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St. Croix’s Golden Hook Fishing Club – NOTHINGS EZ Wins Golden Hook Challenge

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First time’s a charm and gals triumph in a three-peat!—this is the best way to sum up the fishing fun over the last few months out of the Golden Hook Fishing Club on St. Croix, largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

After three days of angling in the Golden Hook Challenge held June 10-11, Nothings EZ, with Bill Griffin Jr., Jeff Frazier, Chris Baer and Tom Hobbs aboard, beat out competitors to earn Top Boat. Of the four tournaments the Club sponsors for the year, this is the sole billfish-only event.

Kathy Mackay, one of the event organizers, says of Griffin and Frazier, “Both men have been fishing in the tournaments for years on other boats, including the Lisa Ann, owned by Bill’s father. This was their first tournament aboard Nothings EZ and it proved lucky for them.”

Sunflower , with Peggy Noel, Mike Fennessy, Paul Stewart, Thomas Radl, Larry Kupfer and Trond Ostack aboard, finished Second Best Boat in the Golden Hook Challenge.

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The Seventh Annual Guy/Gal Reel Challenge cast off in early September when the Guys had their chance to fish on Saturday the 9th, followed by the Gals on Sunday.

Andy Anderson, Club president and Captain aboard the winning boat, Beloved, a 25-foot Shamrock, describes the weekend this way: “The guys fished the first day. We had beautiful conditions and the fleet caught lots of small fish. However, only seven fish qualified for size, and only three of these were over 30 pounds.”

The Beloved’s Chris Anderson and Pam Cross caught the first and third largest fish for the day, a 33.8-pound and 32.0-pounder, respectively. Capt. Erik Rasmussen, aboard Miss Becky, reeled in a 32.4-pounder. Eligible tournament species included wahoo, dolphin, yellow fin tuna and king mackerel.

The day concluded with Miss Becky earning Best Boat for the Guys, with a total catch of 64.4 pounds.

The next day, the Gals took to the fighting chairs.

Beloved ’s Anderson says, “We had a heck of a day. Really lucky. We worked the same area as we did when the Guys were aboard, but we ended up hooking a double-header wahoo, then another double-header wahoo back-to-back for four fish real fast. I guess we were in the right place at the right time.”

Anderson ’s lady anglers were his wife, Chris, who mates professionally for him on sports fishing charters, and Pam Cross.

Beloved won Best Boat on the Gals day with a total weight of 174.6 pounds of fish and Best Boat overall with the two-day combined catch weight of 185.2-pounds.

The total weight of fish caught by the Guys and then by the Gals truly proved that the Gals really ruled: 146.2 pounds compared to 377.4 pounds, respectively. Really cool is that the Beloved’s Chris Anderson and Pam Cross caught 28.4 pounds MORE than all 50 guys entered in the Guys tournament.

Another notch up for the Gals, junior angler Leanna Griffin, aboard Nothings EZ, fished this event as her first tournament and caught a 31.4-pound wahoo and 19.2-pound wahoo. The 31.4-pounder was the 5th largest wahoo of the 20 caught in two days of fishing.

This fantastic win is a three-peat for the Gals who have taken this event for the last three years in a row – and four times overall to the Guys’ three wins total.

ext up: the Golden Hook Fishing Club hosts its annual Wahoo Tournament on November 4 and 5. For more information, call (340) 778-5738, Fax 340-778-5742, or e-mail: richard@reliablevi.com

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Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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