EC$100,000 up for grabs this month
The most popular fishing tournament in the southern Caribbean just got even more attractive with the introduction of a record EC$100,000 (US$40,000) prize for the first person to catch a Blue Marlin over 1,000 pounds (known as a “Grander”) at Grenada’s Spice Island Billfish Tournament (SIBT) January 24 to 28.
Although this is no easy task, fish this large are known to swim in Grenada’s waters, as marlin exceeding 1500 lbs. have been caught commercially, and many large ones have been lost by sport fishing boats.
Grenada is more usually associated with large catches of blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish (one hundred and four were released during the 2009 event). The capture of one or more of each of these species in a day constitutes a “Grand Slam.” Two boats achieved Grand Slams in 2009.
Also new for 2010, the tournament has invested in a new software system to improve the accuracy and speed of results calculation, and is switching to the use of digital cameras (in the interest of conservation, most Billfish are released alive).
SIBT, based at Grenada Yacht Club, is a qualifying tournament in the IGFA Offshore championship. It is also included in the newly formed Southern Caribbean Billfish Circuit (SCBC) which organises the tournaments of Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago (2), Barbados, St. Lucia and Martinique into a championship with prizes for the overall winner based on their best three scores from the individual tournaments.
Will Hard Play II of Trinidad and Tobago be able to complete a hat trick? (They won the 2008 and 2009 events.) Competition will come from as far away as Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago as well as Grenada, and anglers from UK and Ireland have already registered. Call (473) 407 4688 for more details.
Preview and photos submitted by Gary Clifford, SIBT Committee