Tuesday, 29 May 2012 02:30
By Ian Magic Hughes
Antigua St John's - The 46th Antigua & Barbuda Sport Fishing Tournament held over the weekend at Nelson’s Dockyard showed tremendous improvement.
From the number of boats entering the competition to the land-based operations, the organizers demonstrated that this tournament is top class.
President of the association Phillip Shoul told Caribarena.com that pulling off such an event took proper planning and widespread involvement.
“We have to make sure that this event is one where everyone will be able to come and have a good time,” he said. “And not just the anglers.
Sure this is a fishing tournament, but we wanted to ensure that while the boats are on the water, that persons can come and hang out, and enjoy some food and drink while they wait for the weigh-in.”
There were 2,267.5 lbs of fish brought to the scales, most of which was sold to patrons.
“I am so grateful to all the people who work to make this a success,” Shoul said. “From the guys who weigh the fish and those who clean them so that we can sell. All the vendors, the bar crew... those persons who took the time out to prepare food, as well as those who had the tents for face painting and tattoos and the like.”
Attendees, including Margaret Habib of Aquasports, praised the event.
“What this event brings is a union, a kinship of everyone regardless of colour, creed, race and age," she said. "The old and the young joining in festive harmony. It's always great to see families together."
There were fathers holding their babies, mothers pushing prams, grandparents looking after the little ones, and friends coming together to enjoy good, clean fun.
“What I enjoy the most is seeing the children running and playing freely, with very little adult intervention," another patron said. "Aren't we lucky here in Antigua that our children can still roam free without fear?”
Though it was two days of fun, probably the most exciting moment at the scales was when angler Vincent Herpe from Apollon, of Guadeloupe, brought his 176.75 lb tuna to the scale, setting a new record for the largest tuna caught in the tournament, and also netting the largest fish caught by a man.
At the end of the competition, Scally Wag and Blue Rapid were victorious in the Sporting Division and the Marlin Division, respectively.
For Scally Wag and Captain Michael Hall, they caught a total of 282.5 lbs, to walk away with champion boat, beating runner-up Goldfin, skippered by Nico Psihoyos, by 37.75 lbs.
The Scally Wag crew also scored high in the individual prizes.
Ten-year-old Sebastian Gobinet cleaned up by winning second largest kingfish, largest wahoo (with a 55.25 lb fish) and with the same fish, biggest fish caught by a youth.
He walked off with $1,500, three trophies, and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Also on Scally Wag, Robert Hall won second largest wahoo and Kimberley Hall won largest fish caught by a woman, with a 35.75 lb wahoo.
Another great performance by a woman came from Sixpence and angler Dana Siva, a tournament regular. She caught the biggest kingfish a 34.75 lb strike.
In the marlin division, champion boat winners Blue Rapid had two tag-and-releases, earning 600 points and $10,000, plus a trophy and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Justin Barreto, 15, also earned the most tag and releases for his efforts, as well as champion youth, $50 in prize money, two trophies, and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Champion Female went to Tameka Wharton with one tag and release, and Champion Male to Giliano Lawrence on Xtreme with one tag and release.
The runner-up was Apollon and skipper Karl Petrelluzzi, with one blue and one white release. Second runner up was Missa Ferdie and captain Pelo Bailey with one blue release.