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International Billfish Tournament Set for September

The St. Lucia Game Fishing Association (SLGFA) has teamed up with IGY Rodney Bay Marina to host the 19th annual International Billfish Tournament, set for September 28 to October 2, 2009.

“Anglers have requested the new marina in the north,” said event coordinator, Annie Hamu, referring to the tournament location change from Marigot Bay. “There is easier access to shopping and night life activities. Fishing is not any closer as the more commonly used fishing areas are between Martinique and St. Lucia in the north and between St. Vincent and St. Lucia in the south.”

Hamu added, “Late September is when the marlin start to arrive in our waters and they run through November. All billfish species and sizes are around during these months. It’s a good time to go out and get the big one!”

Last year, no one broke the tournament record for blue marlin, currently held by Jean-Francois Fredonic of Martinique who caught a 707-pound blue marlin in 1996. However, Two Thou, a Martinique boat captained by Marc Maugee, won Best Boat with a total of 1050 points for the most released blue marlin. Maugee pocketed the Grand Prize of $5000 cash, plus entry into the 2009 Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship.

The SLGFA is also a leg of the Southern Caribbean Billfish Circuit.

“This year,” said Hamu, “we’re expecting 25-plus boats from Barbados, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Vincent and the USA.”

Those who wish to line up a charter for the tournament can contact well-established operations such as Hackshaw Boat Charters (758) 453-0553 and Captain Mikes (758) 452-7044.

Onshore, anglers and their families can look forward to festivities including a fashion show and wine and rum tasting, plus food and live music every night. For more tournament information, contact Hamu at: (758) 716 8124.

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