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Golden Eagle Best Boat in Memorial Weekend Fishing Tourney

The catch of a whopping 309.4-pounds of wahoo and dolphin caught over two days of fishing – a lucky thirteen of them landed on the event’s last day – earned the St. Croix-based boat Golden Eagle the Best Boat prize at the Virgin Islands Gamefishing Club’s (VIGFC) Memorial Weekend Fishing Tournament.

Last year, rough seas in the fishing relations between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands led to a re-routing of the VIGFC’s over-three-decade-old Memorial Day Tournament. Instead of fishing up and back to Anegada, St. Thomas sports fishermen enjoyed the productive fishing grounds around St. Croix instead.

“The St. Thomas anglers fished their way over to St. Croix the first day, then everyone fished around St. Croix the second,” said Harry Clinton, tournament organizer and VIGFC executive director.

Clinton added, “Seas were choppy. However, during the fishing, we saw a change in the winds. Instead of coming out of the northwest, they switched back to blowing out of the southeast…our regular weather pattern. Some thought this helped the fish bite.”

61 anglers from all three U.S. Virgin Islands fished aboard 14 boats and caught a total of 1443 pounds of fish.

Two anglers released billfish, both on the event’s first day. St. Croix’s Dave Lorshbauga, aboard Two For Sure, released a blue marlin, while fellow Crucian, Ed Bengoa on Plumb Cool, released a white marlin. Later at the Awards Ceremony, held at the Hibiscus Beach Hotel, Bengoa received a ritual dunk in the pool as his release marked his first marlin catch.

In Gamefish category, on Saturday, Plumb Cool’s Bengoa caught the largest dolphin, a 34.1 pounder. St. Croix’s Ed Beach, on Two For Sure, reeled in the largest wahoo, a 23.1-pounder. Tarn Hildreth, fishing from Gone Ketchin’ out of St. John landed the largest tuna, a 6.1 pounder.

On Sunday, it was St. Croix’s Oscar Deabeneki on Two For Sure that reeled in the largest dolphin, at 30.6 pounds. Golden Eagle angler, Bob Holland, caught the largest wahoo, a 19.7-pounder.

In other awards, the prize for the Best St. Thomas Boat went to Gone Ketchin’, while it was boat Noble Contender, which received the Hard Luck Prize for being the St. Thomas-based boat that caught no fish.

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