PRESS RELEASE: The 49th annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament is the longest running continuous sport fishing tournament in the Southern Caribbean. The tournament experienced its first scare since the inception of the tournament, having one of the vessels GODDA GO out of Trinidad and Tobago sink during the last day of the competition. Luckily no one was injured and the boat Cool Runnings cut their fishing short to rescue the guys and bring them in.
Despite the incident, the Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish tournament was once again labelled as another success with 56 boats participating. The big winner of the tournament was the boat Magic Lady out of Trinidad & Tobago scoring 3000 points with 1 Blue marlin, 2 White Marlin and 5 sailfish bringing the boat to win the Top Boat Position. Magic Lady and its team have also earned the right to take part in the Offshore World Championship Tournament in April in Costa Rica.
Glen Chartlett fishing aboard Magic Lady brought in the most realeases earning him 1500 points and the title of Top Angler. Second place was won by Ryan Agar from “EZ Axcess” from Trinidad & Tobago with EZ Axcess also coming in as 2nd place boat with a total of 2700 points. Top Female Angler was won by Tricia Thompson and Top Junior Angler was won by Amelee Mayers, both were onboard “Remember Me Now” from Barbados.
For next year’s tournament the format will change a bit according to Chairman of the organizing committee Richard McIntyre: “We are going to have a half day the first day then we will have a full 2nd, 3rd and 4th day, so it’s literally 3 half-days.” They are also looking into adding another dock to accommodate the growing amount of participants that enjoy the Budget Marine Spice island Billfish Tournament. Organizers have also taken steps to ensure that the tournament continues, by continuing to catch and release billfish species that are below the required weight. This year, 80 billfish were released with the heaviest Yellow Fin to scale being 165lbs, just 10 pounds short of the current unbroken record of 175 pounds, brought in by Avi Paul from Grenada on Black Child II.
Nicholas George, Manager of Budget Marine and member of the organizing committee states: “The Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament is very well organized and we are proud to be the main sponsor of such a big Caribbean fishing event with boats coming from all over the Caribbean. Next year will be the 50th anniversary, make sure you are part of this great event!”
For full listing of winners see news section on the Budget Marine website www.budgetmarine.com/NewsItem.aspx?id=5232