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San Juan International Billfish Tournament. Photo: Mark Smestad
San Juan International Billfish Tournament. Photo: Mark Smestad

2014 Caribbean Blue Marlin / Tarpon Fishing Tournament Calendar

Want to release magnificent blue marlin? Or, boat a box full of fish for dinner? There’s a Caribbean-based blue marlin sports fishing tournament to suit every type of angler. What’s more, shoreside parties are just as much fun as the catching action at sea. Here is a sampling of fishing events coming up through the remainder of the year.


JUNE 5-10
20th International Cap Cana Billfish Shootout:

Top name anglers and boats that fish the Caribbean circuit enter this event fished off the southeast shore of the Dominican Republic. “This year there will be four days of fishing with a lay-day after the third day,” says tournament director Rick Alvarez. “On the lay-day, we’re adding an afternoon beach picnic which includes a softball homerun derby.” Last year, Brooks Smith’s Florida-based team aboard the 60ft Bayliss, Uno Mas, released two blues and 15 whites in three days to win. Over US$150,000 in cash and luxury prizes are awarded. www.intlbillfishtourns.com


JUNE 5-6
Antigua & Barbuda Marlin Classic 2014:

The best local and visiting anglers pit their skills against one another in this one-day billfish tournament hosted out of Nelson’s Dockyard. White marlin, sailfish and spearfish also earn anglers points. Entry fee: US$1000. Winner receives a trophy pus 80% of entry fees. www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com 


JUNE 6-8
48th Annual Antigua & Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament 2014:

There’s a reason the motto of this tournament is ‘Enjoy the fishing, enjoy the lime!’ Cash prizes total nearly US$15,000 in the marlin division and US$4,000 in the sportfish division. New, buy a one-day ticket to the VIP section on Saturday or Sunday for US$37 per person or US$65 per couple and receive a tournament hat, shirt, five drinks, private bar with waitress and guaranteed seating. “We’re adding new English-style fish and chips and Mediterranean food stalls and a Carib beer garden,” says chairman Phillip Shoul. www.antiguabarbudasportsfishing.com


JUNE 10-14
Saint Martin Billfish Tournament:

Beat the tournament record of an 809lb blue marlin by at least one pound and win a 2014-model 25ft Contender Bay Boat valued at US$80,000. There’s also at least US$100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs this year in a dozen categories including most blue marlin releases; heaviest tuna, wahoo and dolphin; and best angler. Live concerts nightly. “We are collaborating with Les Fruits de Mer, a non-profit nature-based organization,” says tournament vice president, Stephan Petit. “They will assist us and carry out a scientific study on the fish brought in and make presentations to visitors.” Fundraising for this group includes a silent auction of a beautiful piece of artwork. www.billfish-tournament.com


JULY 9-11
51st July Open Marlin Tournament:

“Owners, captains and crew who participate in our tournament have made fishing a life-long passion and they are some of the best in the world,” says Lori Bailey, manager of the host Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club. This year there will be a take-home trophy created by famed marine artist David Wirth for the angler who wins the prestigious perpetual ‘Give Em Line’ trophy for the most marlin releases. www.vigfc.com

USVI Blue Marlin Tournament. Photo: Dean Barnes
USVI Blue Marlin Tournament. Photo: Dean Barnes

41st USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin or ‘Boy Scout Tournament’:

Known as the ‘Super Bowl of Big Game Fishing’, this event attracts the marlin fishing elite. Last year, JR Davis’ Florida-based 61ft Garlington Wave Paver earned Top Boat with nine blue marlin releases. “We are now adding spectators to the mix by creating an annual ‘schooling up’ of fishermen around the event called MarlinFest,” says tournament director, Jimmy Loveland. “Spectators won’t be sitting around waiting for the tournament boats to return because there is a whole week of fun activities planned!” www.abmt.vi


AUGUST 15-17
Tarpon Thunder Tournament:

“Lots of releases, a good lime and good prizes are what make this tournament so much fun,” says Geoffrey Pollard, organizer of this Trinidad & Tobago Game Fishing Association-hosted tournament. Register as a Pro and fish 2½ days or as an Amateur and fish 1½ days. ttgfa.com/events/6th-tdc-international-trinidad-tarpon-thunder-tournament

San Juan International Billfish Tournament. Photo: Mark Smestad
San Juan International Billfish Tournament. Photo: Mark Smestad

61st San Juan International Billfish Tournament:

Visiting boats that want to fish with the same group throughout the tournament rather than have a rotating angler can now opt for an International Game Fish Tournament Observer instead for a special price that includes three anglers and the boat owner. Additionally, there’s an ‘early bird’ special. “Pay for two anglers and register the third angler for free by July 31st,” explains chairman Ricky Jaén. Copa Airlines and four-star Caribe Hilton Hotel are offering discounts. sanjuaninternational.com


51st Port Antonio International Marlin Tournament:

Fish, fun and festivities set the scene for this event attended by nearly 40 boats. Last year, 37 blue marlin were released. Ashore, there are parties nightly at the Port Antonio Marina. Plus, lay-day activities include an all-day Bamboo Rafting Trip down the Rio Grande River as well as the Port Antonio Artesian Canoe Tournament where last year one entrant successfully caught a 500-plus-pound blue marlin on a handline. Email: [email protected]

A family affair - Aruba Caribbean Cup
A family affair – Aruba Caribbean Cup

Chivas Regal Aruba Caribbean Cup:

Organizers of the four-tournament Presidential Challenge Series transitioned this event from Venezuela to Aruba several years ago. The fall is the height of the island’s marlin season and an especially good time to release a ‘Grand Slam’ – three billfish species in one day. Varadero Marina sponsors the US $20,000 cash prize for the top team, plus there are prizes and trophies. “We will have some information available on the Adopt-A-Billfish satellite tagging that we did a few seasons ago in Aruba to share with anglers,” says coordinator Sam White. preschallenge.com


St. Lucia International Billfish Tournament Top Boat, Vesper from Trinidad
St. Lucia International Billfish Tournament Top Boat, Vesper from Trinidad


St. Lucia International Billfish Tournament

Over 20 boats from the Caribbean and world are expected to enter. Last year, the Trinidadian team aboard the Viking 50ft Vesper won with six blue marlin releases. Several prize categories. Nightly parties.

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  1. Good day,

    We have a 44 ft sport fisher which id available for charter during all the fishing tournaments in the Caribbean.

    Please could you supply us with the 2016 calendar in order that we can advertise our services.

    Or could you advise us as to the best method of advertising our services into this market.

    Thanking you,

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