Luck and talent earned Vitamin B the top title in two back-to-back Antigua fishing tournaments. The team aboard the 31ft Bertram, with Mike Pigott, owner of Antigua’s Nightwing Charters at the helm, won the 3rd Antigua and Barbuda Marlin Classic on May 17 and then the marlin division of the 47th Antigua and Barbuda Sports Fishing Tournament, held May 18 and 19 out of Nelson’s Dockyard.
“Our clients/friends Glenn and Janie Irish have fished with us over the last five years and caught numerous wahoo, mahi-mahi, kingfish and barracuda,” Pigott explains. “This year they decided to step it up to the Marlin tournament. I was really excited because Glenn is one of those lucky guys that you want on the boat.”
The Vitamin B team hooked up its first blue marlin at about 8am but lost it when the line broke after a short fight. They set the spread back up, trolled for another hour, and hooked up again. Glenn released a white marlin at about 9:45 to earn 200 points. It was this first marlin caught mid-morning that put Vitamin B in the lead based on time.
“We were really dodging bullets to maintain our lead when Rum ‘n’ Coke released a blue late in the afternoon,” Pigott explains. “We thought we had lost the lead. We made the hour run back to port not knowing how lucky we were. It wasn’t until we tied up at the dock that we found out we had won. Talk about a mood changer. It seems that Rum ‘n’ Coke failed to get proper photographic evidence of their catch as required by the rules. I couldn’t believe it. We won it with just one fish!”
The Vitamin B team immediately set their sights on the next tournament where 39 boats from Antigua, St. Barths, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Maarten vied for cash and prizes in Marlin and Sporting divisions. Pigott headed back to the same grounds he fished during the Marlin Classic or about 15 miles northeast of English Harbour in about 2000ft of water. On the first day, Glenn released two marlin and Vitamin B’s mate, Kareem David, released a third. This put the team back on top of the leader board once again.
“The last day we fished the same area again and released two more blues giving us a gracious lead,” Pigott says. “All six marlin released over the three days were caught within a five mile area only three miles from the drop off while chasing schools of light tuna. The biggest marlin we caught was about 350lb and the smallest blue was about 150lb. All the fish swam away looking health and we got all of our hooks back.”
Meanwhile, in the Sporting Division, Capt. Nico Psihoyos aboard the 25ft Eduardono, Goldfin, won Champion Boat Overall with the catch of 816.5lb of fish. Psihoyos’ secret to success was the use of technology as well as traditional fishing methods.
“There was a nice temperature break about 60 miles northeast of Antigua. We saw birds there at the same time,” Psihoyos explains. “The mahi-mahi averaged 25 to 30lb instead of the usual 10 to 15lb so the pounds added up quickly.”
The Goldfin team caught 21 mahi the first day and ten the second. In addition, Goldfin angler Alex Sinclair caught the division’s largest tuna, an 11.75-pounder.
“I was very happy with the response to the tournament from our visitors and the local public,” says tournament chairman, Phillip Shoul. “Greg Petreluzzi from Guadeloupe really summed it up very well for me at the end of the awards party. He requested the chance to get on stage and speak to the audience. In his words: ‘I take part in tournaments throughout the Caribbean and have for some years, and we keep coming back to Antigua because it is the best’. We cannot really ask for a better testimonial than that.”