The finale proved a winner for Derek Quetel, who reeled in a 54.11-pound kingfish aboard the 27-foot Rambo, 4 KIT 2, to catch a tournament record-setting Largest Kingfish.
“We left out of Frenchtown and worked our way south,” says Quetel. “Along the way, we caught a few barracuda, a couple of horse-eye jacks, and saw a few kingfish.” It was mid-morning when the whopper hit on Quetel’s ballyhoo-rigged line.
“It just blasted out of nowhere,” he says. “I was captaining at the time. I asked my friend to grab the wheel, and then I turned, grabbed my rod and hooked up. I had him in the boat in about 15 to 20 minutes. After that, Quetel says, “We didn’t see any more. That was the last fish of the day for us.”
For his efforts, Quetel pocketed $2000 in cash for his Largest Kingfish, sponsored by N.E.M. (West Indies) Insurance Limited, managed in the USVI by Red Hook Agencies, Inc, and also a weekend for two at Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino, with airline tickets compliments of Seaborne Airlines.
The Second Largest Kingfish prize went to Dole Brin, who caught a 26.63-pounder aboard We Be Fishin. Brin won $750 in cash. Alvin Turbe, fishing aboard 4 KIT 2, reeled in a 26.61-pounder to win the Third Largest Kingfish cash prize of $500, sponsored by Offshore Marine and Yanmar.
With 12 fish (187.14-pounds) caught total, five of them (124.89-pounds) kingfish, Derek Quetel aboard 4 KIT 2 won Best Boat and Best Captain, and was awarded $1000 cash for each title, from Offshore Marine and Yanmar.
Thomas Wiebracht’s catch of a total of 107.64-pounds of fish, aboard On The Payroll, earned him Best Male Angler, and a $500 cash prize from Offshore Marine and Yanmar. Meanwhile, it was Tammy Pimer, aboard Seabee/Bite Me, who reeled in a total of 28.38-pounds of fish to pick up the Best Female Angler award and a $500 cash prize from Red Hook Agencies.
The Best Junior Male prize of $250 cash from Offshore Marine and Yanmar, went to William Golub, who caught 37.30-pounds of fish from aboard Lucy II.
Hannah Cuty won the Best Junior Female prize, $250 cash from Offshore Marine and Yanmar, with the catch of 13.36-pounds of fish, aboard After Dark II.
Although the tournament is focused around kingfish, other species earned anglers $250 cash each courtesy of TOPA Insurance Services, Inc. Tamika Amey caught the Largest Jack, a 16.95-pounder, from aboard 4 KIT 2. William Golub reeled in the Largest Barracuda, a 17.20-pounder from aboard Lucy II. The Largest Bonito was caught aboard Seawitch by female angler, Marielle Brandon, and was 3.92-pounds. Feanna Fluess, fishing from Sherry, caught the Largest Tuna, a 16.04-pounder. Zachary LaPlace reeled in the Largest Mackerel, a 6.73-pounder, from Making Waves, and Adam Turbe, aboard Rosaly, caught the Largest Dolphin, a 7.33-pounder.
Winners also receive overnight stays at local hotels, dinners for two, and a variety of luxury gifts and excursions donated by the Virgin Islands business community.
Judges Herman Richardson and Kevin LaPlace, Sr., officially weighed in the catches.
After weigh-in, the fun continued onshore at Hull Bay Hideaway with games like the couple’s beer run and a crunch the nuts contest.
The Cool Sessions band entertained throughout the afternoon, with a special performance by St. Barths’ band, the Saline Combo from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Later, the crowds gathered inside Hull Bay Hideaway for the awards ceremonies.
All prizewinners except junior anglers were eligible for a grand prize drawing of a Caribbean cruise for two compliments of Royal Caribbean International. The winner was Feanna Fluess, aboard Sherry, who caught the Largest Tuna.
As a 20th Anniversary special, all 67 registered boats were eligible for a special prize drawing for a 5200KW Yahama generator compliments of Offshore Marine. The winner was John Berry, aboard Toots.
All 35 registered junior anglers were eligible for a special “Catch In The Hat” award. In this award, sponsored by Hull Bay Hideaway, the first eight names drawn from a hat received $50 cash and the last two names called won $100 dollars each.
Each year, the Northside Sportfishing Club makes donations to community organizations and individuals, this year the Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue, the American Red Cross, Kidscope and the Family Resource Center. The Club also awarded college scholarships to Shanelle Brin, Ryan Greaux, Fernando Bryan and Jason A. Brin.
Report submitted by Northside Fishing Club