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25th Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament this Sunday

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Mocka Jumbies and Rum...

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Vince Bryan with his Largest Kingfish, a 34.43-pounder caught during the 24th Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament. Credit: Dean Barnes
Vince Bryan with his Largest Kingfish, a 34.43-pounder caught during the 24th Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament.
Credit: Dean Barnes

Reel in a whopper kingfish and earn much more than bragging rights. The Northside Sportfishing Club’s 25th Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, set for Sunday July 14th at Hull Bay Hideaway, is your chance to catch that ‘big one’ and pocket $2000 in cash courtesy of NEMWIL. If you don’t catch a prize-winning fish, no problem! There’s a special and additional $2500 in cash prizes which will be awarded in celebration of the tournament’s Silver Anniversary. What’s more, anniversary festivities include three nights of live bands, a great beach party and food for sale. Plus, following long-standing tournament tradition, proceeds benefit charitable community organizations and provide for college scholarships.

Nearly 300 anglers – men, women, boys and girls of all skill level – are expected to enter. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, entry fees are low – $45 for adults, $35 for juniors ages 8 to 17. All registered anglers receive an official Bastille Day T-shirt, hat, cooler bag donated by TOPA Insurance Services and goodie bag filled with cooler cups and sunscreen courtesy of Caribbean Gifts and Things. Entry forms can be obtained from Neptune Fishing Supplies.

A Captain’s Meeting and Registration will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Hull Bay Hideaway on Friday July 12th. Late Registration will also be held on Saturday July 13th at Hull Bay Hideaway from Noon until 7 p.m.

Caribbean Petroleum will provide a fuel truck at Hull Bay Hideaway on Saturday July 13th from 4 to 6 p.m. for fueling boats.

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Fishing starts at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 14th, and ends at 12 Noon, sharp. From Noon until 2 p.m., while the weigh-master and judges go to work, all anglers can quench their thirst at either a Coors Light and Captain Morgan Rum punch or Snapple open bar, depending on age. Adult anglers will also get a FREE Captain Morgan drink card for a different drink each day, Friday through Sunday.

Junior anglers are eligible for a drawing called the “Catch in the Hat” award. All registered junior angler names will be placed in a hat. The first eighteen names drawn will receive $50 cash and the next one will win $100 dollars, for a total award of $1000. Juniors must be present at Hull Bay Hideaway to win. The drawing will take place during the band break Sunday afternoon. There will also be face painting for the kid’s in the afternoon.

The Awards Ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. at Hull Bay Hideaway on Sunday July 14. Prizes presented include Largest Kingfish, Second Largest Kingfish, Third Largest Kingfish, Best Captain, Best Boat, Best Male Angler, Best Female Angler, Best Junior Male Angler, Best Junior Female Angler and Largest Jack, Bonito, Mackerel and Barracuda.

Didn’t catch any prize-winning fish? You may still be a winner! A $500 prize will be awarded to each of 5 randomly drawn registered boats that did not receive any awards. An angler from the boat must be present at the evening Awards Ceremony to win.

The Silver Anniversary Celebration features a golden line-up of bands. The Ah We Band will play from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday July 12 while the Get Together Quelbe Band jams from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday July 13. Finally, Cool Session Brass will play from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday July 14, followed by Lashing Dogs from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sound system provided by Frontline Systems. There will also be music by Oliek Ledee.

The 25th Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament is sponsored by Coors Light, Captain Morgan and Snapple, distributed by Bellows International; Offshore Marine, the Yamaha and Yanmar distributor in the Virgin Islands; NEMWIL, managed in the USVI by Red Hook Agencies, Inc., providing homeowners and business insurance in the USVI for over 20 years; and TOPA Insurance Services Inc.

First organized by the Northside Sportfishing Club in 1987, the tournament has become one of the highlights of French Heritage Week July 8th-14th festivities. The event benefits the Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue and Nana Baby Children’s Home, as well as provides college scholarships. For information, Email nssfcvi@gmail.com or call (340) 998-0854. Follow us on Facebook!

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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