 females. Between them, they released twelve Blue Marlins, one White Marlin and one sailfish. A total of 14 yellowfin tuna, five wahoo and six dolphinfish were brought to the scale.
“The Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction of choice has so much to offer, and this tournament is no different as it highlights the high professional standard of sport fishing,” said Mr. Merren. “Billfish in particular hold a special place in Cayman Islands sportfishing and for me personally, it was great to bring the action so close to our shores,” he continued.
The tournament also supports responsible fishing and teamed up with Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, the School of Marine Sciences at University of Maine, and The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in a Tag and Release Program. Mr. Chen said, “Of all the islands I have travelled to, Cayman takes the most pride in its reefs and ocean by protecting it from pollution and overfishing.” The tag and release programme encourages participants to tag and release undersized dolphinfish, yellowfin tuna, skipjack and bigeye tuna, and ocean whitetip sharks. ‘Conched Out’, captained by Colin Wilson earned the most release points and were awarded with an Ulysse Nardin CI Limited Edition Watch valued at US$10,000.
The awards dinner and closing ceremony took place on Friday evening at The Crescent in Camana Bay and included a live performance and an impressive display of fireworks. Sponsors, including: Dart Enterprises, Esso, Ulysse Nardin and Island Heritage handed out trophies and checks to winning teams. During the closing ceremony other sponsors were also thanked for their involvement in the tournament including: Chivas Regal; Michelob Ultra; Parkers; Automotive Art; Suzuki; Mikes Ice; Ogier; Shipping Registry and Pro Yacht.
Helping with the presentation of awards, Nicole Spenc, a sportfishing icon from Florida, also thanked sponsors and tournament organizers for welcoming her to the Cayman Islands. “The people, the island, everything is so welcoming and I am just blown away! I can’t wait to come back!” she said. Nicole writes an adventure blog and is popular across YouTube and Instagram.
Reflecting on the tournament, Mr. Merren expressed gratitude to participants and sponsors. “Thank you to those who participated and to the team at Hurley’s Media, Dart Enterprises and The Residences at Seafire for a successful inaugural event. My hope is that next year we have even more participants, increase the prize pools, and perhaps even can break the Blue Marlin record,” he said.
Mr. Chen also said he’s excited for next year’s event. “Looking forward to next year with more boats and even bigger jackpots. I am proud to call Cayman my second home.”
The 23rd Annual Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC), kicked off the 2019 Gulf Coast Tournament Season with 48 boats chasing Blue Marlin and more than a $1M in prize money.
Relentless Pursuit, a 95′ Jim Smith, caught the winning fish shortly after the fleet departed Orange Beach on Thursday, May 16th. “We didn’t have a chance to do any pre-fishing before the tournament,” said Captain Robbie Doggett. “But we hadn’t been on the troll all that long when we got the bite we needed. What a way to start the season!”
Angler Dennis Pasentine, Jr. brought the fish to the boat in less than two hours and the crew started heading for Orange Beach to weigh their fish early the next morning. The team celebrated both the 116″ fish that weighed 658.2 pounds and team owner Dennis Pasentine’s birthday before a nice early morning crowd at The Wharf. The Blue Marlin would still be atop the leaderboard when the scales closed on Saturday night.
No other fish were weighed on Friday, but Saturday night saw two more Blue Marlin come to scales. Double J, a 42′ Freeman, saw their fish measure 107″ and 399.4 pounds. Current Alabama State Record holder for Blue Marlin, Chris Ferrara on the 70′ Viking Reel Fire, claimed third place with his 376 pound Blue Marlin which measured 108″.
Mollie the 66′ G & S from Destin, won Catch and Release and will have their name added to the Johnny Johnson Memorial Trophy, by releasing three Blue Marlin. Reel Fire also placed in the Catch and Release category with a second place finish by releasing two Blue Marlin.
Born 2 Run, a 72′ Viking from Pensacola finished in third place in Catch and Release by also releasing two Blue Marlin.
One of the highlights of this year’s tournament was the weighing in of two giant Bluefin Tuna. Hot Rod, a 56′ Viking from Sasser, GA, brought their 107″ fish in early on Saturday night to the delight of the crowd as the scale read 735 pounds. That fish was bumped to second place as the final fish of the night brought huge roars from the fans in attendance and those watching online.
Crawgator, a 61′ Viking from Venice, LA, caught their 110″ Bluefin late on Saturday and just missed setting a new Alabama state record with an 825-pound giant tuna. Tireless, a 44′ Cabo from Orange Beach, finished third with a 172.4-pound Yellowfin Tuna.
CE, a 65′ Hatteras from Point Clear, AL won the Wahoo division with a 58.0-pound fish. Crawgator also placed in the Wahoo division with a second place fish that weighed 45.2 lbs. and Relentless Pursuit also placed in multiple categories with a third-place finish in Wahoo at 40.2 lbs.
It was good to again see big Dolphin coming to the scales as a new tournament year begins. Lucky Dog, a 57 Bayliss from Destin, took first place with a 46.2 lbs. Mahi-Mahi. Second place went to A Team, a 43′ Viking from Galveston, Texas and third place was won by Breathe Reel Deep, a 52 Ocean from Orange Beach. Both fish weighed an identical 36.6 lbs.
The Top Lady Angler was Katie Gonsoulin on Done Deal as she released two Blue Marlin.
Thirty-Six Blue Marlin and three White Marlin were released in the 2019 Orange Beach Billfish Classic.
Official 2019 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Results
1st- 658.2 lbs. Relentless Purist- Angler Dennis Pasentine
2nd- 399.4 lbs. Double J- Angler Greg Gaubert
3rd- 376 lbs. Reel Fire- Angler Nathan Neames
Catch and Release
2nd- Reel Fire
3rd- Born 2 Run
1st- 825.6 lbs. Crawgator- Angler Bill Butler
2nd- 735 lbs. Hot Rod – Angler Stewart Fickel
3rd- 172.4 lbs. Tireless – Angler Gregg Trenor
1st – 58 lbs. CE – Angler Scott Cooper
2nd- 45.2 lbs. Crawgator – Angler Bill Butler
3rd- 40.2 lbs. Relentless Pursuit- Angler Johnny Pasentine
1st- 46.2 lbs. Lucky Dog – Angler Jarrett Johnson
2nd- 36.6 lbs. A Team – Angler Robert Sanderson
3rd- 36.6 lbs. Breathe Reel Deep – JC Jacobs
Top Lady Angler
Katie Gonsoulin on the Done Deal
This year marked the 25th Anniversary for the Hatteras Village Offshore Open with Top Dog, captained by Ryan Knapp and a new boat to the tournament, taking 1st place. They released a Blue Marlin on Day 1 and cemented their win with 2 more Blue Marlin releases on Day 4 and weighed a 455.5 lber. They walked away with $30,047.50. Marlin Gull placed 2nd and Sea Toy, last year’s winner, finished up in 3rd. 29 boats fished this year and everyone had a great time as they competed for a $160,395 purse.
This year’s tournament proved quite exciting with some quality Blue Marlins being brought to the dock:
‐ Day 1: Wall Hanger ‐ 563.9 lbs. (Captain Gray Blount/Angler Chris West)
‐ Day 2: Marlin Gull – 507.7 lbs. (Captain Kenny Midgett/Angler Josh Brown)
‐ Day 2: Piracy – 655.9 lbs. (Captain Chris Russell/Angler Curtis Struyk)
‐ Day 4: Top Dog – 455.5 lbs. (Captain Ryan Knapp/Angler Kyle Dickerson)
Piracy was the top money winner walking away with $56,780 earned on their 655.9 lber. $24,650 of it was earned in Level 4 – Biggest Blue Marlin and the other $32,130 was earned in Level 7 – Additional Biggest Blue Marlin, which was a new level in the HVOO this year which payed out for both 1st and 2nd at a 60%/40% split and cost $3,000 to enter. Wall Hanger took home 2nd place in Level 7, winning $21,420, plus another $5,950 for having the most release points on Day 3.
In Level 3 ‐ Meat Fish Division, Hatteras Fever II took 1st in the Dolphin category with a 44.4 lb. Dolphin and 2nd went to Sea Toy with a 38.6 lber. Outlaw took 1st in the Wahoo category with a 21.7 lb. Wahoo and Release took 2nd with a 16.1 lber. No yellowfin tuna were weighed in. Daily Billfish Release winners were Top Dog (Day 1 & 4), Sea Toy and Wall Hanger and Daily Meat Fish winners were Tuna Duck, Hog Wild, Sea Toy, Hatteras Fever II, Outlaw and Release. Total numbers for the tournament included 4 Sailfish Releases, 2 White Marlin Releases, 10 Blue Marlin Releases and 4 boated Blue Marlin.
The tournament again this year had some great sponsors including the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau as a Grand Slam Sponsor, and Atlantic Packaging and Bonze Lures as Blue Marlin Sponsors. White Marlin Sponsors included Western Branch, Gregory Poole, Bayliss Boatworks, Jernigan Oil, Bray’s House Moving, Flying Fish Ink and Carolan’s Bay Shore Construction. Point Click Fish joined us with their Mobile Command Center and Bonze Lures who was new to our tournament came with their trailer which featured a great display of their lures, hooks, shirts, cups, etc. and were all for sale. Mark your calendars for next year and plan to get in on some awesome Hatteras Billfish Action– May 12 – 16, 2020!!!
The 4th annual White Marlin Roundup, was again based out of the beautiful Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina, was held April 10-13, 2019. There were 25 registered boats and the weather forecast was perfect, light winds and calm seas.
The first day of fishing was beautiful and the 77’ Bayliss, Wave Paver was off to a great start as they released 6 white marlin, for 1950 points. Plane Simple a 70’ Spencer finished the day in second place with 3 whites for 975 points. In third, was the Lo Que Sea with a 2 whites and 1 blue marlin for 800 points.
The real catch of the day was caught on The Chaser as they boated a white marlin to weigh in! As the crowd gathered around the weigh station, The Chaser backed in with an extra large white marlin in the cockpit. Angler Nick Locuv stood close by as he marlin was hoisted and the scales showed “129” pounds For the day there was 18 whites, 4 blue marlin and 8 sailfish released, along with the one big marlin that was weighed!
On day two with the same calm conditions, Wave Paver maintained their lead on the fleet by releasing 5 white marlin increasing their lead on the fleet. The Lo Que Sea added to their total by catching 4 whites to get them into second place overall and the Plane Simple dropped down to 3rd place. There was a total of 22 whites, 2 sailfish and 2 blue marlin caught on day two.
On day three, the final day of fishing, the Plane Simple got red hot and put the pressure on the Wave Paver by catching 4 white before noon. Wave Paver fought back by catching 4 that afternoon while Plane Simple caught 3 more that afternoon too. The 7 white marlin that the Plane Simple caught, put them well into second place, and Lo Que Sea ended up in third place. At lines out it was the Wave Paver winning this event for the second time in three years.
With 33 whites, 5 sailfish and 3 blue marlin caught on day three, it brought the three day total to 71 whites, 15 sailfish and 9 blue marlin!
All competitors gathered to honor the winners during the awards presentation at the beautiful Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina! The Ken Ullberg trophy for the Top Boat award went to Wave Paver and her owner Jr Davis! They also claimed many awards, including two top dailies, , the jackpot for the overall winner, Top Captain & Crew and even the largest Mahi of 39.5 pounds as they took home a big check of $149,740. The Top Captain & Crew went to Captain Russell Sinclair, and crew members Cody, Garrett, Ryan and Doug.
Plane Simple took second place, earning them a prize of $55,080. Third place went to the Lo Que Sea awarding them $20,880.
Angler Nick Locuv and The Chaser took home a check for $40,400 for the largest white marlin.
The top angler was Scott Glasscock on the Wave Paver. Scott caught 9 white marlin. The Top Lady Angler was Laura Russell on the Hit n Run! The largest tuna and wahoo was caught by Steven Staclings on the Jichi and they took home a check for $19,500.
We look forward to seeing everyone again at next year’s tournament, to be held again at the Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina. The dates will be April 15-18, 2020. See you all there!
In a tournament marked by rough seas and windy squalls Captain Brent Gaskill from North Carolina guided his team aboard the 64’ custom Jarret Bay to a comfortable victory during the three days of fishing in the prestigious Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic 2019, first leg of the Dominican Billfish Triple-Header Series.
But, “it was not as easy a victory as some might think” said a smiling Captain Gaskill. “We had to work very hard and travel far for the win” he added referring to the standings after day one. They stood in third place at the end of the day edged out based on time of the last release by the winners of the daily, the team aboard another Jarret Bay, Mama Who from Mississippi, and the Brazil-Venezuela team aboard the 72’ Merritt, Business Stinks. All three teams had released two blue marlin on that first day.
However, the leader situation was quickly resolved on day two when Builder’s Choice released two blue marlin within the first hour after lines in and added a third in the afternoon that day winning the daily while Mama Who and Business Stinks had no releases for the day. “After day two we never looked back” said a proud Harris Huddle, Builder’s Choice owner and winner of the Top Individual Angler Trophy who incidentally was followed by his team mate, Dominican Luis Selen, who earned the Second Place Individual Angler Trophy.
When the dust settled at lines out on the third and final day of competition the Team/Boat standings stood with Builder’s Choice in First Place with a three day total of seven. blue marlin releases, Mama Who in Second Place with a total of four blue marlin releases and Business Stinks in Third Place with two blue marlin releases. Coincidentally the same three teams/boats had finished first, second and third the previous year but in a different order with Mama Who as the winners.
In the individual angler standings as already mentioned Top Angler was Harris Huddle followed by Luis Selen in Second Place both aboard Builder’s Choice and in Third Place was Mama Who’s Trey McMillan. Top Lady Angler for the second year in a row was Mama Who’s Elaine ‘Lainey’ Jones. Teams and Individual anglers took home a small fortune in cash awards and sponsor luxury prizes.
We gratefully thank our Title Sponsors Casa de Campo Resort & Villas as well as our very gracious hosts Marina Casa de Campo for their hospitality. Save the date for the 2020 7th Annual Casa de Campo Blue Marlin Classic when the tournament will take place will take place April 1st thru the 5th. Don’t miss it!
Miami Beach, Fla. (April 7, 2019) – The stakes were high, and the pressure was on for the 37 teams competing off Miami Beach in Final Sail, the grand finale of the 2019 Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. The tournament opened with a kickoff party at the DoubleTree Grand by Hilton that included a casino fundraiser to benefit the tournament’s charity, Fishing for Muscular Dystrophy (FFMD). The combined efforts of the teams and the casino night enabled Bluewater Movements to present FFMD with a check for $5,000 to help them on their mission to cured MD. [Read more…]
Fish Tank was the clear and undisputed Series Champion of the 2019 Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown, finishing with an almost unbelievable 17,400 points (144 sails, 6 marlin). Kudos to the team and especially to Laura Jessen who, despite a broken foot, released 6 sails this tournament alone and 34 sails over all three legs!
Los Sueños Resort and Marina, located at Playa Herradura on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, held the third and final leg of its sixth annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown billfish series, presented by Chantilly Air, March 27-30, 2019. Forty seven of the best and most competitive teams came together to release a total of 1,234 billfish over three days.
Going in to this event, the reports were that fishing was slow with 3-6 fish a day being average. We were pleased to see the teams find the fish when the radio went off with an early bite on Day 1 and ended with a nail-bite inducing finish on Day 3. With 100 points awarded for each sailfish release and 500 points for each marlin release, marlin always end up making a difference for the podium finishers. After all the scorecards were reviewed, a three-leg Triple Crown total of 3,945 billfish were released (3,820 sails and 125 marlin) – or 444,500 points achieved by the 51 teams that participated this year, 38 of which were registered in all three events. [Read more…]
LA ROMANA DOM. REP.
March 18th 2019
For the second consecutive year, the North Carolina team wins the Marina Casa de Campo Open fishing tournament. The crew and anglers aboard the Builders Choice are champions of the third version of the Marina Casa de Campo Open, organized by Marina Casa de Campo and directed by Robert “Fly” Navarro.
The team aboard the Cabana (Fenwick Island, DE) won second place and the team aboard the Auspicious (Palm Beach, FL) won third place. Elaine “Lainey” Jones (Mama Who) won the Lady Angler category. The tournament ended with 21 Blue Marlins and two White Marlins released for 23 Billfish released in the two days of fishing.
The MCDC Open had 12 sport fishing boats competing, all the participants and guests enjoyed the various activities that started with a welcoming cocktail in the Casa de Campo Yacht Club, home of the perpetual tournament trophy.
On the first fishing day, 12 Blue Marlins were released, out of which five were released by the champions, followed by Cabana with two Blue Marlin releases and Fa-La-Me with one Blue Marlin and one White Marlin. The first day of the tournament ended with a BBQ at the Yacht Club accompanied by good music.
The second fishing day had lines in the water at 8:00AM; fishing began with a Blue Marlin double, released by Shark Byte at 8:50AM. Cabana released a Blue Marlin at 11:56AM, which automatically positioned them in second place. The three Blue Marlins released by Auspicious were released in the afternoon and placed them in third place, the last one being released just an hour before the end of the tournament.
The awards ceremony was celebrated in La Romana Country Club with a fabulous dinner and an after party with a live band and a DJ.
Marina Casa de Campo would like to extend its gratitude to all the participants and sponsors of the event. Next year the tournament will be held from March 12th-14th with more interesting novelties that will make this tournament a must during the 2020 Casa de Campo Fishing Season.
KEY LARGO, Florida Keys — Team Seraphim of Ocean Reef, led by Captain Jerry Pohl of Miami, Florida, tallied 12 sailfish releases to take top honors at the two-day Billfish Championship, a main event of the Jimmy Johnson Fishing Championship Week that ended March 9 in the Florida Keys.
The Seraphim team earned $405,000 in overall prize money for the victory, as well as authentic, custom-designed Jimmy Johnson’s NBC Championship rings for each team member. [Read more…]