San Juan, Puerto Rico. You don't need to bring your own boat to fish in the prestigious Club Nautico de San Juan's 58th International Billfish Tournament (IBT). Set for September 4 to 11, 2011, the Club's 'Armada' features a fleet of over sixty 40-plus-foot sportfishing yachts equipped with bait and tackle and ready for anglers from around the World to jump aboard and start fishing.
"International anglers love to fish our tournament because they receive VIP treatment and its hassle free," says Frankie Mirandés, chairman of the 58th IBT. "Anglers simply need to arrive to the Club each morning, enjoy a complimentary breakfast, head out to their assigned yacht for the day's fishing and return to nightly parties. International anglers have the opportunity to rotate to a different boat in the fleet each day, offering a great chance for camaraderie as well as fantastic fishing! Four days of fishing, breakfast daily, and all nightly parties costs only $1850 per angler."
International teams are welcome too.
"If anglers want to come as a three or four member team, we will help them find a charter," says Mirandés.
The IBT is a definitely a 'must do' for the best sports fishermen in the world. The big draw is 'Marlin Alley', a mile-and-a-half deep trench off the north coast of San Juan where blue marlin swim in abundance. It was here in August 2000, a week before the IBT, which Roger Medlock from South Carolina reeled in Puerto Rico's record blue marlin, a 1,086-pounder. In addition to big fish, there are lots of fish too. Catch-and release is the rule in this conservation-oriented tournament and in the 1988 IBT, the fleet released a record 190 blue marlin in four days.
Club Nautico de San Juan's IBT also bears the dual distinctions of being the longest consecutively held big game fishing tournaments in the world and one of the top 10 favorite tournaments in the world as ranked by Marlin Magazine. The IBT is also a qualifier for the prestigious Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship that takes place each May.
Mirandés invites, "Join us! Anglers from Scotland, Australia and South Africa are already planning to attend. There are fabulous prizes for men and lady anglers, plus a full program for ladies who accompany their fishermen spouses. There's the traditional 'Fiesta Tipica' with its unique Latin rhythms and flavors and an IGFA Auction and elegant Awards Banquet. What are you waiting for!"
Special fares to Puerto Rico are available on Copa Airlines (www.copaair.com) and Continental Airlines (www.continental.com) and anglers receive special rates at the Conrad Hotel (www.condadoplaza.com), which is within walking and complimentary shuttle distance to the Club.