The 49th annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament, the longest running continuous sport fishing tournament in the Southern Caribbean, featured big fish and big drama when one of the boats sank.
The big winner of the tournament was the boat Magic Lady, scoring 3000 points with one blue marlin, two white marlin and five sailfish. The catch earned the Trinidad & and Tobago competitor the title of Top Boat. Magic Lady and the team also earned the right to take part in the Offshore World Championship Tournament in April in Costa Rica.
Glen Chartlett fishing aboard Magic Lady earned 1500 points for the most releases, earning him title of Top Angler. Second place went to Ryan Agar from EZ Axcess, the Trinidad & Tobago team also finished second in the overall standings with a total of 2700 points. Top Female Angler was Tricia Thompson and Top Junior Angler was Amelee Mayers, both were fishing onboard Remember Me Now from Barbados.
Drama came on the last day of the tournament when GODDA GO, out of Trinidad and Tobago, took on water and sank. Fortunately, no was injured and the boat Cool Runnings stopped fishing to rescue the crew and bring them to shore.
Organizers said that despite the drama, the Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish tournament was again a huge success with 56 boats participating.
Looking ahead to next year’s tournament, chairman of the organizing committee Richard McIntyre, said they were looking into adding another dock to accommodate the growing amount of participants that enjoy the tournament.
“Organizers have also taken steps to ensure that the tournament continues, by continuing to catch and release billfish species that are below the required weight. This year, 80 billfish were released with the heaviest yellow fin tuna to scale being 165 pound, just ten pounds short of the current record of 175 pound,” Mr McIntyre said.
Nicholas George, manager of Budget Marine said the Spice Island Billfish Tournament is very well organized and that the company are proud to be the main sponsor of such a major Caribbean fishing event with boats coming from all over the region. “Next year will be the 50th anniversary, make sure you are part of this great event!” he said.
For full results, see news section on the Budget Marine website: www.budgetmarine.com/NewsItem.aspx?id=5232