Being in the right place at the right time paid off in double dividends for the Mama Who at the 5th Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic. The team aboard the 77ft Jarrett Bay earned Top Boat in the April 18th to 21st tournament fished out of Marina Casa de Campo, in the Dominican Republic, with six blue marlin releases. What’s more, Mama Who’s Thomas Garmany caught five of these fish landing him the Top Angler award.
“The first day, we saw three blue marlin and caught two; I caught both of them,” says Garmany, who fished this event a few years ago aboard Reel Passion but didn’t have as much luck. “The fish were nearly back to back. I released the first around eleven o’clock and hooked up the second less than an hour later. Both were small, about 120 pounds, caught off teasers after a short fight.”
The second day, Mama Who’s Capt. Wil Thornhill kept finding the marlin by primarily fishing the FADs (fish aggregating devices) off the south side of the island. Success came early in the form of a double-header by both Garmany and fellow angler Charlie Lewis. Lewis hooked his blue marlin off the long rigger and released it after a half hour fight. Garmany had to work a bit harder, for nearly an hour, before his release and ultimate point score. It was a double-header that was all up to the anglers to fight as both fish went in opposite directions leaving Thornhill on the helm with limited maneuvering options. Mid-afternoon, Garmany teased up another blue marlin on the short rigger and released it after a 10- to 15-minute fight.
“The third and last day, we only had one early and I got that one. We didn’t see anything else the rest of the day. I wasn’t worried, although in sport fishing anything can happen. But I had five blue marlin at that point and the next angler only had two. On boat standings, the next closest had three and they would have had to catch four more marlin to beat our six. We knew we were sitting pretty there at the end,” says Garmany.
In boat standings, the Brazilian-homeported team aboard the Florida-based 72ft Merritt, Business Stinks, ended second with five blue marlin, while Builders Choice, a 64ft Jarret Bay, finished third with four releases. Eli Blake of Builders Choice was runner-up angler with three blue marlin releases and Business Stinks’ Lucas Abud third with three blues. Kary Gomez, a member of the all-girl team aboard the 58ft Viking Amazing Grace earned Top Lady Angler over six other ladies competing in the tournament.
In total, 35 anglers on ten boats released 22 blue marlin and one white marlin.
Rough weather and huge areas of sargasso weed made fishing challenging for some this year. However, there was certainly plenty of fun ashore.
“The fishermen had a great time at the nightly Happy Hours, Fiesta Latina Night on the second day and at the elegant banquet with great trophies and sponsor prizes on the last day. It all kicked off on registration day with the infamous Donkey Polo match at Casa de Campo’s Equestrian Center,” says tournament director Rick Alvarez.
The next Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic will be held from 10-13 April 2019. For more information, visit: www.intlbillfishtourns.com