The Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association’s Budget Marine Wahoo Blowout tournament attracted ten boats comprising 46 anglers who braved rough seas and inclement weather in a superb show of good sportsmanship.
Although the tournament focuses on wahoo as the primary species, this year the committee decided to include other species due to what they claim is a continuous decline in fish stock from unregulated fishing in and around the coastal waters of Trinidad & Tobago. As it turned out, it was a good decision as only two wahoo were successfully brought to the scale. Both fish were caught by Captain Dominic Wallace with crew Dean Fakoory and Glen Charlotte on board the vessel Roller Troller giving them a well-deserved first place in this year’s tournament.
Braving the weather on day one, Roller Troller motored to fishing grounds off The Sisters, in Tobago. Their hardiness resulted in two sailfish releases and a wahoo weighing in at 11.9lb., just 1.9lb above the minimum weight and the only wahoo landed that day.
On the second day and fishing being poor, many boats opted to head back early. Having decided to stick with it, Roller Troller continued trolling along the south coast of Chacachacare Island but without luck. As 17.00hrs and ‘lines in’ approached, the crew began retrieving their gear when something struck the right rigger and line screamed off the reel. The crew said excitement on board went through the roof and when the battle was over Roller Troller sped off to the weigh station, arriving with only seconds to spare. Their wahoo, weighing in at 62.6lb., was the biggest catch of the tournament.
According to Captain Wallace, he had to dig deep into his tackle box for this last catch, finding the most hideous red and yellow Sea Witch lure, a favorite of the late, great, local captain, Gary Story. Wallace says he set the line with the words, “This one’s for you, Gaff.” Whether the late Captain Story helped out or not, the wahoo gave Roller Troller the win with Dominic Wallace earning the prize of Best Male Angler.
An 11.55lb Dorado, landed by Chelsea Lock on the boat Queen B, won her the title of Best Female Angler and was enough for Queen B, with Captain Trevor Bhagwansingh to secure second place in the tournament.
A total of 143lb of fish was caught and two sailfish released over two days of fishing. Over 80lb of fish was donated to the Christ Child convalescent home.
The Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Committee thanked the anglers for good sportsmanship despite rough seas, and their sponsors Budget Marine, Carib and the Ministry of Sport for their continued support in this tournament as well as their support of sport fishing and conservation in Trinidad and Tobago.