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37th Annual Spice Island Billfish Tournament

Grenada is home to some of the best game fish waters in the
Caribbean and there is no better place to catch a piece of the action than at
the 37th Annual Spice Island Billfish Tournament, set for January 24
to 27th, 2006, and fished out of the Grenada Yacht Club Marina, in
the St. George’s lagoon. 

Gary
Clifford, of True Blue Sportsfishing, says, “We
are expecting in the region of 35 boats to enter the tournament, compared to
the 20 that fished the 2005. Last year, we had a reduced format, only two days
of fishing instead of three, following Hurricane Ivan the previous October. The
boats will be coming from Trinidad, Tobago,
Barbados, St. Martin,
St. Lucia and
Martinique, plus the occasional American and even Canadian
flagged boats who happen to be in the area.”

‘The tournament fishing grounds are mostly on the west coast
of Grenada,
Clifford says, “Although there are no restrictions on where the boats can
fish. There are two main ‘drop offs’, or 3,000 to 6,000 foot
contours which vary from as little as 3 miles offshore to 15 miles or
more.”

Eligible species for
tournament points are blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. The first, second
and third place boat wins $1,500, $750 and $375, respectively. There’s
US$11,000 in cash waiting for the angler who breaks the tournament record for
blue marlin (556.8 pounds) and $7,500 and $3,750, respectively, for anglers
catching tournament record-breaking white marlin (82 pounds) and sailfish (77.6
pounds).

There are
other prizes for the heaviest yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin, including $1,900 for a record-breaking yellowfin tuna (170.5 pounds), $550 for wahoo
(66 pounds) and $375 for dolphin (51.2 pounds).

In 2002,
the Spice Island Billfish Tournament became a qualifying tournament for the
Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship. This means that the winner of the tournament
automatically receives an invitation to the Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship.

“The Spice Island Billfish tournament is well known by fishermen
throughout the southern Caribbean for its
great fishing and relaxed friendly atmosphere. The committee
takes pride in running a well organized event and greatly appreciate the
support shown by anglers from neighboring islands.”

The entry
fee for participation is $100 per person. There is a minimum of three anglers
per boat and a maximum of six. “While most anglers enter on boats
owned by themselves or friends, it is possible to charter local boats, although
they very often book up well in advance,” Clifford says.

Participants can use their own boat or charter a boat from one of
Grenada’s
charter companies.

For more
information, contact Richard McIntyre at (473) 440-3753 or Email: rmil@caribsurf.com

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