The catch of a whopping 309.4-pounds of wahoo and dolphin
caught over two days of fishing – a lucky thirteen of them landed on the
event’s last day – earned the St. Croix-based boat Golden Eagle the Best
Boat prize at the Virgin Islands Gamefishing Club’s (VIGFC) Memorial Weekend
Last year, rough
seas in the fishing relations between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands led
to a re-routing of the VIGFC’s over-three-decade-old Memorial Day Tournament.
Instead of fishing up and back to Anegada, St. Thomas sports fishermen enjoyed
the productive fishing grounds around St. Croix instead.
“The St. Thomas
anglers fished their way over to St. Croix the first day, then everyone fished
around St. Croix the second,” said Harry Clinton, tournament organizer and
VIGFC executive director.
“Seas were choppy. However, during the fishing, we saw a change in the winds.
Instead of coming out of the northwest, they switched back to blowing out of
the southeast…our regular weather pattern. Some thought this helped the fish
61 anglers from
all three U.S. Virgin Islands fished aboard 14 boats and caught a total of 1443
pounds of fish.
released billfish, both on the event’s first day. St. Croix’s Dave Lorshbauga,
aboard Two For Sure, released a blue marlin, while fellow Crucian, Ed
Bengoa on Plumb Cool, released a white marlin. Later at the Awards
Ceremony, held at the Hibiscus Beach Hotel, Bengoa received a ritual dunk in
the pool as his release marked his first marlin catch.
category, on Saturday, Plumb Cool‘s Bengoa caught the largest dolphin, a
34.1 pounder. St. Croix’s Ed Beach, on Two For Sure, reeled in the
largest wahoo, a 23.1-pounder. Tarn Hildreth, fishing from Gone Ketchin’
out of St. John landed the largest tuna, a 6.1 pounder.
On Sunday, it was
St. Croix’s Oscar Deabeneki on Two For Sure that reeled in the largest
dolphin, at 30.6 pounds. Golden Eagle angler, Bob Holland, caught the
largest wahoo, a 19.7-pounder.
In other awards,
the prize for the Best St. Thomas Boat went to Gone Ketchin‘, while it
was boat Noble Contender, which received the Hard Luck Prize for being
the St. Thomas-based boat that caught no fish.