The fishing action at the 13th Annual Caicos Classic Release Tournament, fished June 10-15 out of Turtle Cove Marina in Providenciales, started out slow but ended with a bang.
Day One proved to be quiet for the 10-vessel fleet, a mix of local boats and those from as far away as the British Virgin Islands, Florida and Texas, except for the action on Layla. The 72’ Jim Smith skippered by Chip Soulek made an early release, followed by a pulled hook and a broken hook on the next fish.
The pace picked on Day Two as local team Chuckee II, owned by Chuck Musgrove, released their first fish within an hour of lines in. Captain Tony’s 48′ Viking, No Excuse, no stranger to the Classic, put two on the board to move into first place, while also picking up the daily prize.
Day Three saw the lead change hands again as Chuckee II released two fish, moving out in front of the pack with three releases total. Posse, skippered by Frank Pitale released a double-header late afternoon to move into third place. Fair Play, another local boat skippered by Arthur Dean, also made their first release before heading back to the docks at Turtle Cove Marina.
Finally, the Day Four action heated up as the bites started early and continued throughout the day. Trouble Maker, owned by Jim Gabrish released the first fish. But, Chuckee II wasn’t finished as they released their fourth fish moving them out in front of the pack. Trouble Maker put another large marlin on the board to take the daily. No Excuse released their third fish moving them into 2nd place, with Posse adding their third blue to take third place.
Post-tournament festivities were lively as usual, with all the participants, observers and tournament sponsors engaged in some serious decompression time at the awards dinner held at the Tiki Hut Bar and Grille.
“All agreed that the deep blue waters offshore of these islands offer some of the best opportunities for a blue marlin bite and also to have big fun back at the docks,” says tournament director, Art Pickering.
The tournament-winning team from Chuckee II will represent the Turks and Caicos Islands in the world’s largest offshore tournament, the IGFA Offshore World Championship, competing with over 65 other countries May 10-15, 2009. Representing the Turks & Caicos will be Chad Stubbs, Chris Stubbs, Jed Bain and Chuck Musgrove.