Father and son, Sam and Jon Jennings, of Juno Beach, Florida, are hands down one of the best billfishing duos in the world aboard their Revenge 58. They certainly proved their prowess on the second day of the 37th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT), when Jon’s four releases, combined with a release apiece for Sam and Jon on the tournament’s first day, rocketed Revenge to the leader board with a total of six blue marlin releases. Jon’s tally of five releases total moved him into the top angler slot – a feat he achieved once before and his father three times prior in this ‘Superbowl of Sportfishing’.
"It was a great day," says Jon Jennings. "We fished all the way up off Anegada."
Several boats found the fishing hot as the fleet of 34 boats collectively released 39 blue marlin, making the tournament tally so far 81 blue marlin.
Mr. B II is in second place with five released blue marlin.
"We fished the bottom end of the North Drop and released all three fish by 12:45 p.m.," says Mr. B II owner, Robbie Brown, from Winter Park, Florida. "Two of them were short fights, about 5 to 10 minutes, but the last one was big and it was on the line for a good 25 minutes."
Peje, owned and fished by Carlos Garcia of Puerto Rico, and Best Boat in the 2007 ABMT, is third with five released blue marlin.
While fishing is all about competition, it’s also about camaraderie.
St. Thomas-based charter fishing boat, Marlin Prince, had some mechanical problems that prevented it from leaving the dock. Tournament anglers, which included Marlin Prince owner, Fred Kopko, asked up and down the dock to see if another boat was available, and Blue Heaven and its captain, Mike Corbosiero, stepped up to the plate. In spite of leaving the docks around 10 a.m., the Marlin Prince team released three blue marlin – one of only three boats to release this many marlin for the day.
"I just followed everybody else," says Capt. Corbosiero.
Kopko adds, "two of the three blue marlin were really good size. The last one ate everything we threw at him."
The angling action continues tomorrow and Friday; with a lay day break for the full moon.
Tomorrow night, the Boy Scouts invite visitors and locals alike to their cookout at Camp Wahoo, located by the tournament tent at the American Yacht Harbor Marina. It’s time for Cheese Burgers in Paradise. The Caribbean Night Show starts at 8:15 p.m.
The ABMT’s final fishing action on Friday ends with the sport fishing fleet’s swift Jim Smith ‘Race From The Edge’. The best place to watch this often photo finish is from the spit of land past the pool at the Sapphire Beach Resort. The Awards Ceremony takes place later in the evening along with the naming of the 2009 USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Top Angler, who pockets a $10,000 cash prize.
Started by Chuck Senf back in 1972 – and nicknamed The Boy Scout Tournament since a portion of the proceeds have always benefited the VI Council of the Boy Scouts of America, one of Senf’s favorite charities – the ABMT has evolved into the competitive saltwater sports fishing events in the world. It’s one of tournaments making up Bisbee’s World Billfish Series and is the last leg of the prestigious Bermuda Triangle Series and Spanish Main Series.
For more information, contact: Jimmy Loveland, tournament director at: Tel: 1-888-2-FISHVI (1-888-234-7484) or 340-775-9500; Fax: 340-779-8605; Email: [email protected];