Bermuda Billfish Release Cup, June 26-28, 2009
After a week of 20- to 40-knot winds and driving rain from a stationary front over Bermuda, the skies finally parted the day of the final registration kickoff party for the inaugural Bermuda Billfish Release Cup. A great time was had by all at the Bonefish Bar & Grill located at West End Dockyard Bermuda. The event registered 13 teams vying for $65,000 in cash and prizes. Teams received apparel and captains bags from Old Harbor Outfitters and a great spread of food from Bonefish. Pier 41 served as the host marina for this event, making it convenient for the anglers and crew to attend.
June 27, 2009
Day One started out with sunny weather and a three- to five-foot sea. The fish were there but not feeding aggressively, so many teams experienced lazy bites and lost fish. The team on Over Budget,a 57 Bertram captained by Jeremiah Nachtigal and owned by Ricky Sousa of Bermuda, got things going with a white marlin release at 8:23 a.m. They added another white later in the day, giving the team 400 points for the day. Bree, a 72 Merritt captained by Bryce Garvey and owned by Randy Ringhaver of St. Augustine, Florida, released the first blue marlin of the day at 9:35 a.m. The team had three blues beating up the lures, with one sticking for angler Paula Rinhghaver. Bree added a second blue release at 1:20 p.m., with Randy taking the rod on this one, giving the team a total of 1,000 points for the day and the level-one daily release jackpot worth $6,000. Bree was leading the tournament on time after Day One. Waste Knot, a beautiful new 67 Jarrett Bay with Capt. Patrick Kannan, released their first blue at 10:38 a.m. with owner Scott Poole of Raleigh, North Carolina, in the chair. At 1:48 Waste Knot,with angler Zan Poole, released their second blue, giving the team 1,000 points and the Day One level-two release jackpot worth $11,000. Waste Knot sat in second place after Day One. Never Enough, a 56 Whiticar with Capt. Trevor Cockle, scored one blue marlin release for angler owner Walter Shikany Jr. of Doral, Florida, giving the team 500 points and third-place position after the first day of fishing.
June 28, 2009
Another front hit the island during the night, kicking up the seas to six to eight feet, with a stiff 20- to 25-knot breeze. But with the class of vessels in the Release Cup, all participants headed out for some more Bermuda blue marlin fishing. Waste Knot picked up where they left off — angler Zan Poole released her second blue of the tournament at 10:00 a.m., lifting Waste Knot into first place with 1,500 points. At 12:47 p.m. Never Enough’s Walter Shikany released a white, adding 200 points to their score. De Mako, with angler Colin Barnes and Capt. Allen De Silva, hooked up with two minutes left to go and successfully released a white. It wasn’t enough to get De Mako into the winners’ circle, but the fish was one of only three caught during a very slow, challenging day of fishing. Waste Knot added a nice 41-pound wahoo to win that division.
The awards banquet was held at Bonefish Bar & Grill; they put out an amazing spread of beef brisket, ribs, pork roast and all the fixings. Waste Knot took top team honors, three daily billfish release jackpots and first-place overall release jackpot, winning the team $42,800 and an invitation to compete in the IGFA Offshore World Championship. Bree landed in second place and won a daily release jackpot and second-place overall release jackpot, earning the team $14,250. Never Enough took third-place team and third-place overall release jackpot, winning $4,450. The second annual Bermuda Billfish Release Cup will take place June 25-27, 2010.