[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hasing wahoo in November has become an annual ritual in Bimini with anglers competing for bragging rights and thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. The Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina, which for several seasons has hosted the popular Wahoo Smackdown Tournament series, is adding new species categories, youth and women’s divisions and an open bounty of $1,000 for anyone breaking the current IGFA all tackle Bahamas record for a wahoo (155-pounds).
Wahoo Smackdown VII, scheduled for November 12-14, will be a “must fish” weekend for anglers with a chance to make fishing history and earn a cash bonus, according to Tournament Director Misty Wells.
In addition to a cash prize for a record wahoo catch, Wells said women are being encouraged to participate, and she will waive the entry fee for the first all-women team to register—a tournament first.
Last November, the Wahoo Smackdown tournament attracted a record 29 boats. Team “Cash Out” took heaviest fish honors with 47.6 pounds. Heaviest five fish over two days trophy went to team “Fishin A Loan”, and Heaviest Fish (First Day) winners were team “Snow Cone’s Revenge.”
Wells, a longtime angler who has competed successfully in numerous Florida and national tournaments, said early bird entries through the end of September for Smackdown VII are $1,350.00 per boat (a 10-percent discount). Sponsor FishBrain, which is offering the $1,000 bonus for breaking the Bahamas wahoo record, will also provide teams with a free upload of its fishing app, the world’s largest social network for anglers.
To register go to http://biggameclubbimini.com/resort/events/tournaments/big-game-club-wahoosmackdown or call (970) 708-7997 Misty Wells Tournament Director.
Currently, $10,000 cash prizes are guaranteed, however, that number, according to Wells, will increase with an increase in boat entries.
Bimini is home to more than 50 world fishing records and has hosted many world class fishing tournaments over the seasons. The International Annual Bicardi Rum Billfish Tournament originally had its roots in Bimini. Over the years Bimini was a Mecca for big game anglers and was host site to numerous fishing competitions including the Frankie Brown, The Hemingway, and the famous Cat Cay tuna tournaments.
Grand Central Station for tournament hosting was the Big Game Club, opened for business in 1947. Owner Neville Stewart saw the promise and allure of fishing and personally developed and encouraged tournaments. He sold his interest to Bacardi, which over 30 years grew the tradition with many memorable tournaments helping to build Bimini’s title as “Sportfishing Capital of the World.”
Today the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina is owned by the Southern California-based Hankey Group and is managed by Horizon Hotel Group www.horizonhotelgroup.com.