Sports fishermen from around the world will soon be on their way to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for the 39th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (USVI Open/ABMT) or 'Boy Scout' Tournament.
Set for August 10 to 14 – with fishing three days before the August full moon and one day after – this 'Super Bowl of Sports Fishing takes place along the Virgin Islands famous 'North Drop'.
"Last year's event was a huge success," says tournament director, Jimmy Loveland.
"A total of 140 blue marlin were released in four days of fishing by the forty-one boat fleet. All releases were on relatively lightweight 50-pound test line that requires adept angling skill. We're expecting up to 25 boats to compete this year."
Last year, it was Ft. Lauderdale, Florida-angler Sandra MacMillan who earned top angler and $10,000 cash with the release of five blue marlin. MacMillan's boat, the Spencer 60, Sandman, earned top boat with the release of nine blue marlin.
New this year, says Loveland, "our Australian friend, Annette 'Maudi' Dallimore (Lopez), who caught the 1073-pound IGFA Women's All-Tackle world record aboard Prowess in 1982 will be visiting. The mount is being donated by Gray Taxidermy and it will reside at the head of famous 'A' Dock at American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook to serve as a photo opportunity and marquee. The fishing raising party is planned for August 8."
Dock parties, a Cheeseburger in Paradise barbecue put on by the Virgin Islands Council of the Boy Scout of America (the tournaments chief beneficiary), and a Caribbean Night Show complete with stilt-walking Mocko Jumbies highlight the evening entertainment throughout the week. Tournament winners will be named at an evening Awards Banquet on August 14.