He’s one of the winningest captains in the BVI. Yet, the top boat for Heaviest Overall Catch prize at the Spanish Town Fisherman’s Jamboree Wahoo Madness tournament has been elusive to Captain Jerome Emanuel, who helmed the 61ft Viking, Ruckus – until this year. What’s more, Emanuel and his team also took home three other major prizes at this annual Easter holiday event, held April 15-16 out of Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda.
“I’ve fished this tournament for many years and missed the top boat prize for Heaviest Overall Catch in the past by as little as half a pound. This year, we decided to change up our location and game plan. First, the boats that won in the past had fished the North Drop, so we headed there. Secondly, since wahoo normally hit the flat lines, we decided to troll four flatlines off the stern rather than two, as well as lines off both outriggers,” Emanuel says.
The first day, the Ruckus team landed three wahoo, which put them in the lead, as well as five yellow fin tuna. The second day, Emanuel drove back out to the Drop to an area locally known as the saddle. Bingo! In less than an hour, Ruckus angler Joseph Lake reeled in the tournament’s Heaviest Wahoo, a 74.8-pounder. Not long after, fellow Ruckus angler and Emanuel’s brother, Chad Emanuel, caught a 56.21lb wahoo that earned him the Second Heaviest Wahoo prize. Lake also won the Star Angler award for his total catch of 321.22lb of wahoo and tuna. Ruckus’ Heaviest Overall Catch weighed in at 340.67lb.
“What I like best about the tournament is that the best of the best come out. There is a lot of competition to see who wins it,” says Emanuel, who owns and operates Bad Dog Charters.
In other awards, the St. Thomas-based charter fishing boat, Emanuel, with Captain Alvin Turbe at the helm, won the Heaviest Other Catch prize at 27.5lb. The Top Female Angler award went to the BVI’s Dr. Cassander O’Neal Titley, on Mega Byte, with the catch of two wahoo weighing 11.4- and 30.1lb. Dimitri Farrell earned the Outstanding Youngest Angler prize with his 8.8lb mahi-mahi caught off Mega Byte, with father, Captain Zeph Farrell at the helm.
Eight sports fishing boats and 30 anglers from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands collectively caught 727.4lb of wahoo and 972.1lb of fish total.