The catch of a whopping 657-pound blue marlin kicked off an exciting first day of fishing at the 17th annual St. Lucia International Billfish Tournament.
Fished September 25 to 29 and for the first time out of the island’s new super yacht marina in Marigot Bay, it was angler Daniel Agostini, aboard the Trinidadian boat, Gud Tyme, who caught the winning fish on 80-pound test line. This mega marlin was only 50-pounds shy of the island record – a 707-pound blue marlin caught in 1996 by Jean-Francois Fredonic of Martinique.
Only five of the twenty-three boats entered the competition home-ported in St. Lucia. However, it was a St. Lucian boat – Exodus – that put its local waters knowledge to use to win the largest collection of trophies and prizes. Exodus won Best Overall Boat, Most Releases, Best Angler by Releases, the St. Lucia Gamefishing Association (SLGFA) Change Trophy, Trinidad Game Fishing Association’s trophy for the ‘Best Non-Trinidadian Boat’ and the Game Fishing Association of Martinique’s Best St. Lucian Boat’ awards. Exodus’ captain’s and crew’s performance in the tournament also qualified them to take part in the 2008 IGFA Offshore Championship to be held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Out of a total of 56 strikes and hook-ups, 26 billfish were caught and all released except for the 657-pounder landed by Gud Tyme. Minimum release weight for the tournament for blue marlin was 350 pounds. Of the 25 released billfish, there were 20 blue marlin, one white marlin and four sailfish. White marlin and sailfish had no minimum weight, however the rules required that they be released.
“Marigot was a wonderful location for us and the support from the Marina at Marigot Bay and Discovery has been tremendous,” says the SLGFA’s event coordinator, Annie Hamu. “The welcome from the marina staff and their wholehearted enthusiasm made this event a great one. With such a new and exciting venue, we can see this event going from strength to strength.”
BEST BOAT OVERALL
1. Exodus, 1750 points
2. Par-t-time, 1050 points
3. Gud Tyme, 915 points
1. Exodus, 5 blue marlin
2. Par-t-time, 3 blue marlin
3. Brave Heart, 2 blue marlin
Kevin White, Discovery, 28.5-pounds
Frank Chevrier, Exodus, 27.5-pounds
Steve Pearce, Discovery, 22.25-pounds
BEST LADY ANGLER
Lisa Allen, Crystal Blue
Ruth Liney, Rum’n’Coke
MOST WHITE MARLIN
Cocco, Follow Me IV
BEST ANGLER BY RELEASES
Serge Littee, Exodus
BEST ANGLER BY POINTS
Daniel Agostini, Gud Tyme