The Guys triumphed for the second year in a row at the Golden Hook Fishing Club’s Guy/Gal Challenge. Billed as the ‘reel’ battle of the sexes, this 12th annual St. Croix-based tournament featured a day of fishing for the Gals followed by the Guys fishing on the following day. The win was tadpole close. Just 0.2lb or little over 3oz gave the Guys their lead in the final tally. What’s more, both Guy and Gal winning teams each day fished aboard the Leisure Lady.
“The first day,” says Bob Mackay, who owns and captains the 41ft Egg Harbor, Leisure Lady, “I headed west off Sandy Point. That’s because there were few weeds in the water and it’s was a location I had caught fish the day before. We dragged the baits back and forth, setting the downriggers at 60ft and then 90ft and finally came up with two nice wahoo. Those fish were really down deep.”
Leisure Lady‘s Diana Freas-Lutz’s two wahoo were the first and second largest of the day, 33lb pounds 11.7lb, respectively. This duo of big fish landed the Leisure Lady the Gal’s day win with a total weight of 44.7lb. Mike Fuller’s Oh Suzanna came in second with three fish collectively weighing 31.6lb. Oh Suzanna’s Elizabeth Hering caught a 10.6lb dolphin that rated the third largest fish of the day.
On the second day, Mackay cruised out to the south side of the island to escape squalls to the north. “It was raining all over, but the skies over us were clear and the sun was shining,” he says. “Fishing was slow until early afternoon when we came across a school of dolphin (mahi-mahi) and caught three.”
Leisure Lady‘s three anglers – Jason Bufton, Wayne Salvi and Cory Crouthamel – reeled in the three largest fish, all dolphin, which weighed 16lb, 14.5lb and 14lb, respectively. This again earned Leisure Lady top boat with 44.5lb on the Guys day – just 0.2lb more than on the Gal’s day. Pat Barsotti’s Maragata finished second on the Guys day with 20lb of fish while Mike Fennessy’s Stress Buster ended third with 12.2lb.
Seven boats fished the tournament.
One of the biggest challenges for the anglers aboard the seven boats fishing in the tournament was the amount of Sargassum weed floating in the water.
“Yes, the weed provided shade for the fish,” says Barsotti, who is also vice-president of the Golden Hook Fishing Club, “but there was so much of it that it really didn’t pay off. It actually fouled lines more than attracted fish.”
Constantly keeping the lines clear is what Leisure Lady‘s Mackay credits with his success. “Most boats couldn’t keep clear and I think this made the difference for us,” he says.
Leisure Ladyalso won Best Boat of the tournament with a two day total of five fish weighing 89.2lb, and the vessel’s Gal and Guy anglers, Diana Freas-Lutz (33lb), Jason Bufton (16lb) and Wayne Salvi (14.5lb) also won the Overall prize for first, second and third largest fish, respectively.
This win also boosted Leisure Lady to the top of the Overall Standings in the Golden Hook Fishing Club’s annual four-tournament series with 939.2lb. Stress Buster is in second with 704.4lb and Maragata is in third with 570lb.
For more information, visit: www.fishstx.com
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietician.