BIMINI, THE BAHAMAS–MAY 21, 2013 — For the 60 anglers aboard 11 boats that comprised the tournament fleet, braving a rough crossing to Bimini, the inaugural Billfish Bonanza was worth the chop with sails, blues, dolphin and tuna waiting for action.
On day one, the line-in call was made at 8 a.m. The tournament’s smallest boat, Sweet M’ Ocean, hooked the first sailfish. Several hook ups were reported during the day and at the end of day one Patropic Caterpillar’s Wild Cat was in the lead with a blue marlin.
Day two saw low pressure and a persistent line of rainsqualls that according to tournament director Paul Cameron, “really shut the bite down.” No position changes took place in the billfish categories; however, vacant dolphin and tuna positions were filled.
Day three ushered in ideal conditions, but fish were not responding in the usual spots. While some continued to beat the deep water for blues others used the strategy of working shallower for sails and whites. Cameron said, “While blues were raised by a few boats and even a few hooked up none reached the transoms.” Sweet M’Ocean took a second sail to pad their position but a last minute white taken aboard OCD moved the Sweet M’Ocean team down to third place.
Official tournament hostess, Shelby Chesnes, Playboy’s Miss July 2012, was on hand to greet teams and award trophies. Tournament sponsors included Compleat Angler Marine, Colin Yarnell Goldsmith, Grey Taxidermy, Canyon Gear, Hopkins Carter, Eco Boats, Malin, Titos Vodka, Pantropic Power and Maco.
The Billfish Bonanza follows two recent, highly successful Bimini Wahoo tournaments also hosted by the Big Game Club, in which over 10 dozen anglers hauled in nearly three tons of fish. Host to numerous major sport fishing tournaments for more than half a century, Bimini is a world-class fishing destination.
[colored_box color=”blue”]Tournament Winners:
1st Billfish Team: Wild Cat
2nd Billfish Team: OCD
3rd Billfish Team: Sweet M’Ocean
Top Angler: Benisa Levin
Top Wahoo: Wild Cat
Top Dolphin: OCD
Top Tuna: Miss Kethlene