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The 39th Annual Antigua Sport Fishing Tournament

On May 16th, participants and supporters alike found themselves gathered at The Last Lemming Bar & Restaurant to celebrate another passing of the Antigua Sport Fishing Tournament. Now in its 39th year, and once again based out of the Catamaran Marina in Falmouth Harbor, this year’s tourney saw an increase in international and regional participation.

Over the weekend of May 12th to May 16th, boats from Antigua, St. Barths, The United States, St. Thomas, Guadaloupe and Martinique competed in the tournament’s two divisions, Sport Fishing and Marlin. With mostly sunny skies and friendly temperatures, competitors found themselves with lines in by 7:30 am on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

The Antigua Sport Fishing Tournament has adopted a policy of conservation in the Marlin Division and they operate using a point system. Cameras are provided to all boats and as each Marlin is tagged and released, a photo is taken. Every released Blue Marlin receives 300 points and any White Marlin released receives 100 points. All boated Marlin must be brought to the scales. Should the boated Blue Marlins weigh in at less than the 300-pound minimum; there is a deduction of 300 points. White Marlin brought to the scales and weighing in under the 50-pound minimum receive a deduction of 100 points. This year there were three Blue Marlin and three White Marlin ultimately tagged and released.

In the Marlin Division, the results are as follows: Champion Boat – My Way from West Palm Beach, Florida won with a total of 1100 points, Most Tags/Releases again went to My Way for their three Blue and two White Marlin. Champion female, determined by points, was awarded to Carolyn Coulter on Abigail III; Champion Angler went to David Godshall on My Way. The largest Blue Marlin came in at 470 ½ lbs, tagged by Rene Vestergaard off the French vessel, Ti Manzel. To further add to the excitement there was a record breaking White Marlin caught this year - Roger Brown off local vessel Missa Ferdie caught the 123 ½ pound White, beating the previous record held by Overdraft at 79 ½ pounds.

In the Sport Division, The Champion Boat, bringing in 251 1/4 lbs was awarded to Limited Edition from Martinique. The Champion Boat under 25’ Trophy was awarded to Free Spool who brought in 186 1/2 lbs. In the largest fish category, the results were as follows: Largest Fish (caught by a female) was awarded to Dana Silva of La Geoconda for her 46lb-Wahoo. Toby Fuchs from the boat Awarak Odyssey was awarded the Largest Fish (Caught by a Male) as well as Largest Fish Youth Division for his 62 1/2 lb Wahoo.

Rounding out the results are the following specific awards:

Second Largest Kingfish – 30 3/4 lbs caught by Robert Hall on Free Spool

Largest Kingfish – 60 lbs caught by George Malone on La Geoconda

Second Largest Dolphin and Largest Dolphin – 36 1/2 lbs and 37 ½ lbs by Paul Rippon on Free Spool

Second Largest Tuna – 55 1/2 lbs by Merlin Goldsworthy on La Geoconda

Largest Tuna – 57 lbs by Peter Laurent on Wa-Happen

Finally, in the Wahoo Division, Dana Silva defended her trophy from the 38th Annual Tournament with her 46-pound catch and Toby Fuchs won the male division for his 62½-pound catch.

Special thanks should be given to this year’s sponsors: Harney Motors Ltd, Carib Beer, Mount Gay Rum, United Insurance, Island Photo Fujifilm, Shoul’s Toys, Gifts & Housewares, Jimmy’s Bar & Resturant, Chickie’s Hi Fi, Caribbean Star, Big Deal Dollar Store, Tropical Wear and Levi’s, Shell Beach Marina, Hadeed Motors Ltd, Matouba and Water One. Without their support, the Tournament could not have achieved the success it did.

Now with the rods and harnesses put away, we look forward to next year’s 40th Annual Sport Fishing Tournament, to the adrenaline rush, the record breaking, the company of friends and to the laughter.

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