Being in the right place at the right time is what earned St. Croix angler Beth Basinski the Top Angler prize in the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) Wahoo Windup on November 2. Basinski, fishing aboard the 65-foot Hatteras, Living the Dream, reeled in the largest wahoo, a whopping 42.35-pounder. This catch landed her a $1500 cash prize. However, Basinski’s fish was about 32 pounds short of winning the grand prize of $3,000 for any angler boating a wahoo weighing over 75-pounds.
“We fished Lange Bank northeast of St. Croix.” Basinski explains. “My fellow anglers Jason (Senff) and Ryan (Senff) each caught a wahoo. Then, I hooked a wahoo and lost it. After that, I hook up another wahoo. It took off with good speed just peeling off line. I figured it was either big or feisty. It turned out to be both!”
Basinski’s catch also earned her the Top Female angler award.
In other angler awards, St. John’s John Deckoff, caught the second largest wahoo, a
42.02 pounder from aboard the Pescador. Deckoff, a junior at Antilles School, also won the Best Junior angler award. St. Thomas’ Paul Doumeng, fishing from Hookie II, reeled in the third largest wahoo, a 35.86 pounder. St. Thomas’ Angela Berry on Double Header caught a 33.88-pound wahoo for the fourth largest prize, while St. Croix’s Ryan Senff, on Living the Dream, rounded out the top angler prizes by catching the fifth largest wahoo, which weighed 32.56 pounds.
The Best Boat award went to Double Header, which not only caught the most wahoo by weight with five, but also bagged the most wahoo by weight at 136.95-pounds.
Asked about the Double Header’s team secret to success, Chris Berry, who captained the boat, explains, “I fish for a living, but we participant in the tournaments for fun. It’s a great way to involve the wives and family.”
Seventeen wahoo collectively weighing 480.18 pounds were caught by the 19 boat fleet and 75 anglers.
Personnel from the Department of Planning & Natural Resources Fish & Wildlife Department conducted the official weigh-in.
Cash and prizes were presented at an Awards Dinner at the VIGFC held Monday night.
“It was great to see how many boats and anglers we had come out this year,” says tournament co-director and VIGFC president, Kelvin Bailey, Jr. “We invite everyone to fish with us in our future tournaments.”
Two anglers in the VIGFC’s Wahoo Windup’s decade-plus history have reeled in fish weighing more than 75-pounds. In 2012, Clive Mahabir, aboard local charter boat Mixed Bag, reeled in a whopping 91.3-pound wahoo, while in 2003 Mike Kuszewski, fishing aboard the local charter boat Black Pearl, landed a 94.1-pound wahoo, which remains the tournament record.
The VIGFC appreciates the contributions of Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC and IGY American Yacht Harbor for their support of the 2014 Wahoo Windup.
Proceeds from this and all of the VIGFC tournaments benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands. The Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands, a 501 C (3) organization, enables all young people, especially those most needy, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Donations are tax deductible.
For more information, visit: www.vigfc.com or call (340) 775-9144.