MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 14, 2018 –Hatteras/CABO Yachts LLC, a world leader in the construction of convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachtsfrom 41 to 105 feet, is pleased to announce the reintroduction of the well-known CABO fishing boats brand. The first new CABO model to launch is the CABO 41, which will be on display at the 2019 Miami Yacht Show, February 14-18, at the Hatteras/CABO docks, located at In Water Show Ramp B, Slips 119-126.
CABO 41 Specifications
LOA (with bow pulpit) 42’10”
Transom Deadrise 15 degrees
Displacement (light) 31,000 lbs.
Fuel 550 gal
Water 95 gal
Cabin Headroom 6’3″
For more information on the new CABO line of fishing boats, please visit caboyachts.com.
Captain Rob Ellyn
Lightspeed, 47-foot Cabo
Homeport: Honokohau Harbor, Kona
1,250 points include: Kona Throw Down, 1st Place; Firecracker Open, Heaviest Marlin, 667.5-pounds; Hawaiian Tournament Series, 1st Place.
Congratulations to Captain Rob Ellyn for winning the 2018 Hawaiian Division Captain of the Year award. Ellyn, running the 47-foot Cabo Lightspeed out of Honokohau Harbor in Kona, is no stranger to the Captain of the Year (COTY) award or the winner’s circle. In the five-year history of the COTY in Hawaii, the captain has won the award twice, winning it in 2014 and 2108. The two-time COTY champion fished against a field of renowned Hawaiian captains. Winning the accolade twice, when fishing against notable captains such as Kerwin Masunaga, Marlin Parker, McGrew Rice, Stymie Epstein, Kevin Nakamaru, Carlton Taniyama, Gene Vanderhoek, Shane O’Brien, Teddy Hoogs and Jeff Kahl just to name a few, is quite an accomplishment.
In 2018, InTheBite sanctioned 11 major tournaments in the calm, marlin-rich waters of Kona, Hawaii. Using the COTY scoring system, Ellyn won the honor by earning 1,250 total points. He racked up 500-points with the heaviest blue marlin, a 667.5-pounder, in the two-day Firecracker Open. He then won 500 first-place points by winning the Kona Throw Down, a three-day event that coincides with the World and Kona Cups, when his angler Rick Shedore tagged and released eight blue marlin.
The day the tournament season ended, Ellyn had 1,000 COTY points and was tied with two other excellent Kona captains. Veteran Capt. Carlton Taniyama, on the Five Star, who won first-place in the Rock and Reel and the Lure Maker Challenge. Shane O’Brien on the Strong Persuader, a young captain who has been on fire in both Kona and Cabo the past couple of years. O’Brien won first-place points in Hawaii by winning the Skins Marlin Derby and the Big Island Marlin Tournament.
When the points were tallied for Jody Bright’s Hawaiian Tournament Series, a total of seven major tournaments, Ellyn won the Series top boat award, and Lightspeed angler Rick Shedore won the Series top angler. The 250-points for winning a tournament series put Ellyn over the top to win the COTY with 1,250 points. It is worth noting that Rick Shedore was the defending 2017 Series Champion angler as well.
Congratulations to both Capt. Carlton Taniyama, on the Five Star and Shane O’Brien on the Strong Persuader. I would consider them in a second-place tie. Capt. Teddy Hoogs on the Bwana takes the third-place position with 900-points.
The Lightspeed is armed with two great anglers, owner/angler Rob McCarthy and Rick Shedore. McCarthy and Shedore have only been fishing in Kona together for the past two years, but they have great chemistry. Ellyn has known Shedore for a long time. The two were good friends when Ellyn used to fish in Mexico. Ellyn says, “Communication is the key,” for the good juju onboard the Lightspeed. Congratulations also goes to the 2018 Lightspeed crew members, Travis Ota, Scott “Scooter” Fuller, and Chris Storrs.
I asked the humble, salty captain – who immediately went elk hunting in Idaho after the tournament season was over – about his thoughts on winning the COTY for the second time. He said, “I would like to thank Rick and Rob for the opportunity to fish the tournaments. Without them it wouldn’t be possible. Again, a big thanks to Rob McCarthy for giving us the opportunity to fish in such an awesome fishery. If you haven’t fished Kona, you should.”
Like I always say whenever anyone asks, “When is the best time to fish Kona?” The answer is simple – “Anytime you can.” Nice going Rob! – by Mark Johnston
The first of the 2019 Captain of the Year sanctioned tournaments in the Contender Florida Division kick off next week:
Good luck to all the captains and crews fishing these tournaments.
We’re rigged and ready to see who comes out on top!
Exile Charters a.k.a. Big Fish Grenada is a charter program based out of Grenada where the offshore fishing has the potential to be super slamming! In as little as a 5-10 mile run you can have sailfish balling bait, big Alison Tunas skying out on flying fish, Blue Marlin chasing the tunas and skipjacks, and White Marlin and spearfish roaming around at the same time. Grenada is a must fish location that offers year round fishing with it’s prime being December through May where you can expect multiple shots at sailfish, and the potential for a Grand Slam is very real any day as well as the opportunity to get strapped into the harness on a big Alison Tuna which are typically 100-200 pounders. Grenada also offers great wahoo fishing on it’s steep drops around the island year round as well as some good mahi action at random.
If you really want to experience Grenada’s fishery and get a real shot at seeing everything its waters have to offer, we recommend coming to fish 3-5 full days. Big Fish Grenada offers Full Day (8+ hours) and Half Day (5 hour) fishing trips on Exile 65 with Captain Ricky Wheeler and crew. Trips available on Exile with Dr. Frank Pettisani and others are Full Day (8+ hours) and Half Day (4 hour) fishing trips. Full Day Fishing Trips are highly recommended as it gives the crew the opportunity to get you on the fish and stay on them. At Big Fish Grenada, we want to get you on the fish and stay on them to increase the odds of catching you a fish that will forever remain engraved in your memory. Who wouldn’t want more time fishing on the beautiful blue waters of Grenada?
Not only is Grenada a must fish location, but it is becoming a must visit destination as well! Grenada is a very fun and safe island with plenty of flight options from the United States. It boasts various levels of accommodations from modest beachfront hotels to lavish villas and resorts. Grand Anse Beach has been labeled as one of the top ten beaches in the world! Accommodations are a close drive from the airport including the Big Fish Grenada Boats (20 minutes from the airport). If you’re a foodie, look no further as Grenada is known as the Spice Island and shows why at the many restaurants around the island that offer various choices of cuisines. Not everyone in your group looking to go fishing? There are plenty of activities to do aside from fishing such as snorkeling, diving, dune buggy tours, visiting Grenada’s rainforest and hiking to the exotic waterfalls, and so much more.
Boats available for charter with Big Fish Grenada are Exile 65, a 65’ Paul Mann Custom Sportfishing Boat, and Exile, a 45’ Hatteras Sportfishing Boat that we have customized to be a sportfishing machine. Both boats are incredible fishing platforms and offer the comfort and extra amenities to make your day on the water very enjoyable. You can be sure to have a trip to remember with Big Fish Grenada when you couple these boats with Crews that have so much fishing experience that shines through in top tournament finishes in numerous locations, a pure love for fishing, and the willingness to share their knowledge and the amazing experience of being on the water with others everyday.
Exile Charters has a lot of experience in the charter industry starting with Dr. Frank Pettisani and his boat Exile that spent the 90s running trips in Venezuela with Captain Luis Suarez. In the 2000s, Exile came back to New Jersey where Dr. Pettisani found Captain Ricky Wheeler. These two fished together for quite some time in New Jersey placing in many tournaments together and running charters until Ricky took the boat back to the Southern Caribbean again in 2010. Frank fished in Grenada almost every Winter since then with Exile and has placed 3 out of the last 4 times he has fished in the Spice Island Billfish Tournament in Grenada winning once with Captain Jimmy Grant at the helm, once with Captain Ricky Wheeler at the helm, and last year he placed 3rd with himself at the helm. Whether he is the Captain, the Mate, or the Angler, he is a major asset to the crew. Dr. Pettisani is also a great teacher for those looking to sharpen their skills as an angler and does whatever possible to help his guests have an amazing time on the water.
In the Summer of 2016 Dr. Pettisani acquired the 65’ Paul Mann Sportfishing Boat he named Exile 65, and Captain Ricky Wheeler has been fishing it nonstop ever since running trips in New Jersey, Mexico, the Bahamas, and now in Grenada’s incredible offshore fishery. Captain Ricky Wheeler is no stranger to the offshore fishing scene. Ricky has set 10 IGFA Line Class Records (8 of which are still holding) and 5 IGFA All Tackle Length Records as a Captain. He also has plenty of tournament wins and placements to his credit as both a Captain and a Mate, and continues to be highly competitive year in and year out. His passion and high level of enthusiasm for sportfishing shines through on every trip which makes him an absolute pleasure to fish with. He loves to teach and help people get on the fish of a lifetime every opportunity he gets. Fishing is all about having fun on the water, and Captain Ricky Wheeler wants to be sure everyone is having as much fun as him on every trip.
Grenada is sure to offer something fun for everyone, so come down with the family, with your friends, or even a couples trip and enjoy what this amazing island has to offer. From fishing with Big Fish Grenada to all of the extracurricular activities, Grenada will not disappoint!
The InTheBite Captain of the Year Cup, presented by Hatteras, is the championship of sportfishing. The Cup is the world’s only quantifiable way to recognize the tournament success of professional sportfishermen. Comprised of 90-sanctioned events that span the world, there is nothing else like it. Winning an InTheBite Captain of the Year Award is a major achievement. From the winners to the Cup’s origin, it is an interesting tale.
Origins of the Cup
InTheBite Magazine started in 2003. Since its conception, the magazine has focused on providing useful, entertaining content for professional sportfishing crews. InTheBite’s publisher and founder, Dale Wills, was the son of a captain and himself ran sportfisher in Venezuela during the fishery’s heyday. Over the course of covering the sportfishing landscape in the magazine’s formative years, Wills began to notice that something was missing.
“We began realizing that each year as we covered the magazine that certain teams would get on winning streaks. There was no award for them at the time and we wanted to recognize guys for doing well, so we created the Captain of the Year,” Wills recalls. “There was nothing for crews that consistently placed in tournaments. The owners would get checks, but we wanted to do more. We wanted to recognize the crews and the success of our readership.”
The first ever InTheBite Captain of the Year was VJ Bell in 2003. It was Bell’s dominance that spurred the decision to act. “That year we watched VJ Bell cleaning everyone’s clock and we wanted to recognize him.”
In 2014, The Captain of the Year Cup took on its current multidivisional format. From 2003-2013, a single captain won the award based on voting by past winners. In 2014, to recognize the regional variations in the sportfishing landscape, the Captain of the Year Cup expanded to five divisions: East Coast Division , the Contender Florida Division, Gulf, Hawaii and the IGY Marinas International Division. Beyond the five divisions, InTheBite recognizes a winner of the World Wide Rankings, the captain who accrues the highest point total in the race each year. Each division is comprised of sanctioned tournaments, the results of which produce points for the COTY scoring.
Sanctioned events must meet a 12-boat minimum. Scoring is accumulated in the catch and release divisions of billfish tournaments: 500-points for first place, 300-points for second, 100-points for third place. For tournaments that include a heaviest marlin division, there is an additional 500-points awarded to the winning captain. The heaviest marlin points are in addition to and separate from the points awarded for the release divisions. In this way, a captain could theoretically win 1,000 points in the same tournament (by weighing the heaviest marlin and winning the release division). In tournaments that award top boat prizes through combined weighed fish and released fish, Captain of the Year points are awarded to the winner of the release division. An additional 250-points is awarded to captains who win series crowns in tournament circuits (Gulf Coast Triple Crown, the Los Sueños Triple Crown, etc.).
The point tallies follow the captain, rather than the boat. It is common for charter captains, especially in the Florida Division, to tally points on two or sometimes three boats in the course of the year. Not only do some captains score on multiple boats, some captains tally points in different divisions through the year. Multi divisional tallies were the key to the top two finishers in 2016’s World Wide Rankings—Captains Jon Duffie and Tommy Lynskey (each of whom scored in both the international and east coast divisions).
What Does it Mean to Win Captain of the Year?
Winning an ITB Captain of the Year Award is a big deal. From the early days of the award, when a single winner was chosen to the point-based divisional system of today, to win requires skill, consistency and dedication (nobody will turn down a little luck, either). Winning a Captain of the Year award requires a sizeable investment in tournament fishing by boat owners, skill and proficiency of mates, and anglers who are consistently ready when the bite happens. While all of these things must be present, it is the captain whose decision making keeps winning boats on the fish.
“It was awesome. I think it’s a pretty cool idea. With all of the new categories and areas, it has changed quite a bit since I won it,” says Captain Travis Butters the 2008 Captain of the Year. “The award was a great idea for the industry. It gives everyone something to strive for aside from just winning tournaments.”
When describing his winning year of 2008, Butters recalls, “First we won something in Key West. Then we won the Custom Boat Shootout and won a couple in Bermuda, and the Triple Crown. It was just one of those years when everything went your way.”
Captain Devin Potts is the 2016 Gulf Division Captain of the Year. Potts, who runs the Sea Mixer, a 66-foot Spencer, says “There are a lot of good, good fishermen here. Winning this is a huge career milestone for me. It has been a humbling experience.”
Captain Victor Julio Lopez runs the Tranquilo, a 57-foot Spencer. Lopez was the first Costa Rican born captain to win the award, winning the 2016 International Division. “The success of my efforts may be attributed to the blessing of God and the effort of our team and our anglers. My mate Daniel Arrieta has been here giving his best to keep us in this position. My wife Tania is by my side and has always been my good luck charm,” says Lopez describing his success. “It’s taken a great effort day to day to be in the position and it is a great honor to the first Costa Rican captain to be named Captain of the Year.”
So Now You’ve Won Captain of the Year… Now What?
It is standard practice that Captains of the Year host a party along with the presentation of the award. Just as there have been many different personalities who have won, the parties in the past have ranged far and wide. Captain Wink Doerzbacher won the 2013 Captain of the Year and the Florida Division Award in 2014. He celebrated in style with a reception at the Sailfish Point Clubhouse in Stuart, Florida. Captain John Dudas’ 2009 celebration was a catered affair at the legendary Miami Beach Rod and Gun Club. When Captain Ronnie Fields won it in 2010, the party was an epic affair hosted by Big Oh owner Gray Ingram at his home. The reception for Captain Victor Julio Lopez included a friends and family affair on the cockpit of the Tranquilo after day 1 of a Los Sueños tournament and a formal presentation at the tournament’s award ceremony. Captain Russell Sinclair’s reception was held at the Ocean Club Marina in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Some parties include pig roasts with guest chefs—like Captain Travis Butters (master of the pig roast), and some are a bit more low key. Compare this the bright lights and cocktail hours of some captains with the approach of back-to-back Hawaii Division Captain of the Year Kerwin Masunaga. Captain Kerwin prefers to live bait during tournaments and keep his head down. He lets his fishing do the talking for him. All of the diversity of approach is part of what makes the Cup so interesting.
The Sanctioned Events
The Cup consists of 90-sanctioned events. The largest division by number is the Los Suenos International Division with 23-tournaments. The Hawaii Division consists of 11. Sanctioned events are billfish tournaments that contain a minimum of 12-boats. While the award is meant to recognize the achievement of captains, the setup of the structure benefits a wide variety of those with an interest in sportfishing. Tournaments are chief among them.
Randy Bright is the Tournament Director of the Houston Big Game Club’s Lone Star Shootout. “We’ve been part of it since it started. I think it’s a great program. Captains love to compete and to compare themselves with other guys that they’re fishing with,” says the industry veteran. “It’s a great benefit to the professional tournament captains. Anything we can do to create a tie between tournament and tournament is a good thing. Captains really like the idea of being part of it. It also helps the tournament because it encourages captains to encourage their owners to fish multiple events.”
Amy Dukes is the Tournament Director for the South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. The five events that comprise the series—this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament— are pivotal to the East Coast Division race. “It’s an honor to have captains that fish the South Carolina Governor’s Cup to be included in such a prestigious award,” says Duke. “The last couple of years we’ve had a great representation in the Captain of the Year standings. Captain Harvey Shiflet, the 2016 East Coast Captain of the Year, won two of our events last year. Before that, Captain Gary Richardson on the Reel Passion, turned success in the Governor’s Cup into a Captain of the Year Award in 2015. Captain Bobby Garmany on the Sportin’ Life placed well, too.”
The Cup Now
InTheBite.com is the source for current standings and the latest cup news. In the fourth year of its divisional format, the InTheBite Captain of the Year Cup, presented by Hatteras, is coming into its own. As the races heat up, the phone lines at the office ring with anticipation. “Who is winning?” “How am I doing?” “Do I need to fish any more events to keep my lead safe?” This is what makes tournament fishing fun and we’re honored to be able to recognize those who consistently produce.
Two-time Captain of the Year Glenn Cameron and his wife Jennifer proved that they are not only a formidable tournament team, but throw a great party as well. The Camerons hosted the 2017 Contender Florida Division Captain of the Year Party on Saturday March 10 at Fish Heads Marina in Stuart. What a party it was.
About a 150 people came out to celebrate Capt. Glenn’s 2017 Award. The party included an open bar, a live band, and two giant 5’ vats of paella cooked on-site by the fine folks at Paella Grill. The festivities were a who’s who of the Stuart fishing community and a really good time.
InTheBite would like to especially thank Jennifer Cameron, Glenn’s wife, whose expertise in throwing a party is only matched by her skill catching sailfish. Congratulations Capt. Glenn Cameron and Mate of the Year JJ Davidson and the whole Floridian team.
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