Wynsong Wins 2018 Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic

The tournament recorded 26 blue marlin releases, four white marlin releases, two sailfish releases, and boated four blue marlin.

Courtesy 14th Annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic

Team Wynsong, a 66-foot Viking, won the 14th Annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic.

Wynsong, a 66-foot Viking, won the 14th Annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, presented by H&E Equipment Services. The popular tournament is the second leg of The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship. With a fleet of 46 boats, ranging in length from 32 to 95 feet, participants fished for a total purse of $662,400, plus trophies and prizes.

Festivities started Tuesday, May 29, with the traditional dock party, sponsored by host facility Cypress Cove Lodge & Marina in Venice, Louisiana. Everyone enjoyed the boiled shrimp, smoked pork, and of course, the bread pudding. Wednesday, May 30, was the official registration day, captains meeting, and kick-off party. The tournament was slammed with last-minute arrivals of boats due to nasty weather that came in over the Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 31, started a little slow, with optional entries closing at 11:00 a.m. for a total purse of $662,400. Father Gerry Stapleton, from St. Patrick's Cathedral of Port Sulphur, Louisiana, visited to continue a tournament tradition of blessing of the fleet. At 1:00 p.m., boats departed for the Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico, led by Chasin Tail an 80-foot Weaver.

The phones started ringing early Thursday afternoon with Carrie Gerber-Collins, fishing on the 64-foot Tribute, Cut N Run, calling in a white marlin release at 4:38 p.m. This was followed quickly by junior angler Ryan Cooper,15, fishing with his dad Scott Cooper on their 37-foot Freeman Triple C, calling in a blue marlin release at 5:55 p.m. Next, John Engquist, of H&E Equipment Services, fishing on his 80-foot Weaver with Captain Clayt James, called in a blue marlin release at 6:25 p.m.

Friday, June 1, phones started ringing at 8:13 a.m., with Team Reel Addiction reporting a 111-inch blue marlin for angler Tyler Massey. When they weighed in at Cypress Cove Marina, the marlin tipped the scales at 545 pounds. Then, the phones started blowing up with 18 more blue marlin releases.


  • Captain Robbie Doggett on the 95-foot Jim Smith, Relentless Pursuit, had 3 blue marlin releases
  • Multiple boats had two blue marlin releases
  • Second Wind, a 68-foot Viking, boated a 110-inch blue marlin for angler David Schaefer. Second Wind’s blue marlin weighed in at 488.9 pounds
  • A Work of Art, a 92-foot Viking, called in a 117-inch blue marlin for angler Kevin Courville. A Work of Art's blue marlin weighed in at 521.3 pounds.

Saturday, June 2, started out a little slow until the 66-foot Viking, Wynsong, owned by Will Wilson and captained by Allen Staples, called in a monster hook up for angler Zoc Tokheim. More than 5 hours later, Wynsong, reported a really fat 117-inch blue marlin in the cockpit. Also on saturday, the 70-foot Viking, Done Deal, called in two blue marlin releases for lady angler Katie Gonsoulin. Back at the marina, Wynsong's blue marlin weighed a staggering 699.3 pounds.

Final Results:

  1. Wynsong, 1st Place Blue Marlin, 699.3 pounds, $90,450
  2. Reel Addiction, 2nd Place Blue Marlin 545 pounds, $46,170
  3. A Work of Art, 3rd Place Blue Marlin 521.3 pounds, $119,520

Release Division:

  1. Relentless Pursuit, 1st Place Release, 1500 points, $105,300
  2. Wynsong, 2nd Place Release, 1500 points, $40,230.00
  3. Chasin Tail, 3rd Place Release, 1000 points, $49,770.00

Dolphin Division

  1. Money Shot, owner/angler Ross Sampey, 1st Place, 44.9 pounds, $5,175
  2. Snafu, angler Bart Barre, 2nd Place, 39.7 pounds, $3,105
  3. Carib, owner/angler Larry Wireman, 3rd Place, 38 pounds, $2,070

Tuna Division

  1. Wynsong, angler Pickett Reese, 1st Place, 156.4 pounds, $27,000
  2. Relentless Pursuit, angler Mike Akiu, 2nd Place, 115 pounds, $58,770
  3. 2x4, angler Chris Scott, 3rd Place, 94.7 pounds, $2,520

Wahoo Division

  1. Triple C, Youth Angler Ryan Cooper, 1st Place, 40.3 pounds, $8,595
  2. Crawgator, angler JD Dugas, 2nd Place, 32.6 pounds, $2,565
  3. Crawgator, angler Mike Butler, 3rd Place, 28.7 pounds, $1,710

The 14th Annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic Top Billfish Boat Award, the Bob Potter Memorial Award, went to Team Wynsong with 3 blue marlin releases and a 699.3-pound blue marlin for 2199.3 points. With the Top Billfish Boat Award came an invitation to fish the Offshore World Championship in 2019 in Quepos, Costa Rica. Top Captain and Top Mate trophies were presented to Captain Allen Staples and Mate Caleb Brown of the Wynsong. Congratulations must go to Team Wynsong for winning $157,680 and taking home:

  • 1st Place Blue Marlin
  • 2nd Place Release
  • 1st Place Tuna
  • Top Billfish Boat
  • Top Captain
  • Top Mate

Top Money Boat went to Relentless Pursuit, taking 1st Place Release, and multiple tuna jackpots for a total purse of $164,070.00.

Top Female Angler Award went to Katie Gonsoulin, fishing with her dad Jon Gonsoulin on their 70-foot Viking, Done Deal, with two blue marlin releases for a total of 1,000 points.

Top Youth Angler Trophy, in memory of Jim Peachey, was awarded to 15-year-old Ryan Cooper, fishing with his dad Scott Cooper on their 37-foot Freeman, Triple C. Ryan had a blue marlin release, white marlin release, 1st-place wahoo (40.3 pounds) and a 33.9-pound dolphin.