2012 Billfish Invitational to present Tim Choate with achievement Award

Tim Choate, co-founder of the Billfish Foundation, in 1962 at the Bimini Big Game Club. Choate will be presented the Frank Johnson Trophy during the 2012 Billfish Invitational in Bimini.

The Bimini Big Game Club will host the 2012 Billfish Invitational May 30 through June 2. Tournament Director Capt. Ned Stone announced that as part of tournament festivities that renown conservation advocate and international sport fishing angler and entrepreneur Tim Choate will be presented the Frank Johnson Trophy for Personal Achievement in the Advancement of Big Game Sport Fishing at a special dinner event on May 31. The Billfish Invitational was launched last year to celebrate the reopening of the Bimini Big Game Club, now operating as a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort.

In announcing the selection of Choate, Guy Harvey, chairman of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts added, “Tim’s visionary and passionate commitment to billfish conservation and the operation of top-of-class sport fishing operations in Costa Rica, Guatemala and more recently Brazil and the Galapagos have pretty much shaped international recognition and respect of these countries for their robust conservation practices and dedication to healthy and sustainable recreational fisheries.”

Choate is a co-founder of the prestigious Billfish Foundation, an organization dedicated to billfish research and conservation and the promotion of circle hook fishing techniques. “He has been and continues to be a driving force behind today’s worldwide Billfish conservation movement” notes Harvey. “Every marlin angler today owes a debt of gratitude to Tim for his tireless work to protect billfish from irresponsible fishing practices.”

Commenting on his nomination, Choate noted, “The honor of receiving this perpetual trophy at the Bimini Big Game Club brings me full circle with my passion for marlin fishing and growing up in South Florida. I caught my first blue marlin here in Bimini in 1962.” A big game fishing enthusiast by nature, Choate is angling to win the tournament outright. “I have probably some 50,000 billfish catches to my name and those of our boats, but I’m leaving nothing to chance. I’ve got legendary charter captain Bouncer Smith and my daughter Stephanie as an angler. We fish together around the world, but winning this tournament in Bimini at the Big Game Club would be a truly memorable accomplishment for me and my family.”

The winning billfish team is presented the Hemingway-Lerner Trophy, a Kent Ullberg sculpture commissioned by the Club to recognize “Friendship, teamwork and the pursuit of Excellence.” Both trophies are on permanent display at the Big Game Club. The tournament is a charity event that donates all net proceeds for the exclusive benefit of conservation and education programs in Bimini. The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation administers the funds in concert with the International Game Fish Association.