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Couples Tournament Kicks off Virgin Islands Gamefishing Season

How about swapping flowers and chocolates for fishing lines and ballyhoo this Valentine’s Day? Couples can come out and try their luck in the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s (VIGFC) Couples Tournament set for February 11. “This half-day fun tournament is designed to bring the ladies into fishing and expose them to the tournament world,” says Harry Clinton, the VIGFC’s executive director. “Fishing is only for a half day, with weigh-in and a big beach party with food and music to follow at Honeymoon Beach on Water Island.”

Last year, luck was with a St. John couple, Cheri Levert and Scott Bryan, when they reeled in a total of 44.7 pounds. Braving the North Drop in choppy seas, the duo caught two blackfin tuna, two kingfish, two cero mackerels that didn’t count, and a few tunas.  At the same time, they had the grand opportunity to spot a few whales and watch a hooked sailfish dance on top of the seas. Levert and Bryan’s poundage beat out 20 other couples on eight other boats for the first place prize.

Registration for this year’s tournament starts at 7 p.m. at the VIGFC Clubhouse in Red Hook on February 9. The entry fee is $50 per couple.
Lines in at 7:30 a.m. follow lines out and weigh-in by 12 noon on February 11.  Eligible species for this inshore tournament include kingfish, dolphin, wahoo, tuna and minimized-sized barracuda.

“This is one of the only tournaments that includes the non-edible fish, barracuda,” Clinton said. “We allow barracuda because there are a certain number of ladies that have never caught a fish. The more species we allow, the better their odds.”  For more information, call: 340-775-9144.

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.

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