Desperado ain’t out riding fences no more. The Manteo-based charter boat, a 56-foot Taylor Harrison run by Capt. Rob Barker, went wire to wire to win the 36th annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament. The team added a confirmed blue marlin and sailfish on Friday to accrue 1,000 points overall, good for a payout of $198,519. Jeff James and Braxton Rigsbee are the mates and the anglers included Mickey Carter, Jeff Craven, Craig Sudbrink, Billy Carter, Andy Gay and Ron Wade.
Desperado was the top boat with seven billfish releases (two confirmed blue marlin and five sailfish). The boat also won additional jackpots for points and the Day 1 billfish daily.
“This is the most memorable win for me since the Pirate’s Cove is our local tournament,” Barker said after the awards banquet Friday night. “It really means a lot. My mates and crew did a great job. I’ve been fishing with some of these guys since I was a mate.”
The General, a 55 Buddy Cannady based in Morehead City, NC and run by Capt. Wade Fickling, earned second place boat honors with its last day rally of a verified blue marlin and two sailfish. The General won $104,542.50 by releasing six billfish overall, good for 900 points. Alberto Ramos and Trey Sadler are the mates and the anglers included Brandon Barham, Andrew Farrar, Brad Schendt, Thomas Eller, Adam Johnson and Zack Schuch.
Skirt Chaser, another Buddy Cannady (53 foot) with local Barry Daniels at the helm also earned some serious coin for the week—$136,343–for releasing four billfish. John Elvers, Justin Huntley, Lanier Riddick, Dennis Fitzgerald, and Dillon Jones manned the rods, while mates Billy Dickerson and Gunner Jones worked the ‘pit.
Natural, a 56 Ricky Scarborough (Capt. Carl Beale) was named the fourth place boat with four billfish releases, while Sea Toy, a 59 Spencer Yachts (Capt. Bull Tolson) was fifth with seven releases. Dan Stephano earned the Top Angler Trophy with three sailfish released while fishing on Sea Toy.
Since nearly the entire fleet chose to lay on Day Two, the two-place daily jackpots were split over the three remaining fish days. In addition to Desperado NC and Skirt Chaser, the payouts went to Uno Mas as the top boat for Day 3. Second place prizes ($17,085) went to Fender Bender, Goombay and Pelican. Fin Planner was the top boat in the blue marlin release points, winning $83,300, while Sandra D, Skirt Chaser and Bi-Op-Sea earned money for releasing the first billfish each fishing day.
Owen Maxwell and his team on Ann Warwick, a 76 Paul Mann, are taking home $9,775 for boating the largest tuna in the winner-take-all jackpot. Maxwell’s bigeye tipped the scales at 114.6 pounds. J&B, a 55 Wanchese, scored the largest dolphin of the week, a bull at 45.6 pounds, also worth $9,775, while Triple “S”, a 60 Viking, boated the top wahoo at 54.8 pounds.
Sheree Leach, fishing on Dropped Call, a 61 Viking, was named the Top Lady Angler for releasing one verified blue marlin. Clay Horton, manning the rod on Trophy, a 50 Viking, earned Top Junior Angler honors after releasing a white marlin and sailfish.
A total of 71 boats competed in the 36th annual event, with $702,400 in prize money on the line. A total of 124 billfish were released during the three days of fishing, including 82 sailfish, 31 blue marlin and 11 white marlin. Twenty-eight game fish were brought to the scales.
“It’s been a fun week,” said Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “Except for some rain, the seas cooperated and it was great to see that many blue ones caught. I’d like to thank all the teams for fishing with us again, my board of directors, all the wonderful sponsors and our hard-working staff and volunteers. I look forward to seeing everyone again next August here on the Outer Banks.”
The 37th Annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament is scheduled for August 10-14, 2020.
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.
Uno Mas Wins 33rd Annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament
with 18 Released Billfish
August 16-19, 2016
Visiting team Uno Mas gets the bites and scores more fish. Two more, in fact, than its closest rivals, giving this veteran team the overall win in the 33rd annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament. Owner/angler Brooks Smith was named the top tournament angler and the team earned a payout of $144,665 for 18 releases, including 11 white marlin, six sailfish and one blue. The 72 boats (464 anglers) competing this year were vying for a share of $612,000 in overall prize money.
Uno Mas, a 68 Bayliss, is run by Capt. Tommy Lynskey. In addition to Smith, team members include Jeremy Cubillo, Robby Biber, Mike Lemon, Sean Gallagher, Bill Haley and Ivanna Lynskey. The boat has been a top contender in several previous PCBT events.
“There’s just something about this place. We’re very comfortable here,” Lynskey explained. “Plus, we had our good luck charm,” he added, while hugging his wife Ivanna. “When you’re going against the best in the world, it’s good to come in here and beat ‘em.”
Rigged Up, a classic 54 Omie Tillet with Capt. Charles Haywood at the helm, came in second with 1600 points, all on sailfish. Kevin Eller, Buddy Shipp, Sam Daniels, Aaron Martin and junior Maddie Daniels, together with mates Brian Oliff and Bryan Wilson, won $114,965. Those winnings came from the second-place points/boat, a first-place daily and the first fish on Day 3.
Capt. Daniel Spencer led his team aboard Bullwinkle, a 57 Paul Spencer, to the third-place finish with 1,600 points based on time. Those efforts were worth $52,520. Pat Julian, Paul Spencer, Kit Purdy and Brad Wachowiak, along with mates Bennett Griffin and Michael Reash, released nine white marlin and seven sailfish for the week.
Lo Que Sea, a 58 Paul Mann (Capt. Keven Paul) earned fourth place honors and trophies by releasing 15 billfish. Jackpot, a 63 Ricky Scarborough (Capt. Rob Mahoney) rounded out the top five, also with 15 billfish to its credit.
“We missed some fish we should have had, but that’s part of it,” says Lo Que Sea owner Tony Huerto, who took delivery of his new sportfisher in February. Lo que sea means
“whatever” in Spanish and Huerto says the name fits his crew. “Fourth place is kinda like kissing your sister,” he added with a laugh. “I’m frustrated we didn’t land more fish, but we had a great time. We always do, competing against the best crews in the world.”
No blue marlin were boated this week, so the teams earned release points instead. Mister Pete, a 58 C&L (Capt. Alan Neiford) won $84,420 in the Costa See What’s Out There Heaviest Blue Marlin Division with three blues released. Deep Blue, a 52 Buddy Davis (Capt. Josh Reason), came in second, also with three fish, to take home $36,180 in prize money.
Under the PCBT scoring format, boats can win prize money for the first billfish caught each day, as well as enter the optional daily divisions for most fish. Winners in those categories included Anticipation (61 Paul Spencer), Desperado NC (56 Taylor Made), Electric Bill (53 Jarrett Bay), Hammer Time (54 Paul Spencer), Legacy (58 Bobby Sullivan), Mollie Whopper (46 Merritt), Qualifier (57 Paul Mann), Sea Toy (59 Paul Spencer) and Skirt Chaser (53 Buddy Cannady).
Wendy Hayes, fishing aboard Bi-Op-Sea, a 59 Spencer with Capt. Jesse Granitzki, was named the Top Lady Angler for 2016. Hayes released six whites, one blue and two sailfish to earn that distinction. Thirteen-year-old Parker Byrd, guided by Capt. Brynner Parks aboard Smoker, a 58 Irvin Forbes, also released nine billfish (identical to Hayes) to win the Top Junior Angler title.
The three game fish divisions—tuna, wahoo and dolphin—paid out $10,200 each for the largest fish of the week. Erik Bush (Reel Rodeo, Capt. John Logan), M. Stokely Holder (Electric Bill/Capt. Phllip Fender) and Russ Parker (My Three Sons/Capt. Michael Mattson) were the top winners with 72.3 pounds, 56.8 pounds and 33.3 pounds, respectively.
For the week, a total of 520 billfish were caught and released by the 72-boat fleet. None were boated. The cumulative numbers included 277 sailfish, 203 white marlin and 40 blue marlin.
“I’d like to thank everyone for joining us again this year,” says Tournament Director Heather Maxwell. “It’s been a fantastic week with an impressive number of fish. Of course, we couldn’t do pull this off without all our wonderful sponsors, especially Bacardi, Simrad, Release Marine and Pirate’s Cove. I’d also like to thank our hard-working volunteers and my board of directors for having faith in me. I look forward to seeing everyone back next summer, when we’re going to be even bigger and better than ever.”
The 2017 Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament will be held August 12-13, 2017 at the Pirate’s Cove Marina and Resort. The 34th Annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament follows from August 14-18, 2017 at the same location.
Fishing begins Tuesday August 11-15, 2015 56 Boats- $467,500.00 Purse
Final Results August 14, 2015
Day 1 (Aug 11, 2015)Update:
Lines out on day one of fishing..only 3 boats fishing today. UNofficial results has “Fin Planner” in first place so far with 200pts. Keep looking on our App or listen to our live radio feed for constant updates! Will post official results when boats turn their score cards.
For a link to live tournament updates Click Here