SPORT FISHING TOURNAMENT INCREASES BOAT NUMBERS AGAIN
Tuesday 25th May 2010
Image 1- Winners of the Marlin Division Miss Ashley receiving their award from Colin James photograph by Joseph Jones.
The curtains have come down on the 44th Antigua and Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament and has been hailed a great success by all involved.
43 boats entered the tournament this year, which in a year when the Caribbean is still deep in recession is a fantastic result, as last years tournament had 40 entries. The local support included 31 boats which was more than expected and overseas boats came in from St. Thomas, Guadeloupe, St. Barts and St. Lucia.
There were a few close fought battles this year as far as the fishing results go.
First up the Sporting Division where Simply Nutz captained by Kevin Gomez were victorious catching 170.75 lbs of fish. Runner up was Susie Q with Captain Noel Duberry who caught 140.75 lbs. They came away with trophies and cash prizes of EC$2000 and $EC1000 respectively.
Champion Boat under 25 feet went to Lesgo captained by Sean MacMillan who caught 92.25 lbs and won a trophy and EC$2000.
Individual angler results of note go to Beverley Percival who fished on Nicole, who with her 41.5 wahoo won largest fish by a female as well as largest wahoo overall. Beverley won trophies, EC$1000 and a Guess watch from Columbian Emeralds. Stanley Tonge won largest fish by a male with his wahoo just half a pound lighter, and second largest wahoo overall. He walked away with trophies, a Guess Watch from Columbian Emeralds and a cheque for EC$500.
In the marlin division female angler was won by Ruth Liney on Rum n' Coke with a tag and release of a blue marlin, and male angler was won by Samir Hanna on Simply Nutz. As many male anglers did one blue marlin tag and release it came down to the first one called in to VHF radio. Samir therefore won on time. Both anglers won a trophy and a Guess Watch from Columbian Emeralds.
Most tag and releases as well as champion boat in the Marlin Division were won by Miss Ashley Captained by Brian Nunes. They won a total of $EC10,500 in prizes and trophies. in total they tagged and released two blue marlin and one white marlin.
The white marlin was the difference between the winners and runners up, with Ali Bam Bam from St. Barts captained by Christian Audebert coming in second, based on time. and Simply Nutz as second runner up. They won EC$5000 and EC$3000 plus trophies respectively.
Image 2: Runners up Ali Bam Bam Bam and Christian Audebert of Guadeloupe photograph by Joseph Jones.
Youngest angler again was won by Omar Shoul who this year is a mere five years old. His happy face was delighted as he received a rod and reel, pair of binoculars and flash light from Aquasports.
When talking to the anglers, especially from overseas, although of course everyone would love to catch the big one and win the tournament, interestingly enough there is a fantastic feeling of camaraderie and the fishing is actually of equal importance to the liming. That is where this
tournament is so different to other tournaments throughout the Caribbean. No other tournament is located in such a fantastic marina where all 43 boats get to line up right along the sea wall. It means as the sun goes down and people relax for the evening, it is a great place to hang out and catch up with people you may not have seen all year.
The now legendary EC$5 bar for Carib and Cavalier ensures the party runs late into the night. This year the toy stall and tattoo booth added excitement for families attending, and the Rosé Bar and Blue Marlin Bar added a new sophisticated dimension to the lime.
Some of the anglers prepared fish straight from the catch dockside to eat for dinner, and others ate by the vendors or ventured in to English Harbour to eat at the local restaurants.
There is no doubt that from a tourism perspective the fishing tournament adds huge value to the economy. Overseas and local fishermen chose to make a weekend of the tournament and stayed in the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, The Ocean Inn and the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and Resort, all who offered competitive rates to attract the anglers.