Terry Top Angler, Miss Lucy Top Boat in Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s 2020 Wahoo Windup

Keith Terry Jr holds his winning Largest Wahoo, a 29-pounder, in the VIGFC Wahoo Windup - Credit Dean Barnes

There’s an old fishermen’s saying that the sport is called fishing, not catching. But on Sunday, at the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s 2020 Wahoo Windup, it was definitely a day of catching for St. Thomas’ Keith Terry, Jr. Terry, an avid angler who first got his feel for a reel angling for bass in Arkansas yet fished this event for the first time, caught the tournament’s Largest Wahoo, a 29-pounder. Terry, and fellow anglers Nathan Gatcliffe and Teddy Nicolosi, fished aboard the Calypso Marine 37, Double Header, with Captain Kai Holmberg at the helm. The Double Header team, like the crews aboard the 11 other boats in the tournament, put their lines in the water at 6:30 a.m. Then, they high-speed trolled for whopper wahoo off the southwest of St. Thomas.

Keith Terry Jr holds his winning Largest Wahoo, a 29-pounder, in the VIGFC Wahoo Windup – Credit Dean Barnes

“We caught a barracuda about an hour after lines, but that specie didn’t count to weigh-in in this tournament,” says Terry. “Then, it was about 30 minutes before we finished fishing, I was actually dozing when I heard the sound of line peel off the right short rigger. Game time, I thought! It took about 20 to 25 minutes to get it right up to the boat, gaffed it and got it on board. That catch saved our day,” says Terry.

Terry’s catch was 46-pounds shy of the $10,000 prize offered for the tournament angler who caught the largest wahoo over 75-pounds.

Meanwhile, St. Thomas’ Eddie Bryan, angling off the 24-foot Rampage, Anger Management, caught the Second Largest Wahoo, a 29-pounder. Since both Terry and Bryan’s fish weighed the same, length was used as the tiebreaker, with Terry’s fish measuring 54 ¼ inches and Bryan’s 41 inches.

Rounding out the top three, St. Thomas’ Ben Knoeck on Kings Ransom, a 30-foot Scarab, landed the Third Largest Wahoo, a 28-pounder.

Top Boat Ms Lucy L to R – Kelvin Bailey Jr, BOD President at VIGFC – Mark Stiehler, Christine McAllister, Asher Fox, Sommer Berry, Chris Berry, Kevin Haddox – VIGFC BOD – Credit Dean Barnes m

The Best Boat prize went to Miss Lucy, a 39-foot SeaVee driven by Captain Chris Berry. Anglers Mark Stiehler, Sommer Berry, Christine McAllister and Asher Fox collectively caught 36-pounds of wahoo.

“We headed to the north and trolled the edge of the shelf. We got the first one about 8 a.m., a doubleheader just after 9 a.m. and then nothing again until around 11 a.m.,” says Berry. “Although I fish commercially and am out every day, it was good to see a tournament happen again.”

The 11-boat tournament fleet with 39 anglers landed a total of 158 pounds of wahoo.

“It was a great feeling to have so much cooperation and support in making this tournament happen. The enthusiasm of our Sponsors, contributors and supporters really made this event truly something special,” says Kelvin Bailey, Jr., president of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Board of Directors.

Cash prizes were awarded as well as carved wood plaques made by My Brother’s Workshop and sponsored by IGY’s American Yacht Harbor.

The Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club appreciates the sponsorship support from Cardow Jewelers, IGY Marinas, West Indies Company, United State Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, Tradewinds Galleria, Neptune Fishing Supplies, Ocean Surfari, Island Eye Care, Island Marine Supplies, Lattes in Paradise, Island Time Pub and St. Thomas Yacht Club.

For more information, call (340) 775-9144, Email: usvigfc@gmail.com or Visit: www.vigfc.com

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