There’s no need to travel half way around the globe to celebrate Bastille Day! Instead, head down to Hull Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, for the 28th Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament. Set for July 17, this 28th annual event is one of the Top 10 destinations worldwide to celebrate this French National Day, according to online travel advisor, Hotwire.com. Closer to home, and in addition to a great celebration, the centerpiece for anglers is a chance to win over $13,000 in prizes – including $2000 cash for the fisherman or fisherwoman who reels in the largest kingfish.
“We invite everyone – anglers who have fished with us for many years, newcomers, local residents and visitors alike – to fish this year or come down and enjoy the tournament’s festivities at Hull Bay Hideaway. There will be live bands, local foods and activities for the kids. Proceeds from the Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament this year will benefit the Joseph Sibilly School, Nana Baby Children’s Home, St. Thomas Rescue and the St. Thomas Civil Air patrol, as well as provide college scholarships,” says Catherine Bryan, one of the tournament co-directors.
Mark your calendars now! Registration starts July 11 at Neptune Fishing Supplies in Red Hook, St. Thomas and on July 15th at 7:30 p.m. when the Captain’s Meeting takes place at Hull Bay Hideaway. Late registration will be on July 16, from Noon to 7 p.m. at the Hideaway.
Prize categories include: Largest Kingfish, 2nd Largest Kingfish, 3rd Largest Kingfish, 4th Largest Kingfish, Best Captain, Best Boat, Best Male Angler, Best Female Angler, Best Junior Male Angler, Best Junior Female Angler, Largest Barracuda, Largest Bonito and Largest Mackerel.
More than 200 anglers – men, women, boys and girls of all skill level – are expected to enter. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, entry fees are low – $45 for adults, $35 for juniors ages 8 to 17.
All registered anglers will receive an official Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament T-shirt, hat and goodie bag. Virgin Islands’ hotels and restaurateurs have contributed overnight stays and dinners for two, respectively, as additional prizes.
New this year, a well-known local chef at Hull Bay Hideaway will offer a special menu of local foods. The outside menu will feature quick bites like soups (Goat Water, Bullfoot Soup, Chicken Soup), pates (Conch, Salmon, Chicken, Saltfish and Beef), chicken legs, chicken wings and Johnny cakes.
There will also be an All-Day Buffet from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., featuring entrees such as stewed mutton, stewed chicken, yellowtail snapper, BBQ brisket, ribs and chicken, plus sides: coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, peas and rice, plantain, potato salad and green salad.
Festivities on shore features a great line-up of bands. Cool Session Brass will play from Noon until 5 p.m. and Dem Fellas from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday July 17. The Awards Ceremony starts at 8 p.m. at Hull Bay Hideaway.
The Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament was first organized by the Northside Sportfishing Club in 1987. The Club was named Best Sports Organization of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas for 2016, in the Virgin Islands Daily News ‘Best of the VI’ reader’s poll.
Scholarship applications can be downloaded from the tournament’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Northside-Sportsfishing-Club). The scholarship application deadline is June 30. For more information, Email [email protected] or call (340) 998-0854.
The Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament is sponsored by Coors Light and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Offshore Marine, the YAMAHA distributor in the Virgin Islands; NEMWIL and Red Hook Agencies, Inc.; TOPA Insurance Services Inc., and Budget Marine, the Caribbean’s leading chandlery.