November is a hot time in U.S. Virgin Islands’ waters for wahoo. To capitalize on this, St. Thomas’ Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) hosted its annual Wahoo Wind-Up, sponsored by Budget Marine, on November 6th, while St. Croix’s Golden Hook Fishing Club (GHFC) ran its Series Finale Wahoo Tournament a week later on November 12th.
Husband and wife, Chris and Angela Berry, reeled in the two largest wahoo in the VIGFC tournament. Chris caught a 34.3lb wahoo aboard the 36ft Calypso Double Header IV to earn Largest Wahoo, while his wife, Angela, reeled in a 33lb wahoo to win the Second Largest Wahoo and Top Female Angler prizes.
“We caught all of our fish before Noon, then nothing,” says Chris Berry.
Calm seas and sunny skies made for great fishing weather, something that Angela Berry especially enjoyed. “This was my third fishing tournament,” she says. “I loved it! It was especially fun to catch a big wahoo.”
Double Header IV‘s owner and captain Jonathan Gatcliffe reeled in the third largest wahoo, a 31.6-pounder.
A total of eight wahoo collectively weighing 198.9lb also earned Double Header IV the Top Boat prize for the third year in a row.
“We were three couples going out for a fun day of fishing,” says Gatcliffe. “But of course we had our strategy too. We headed over to the C-FAD north of Christiansen to get a bunch of small fish to give us numbers and then went north, trolling across the South Drop, to go get the big ones.”
Cash prizes were awarded to the anglers who caught the ten largest wahoo.
A fleet of 12 boats with 46 anglers caught a total of 18 wahoo collectively weighing 384.3lb
Meanwhile, a dozen boats also cast off in the GHFC tournament in search of wahoo.
“We went south,” says Jens Berg, who earned Best Boat as captain aboard the 32ft Fountain Snatch Em with 53.4lb of wahoo. “It was pretty slow. We didn’t see much action until between 8:30am and 9am when we got our first bite.”
This first wahoo weighed in at 30.7lb and was caught by Snatch Em angler Marco Saldanina. Saldanina’s fish ultimately earned him the Second Largest Wahoo prize.
“We didn’t have a bite again until around 11am,” Berg continues. “That was a smaller one, but it added up to enough weight to win best boat.”
Steve Smith on the Two Fer Sure caught the Largest Wahoo, a whopping 44.5-pounder. The boat, a 28ft Topaz captained and owned by Tom Sedgewick, also won the Second Best Boat prize with that one big fish. Steve Greene on the Leisure Lady, a 48ft Bertram, reeled in a 23.1lb wahoo for the Third Largest Wahoo prize and the boat, with owner and Capt. Bob MacKay at the helm, finished as Third Best Boat with this one fish.
This Best Boat win for Snatch Em and Berg was a first time charm.
“I’ve been fishing all my life,” says Berg. “But, I’ve never entered a tournament. I kept telling myself I would and now I did. I’m planning to fish all of them now. It was a lot of fun fishing with and against all the other boats.”
For more information, visit: www.vigfc.com & www.fishstx.com
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.