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VOLUME 7 NO. 1

CONSERVATION UPDATE

WBS WORLD TOUR WORLD TOUR QUALIFIER WBS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SAILFISH KICKOFF

PLUS Caught On Tour Industry News Angler Profiles Standings & More!

JANUARY 2007


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Boat Division 2007 Viking

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American Custom Yachts

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Contender

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Motor Division 2007 MAN

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MTU

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Yamaha

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This award is presented annually to the top boat and motor manufacturing companies based on performance in over 40 plus tournaments on the WBS World Tour. The current standings are presented above.


Table of Contents

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DEPARTMENTS Publisher’s Message/Calendar Industry News Caught On The WBS World TourTM

7 8 12

TOURNAMENT TALES WBS World Tour Qualifier

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Anglers from across the globe visit paradise in Costa Rica in hopes of earning a top five qualifying spot and a shot at the Championship.

WBS World Championship

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The top six anglers in the world battle head to head for the title of World Champion of Billfishing in Los Sueños.

South Florida Sailfish Kickoff

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The WBS Southeast Division gets underway for 2007.

PROFILES WBS Anglers

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Jim Vaughan, Randy McCoy, Andy Levy

INSIDE THE WBS 2007 Standings 2007 Tournament Schedule

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FRONT COVER: Frank Rodriguez keeps a close eye on the spread aboard the Fa-La-Me during the WBS World Championship. Photo by Alaric Lambert

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Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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FROM THE WBS

It’s a brand new year of billfishing and by the initial reports from the Southeast Division, the competition is already heating up. At stake for the top tournament anglers and the top ten in each WBS division is an invitation to the WBS Grand Championships—I can’t think of a better way to end the year than heading down to Los Sueños Resort and Marina in December. Congratulations are in order for both Viking Yachts and MTU Detroit Diesel, winners of the President’s Cup in 2006. Both companies were certainly on top of their respective games when it came to fielding talented tournament teams. Each will receive their trophies during the Miami International Boat Show this February. In the divisional standings, 2006 was a banner year for tournament fishing. Past World Champion Mark Wodlinger topped the highly competitive Southeast Division, finally unseating three-time winner Peter Miller. In the Gulf, Judy Ramey brought home the divisional title to Orange Beach, Alabama thanks in part to a great showing in the Orange Beach Billfish Classic. The Caribbean Division title goes to J.D. Nichols, a constant threat in the Bahamas tournaments, while Bob Nabrzewski topped the Mid-Atlantic standings with an outstanding showing in the White Marlin Open. In the Pacific Coast Division, WBS veteran Mike Cromer took home the gold, while Costa Rican native Carlos Cambronero bested the field in the Pacific Rim Division. As a divisional winner, each angler earns the bronze Marlin trophy as well as a five-year standing invitation to attend the WBS Grand Championships. As we move into 2007, please review your membership status in the WBS Anglers Club—it’s probably time to renew your membership, and for just $25 a year you can help support tournament billfishing now and in the future. Good luck this season, —Jim Simons President and CEO, World Billfish Series

Upcoming Events February 25 - March 3 South Indian Ocean Billfish Tourn. March 4 - 10 Raiatea Int’l Billfish Tournament March 15 - 18 Los Sueños Signature Series #2 March 17 - 19 Broken Bay Invitational March 29 - April 1 Yamaha Contender Miami Tourn.

Order the WBS Tournament Calendar at www.FishWBS.com.

April 16 - 19 Bahamas White Marlin Open April 20 - 23 Presidential Challenge, Costa Rica April 22 - 27 BBC March Harbour Championship

Publisher's Message

The Official Monthly Publication of the WBS Volume 7 No. 1, January 2007

Published monthly by SportsUSA Group, Inc. Seminole Office Center 7985 113th Street N., Suite #330 Seminole, Florida 33772 phone: (727) 319-3449 • fax: (727) 319-8279 email: info@worldbillfishseries.com

PUBLISHER James R. Simons

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sam White

ART DIRECTOR Linda Fisher

DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION Jana E. Simons

BILLFISHING CONTRIBUTORS Bailey Bobbitt Heather Maxwell David A. Brown Kitty McGowan Jacqueline Caspari Jeff Merrill Peter Caspari Jim Niemiec Laurie Ciecierski Bruce Paul Bart K. Davis John E. Phillips Brenda Fletcher Walt Rhodes Greg Gawlikowski Capt. Jim Sharpe Rick Gaffney Tom Twyford Scott Kerrigan Capt. Joan Vernon Marty Locke Eric West ®

WBS OPERATIONS: PRESIDENT & CEO James R. Simons

WORLD TOUR COORDINATOR Anthony Mendillo

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR Kathryn Chappetto

SPECIAL THANKS TO: All the companies, associations and individuals who give back to the sport of billfishing so that future generations can enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Copyright © 2007, SportsUSA Group, Inc.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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Industry News

WBS WELCOMES NEW WORLD TOUR SPONSORS

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he World Billfish Series is excited to announce the addition of two new World Tour sponsors for the 2007 season. Dr. Ira Trocki, CEO of EH Yachts, LLC, knows a few things about building boats and about building boat companies. In addition to Egg Harbor, the company also produces Topaz, Davis, Predator and Revenge Yachts. Both Davis and Topaz brands will be represented on the WBS World Tour as an ongoing part of the company’s commitment to building the finest yachts in the sportfishing world. Davis Yachts range in length from 48 to 70 feet in length while Topaz Boats are built in sizes ranging from 33 to 40 feet. Each will be introducing new models in February 2007 as Davis unveils their new 52-foot Sport Fisherman in the Miami International Boat Show and Topaz releases their new 33-foot Express at the Boston Boat Show

The new Davis will feature a custom salon layout that’s designed for comfort and entertaining, with a 12-foot Ushaped sofa to port and a full-length galley/buffet with solid surface countertop to starboard. Forward, there are two full staterooms and crew quarters, with a Davis signature cathedral vaulted ceiling in the master stateroom as well as two heads with separate showers.

The 33 Topaz Express incorporates many of the most popular features found on their 40 Express, including a one-piece deck. Side vents will readily distinguish this 33 as a Topaz, while cavernous fishboxes stand ready to hold the catch of the day. She’s sure to be a leader among other models in her class. “It’s not a question of how big or how successful we want to be,” said Dr. Trocki of his long-term goals. “It’s to build the world’s finest yachts. That’s where we’re heading. We keep improving because you can’t ever stop if you want to be the best.” For more information please visit www.buddydavis.com or www.topazboats.com or call Bob Hazard at 609-965-2300. The second new World Tour sponsor is XM WX Satellite Weather. A joint development between XM Satellite Radio and meteorology experts WxWorx, XM WX uses satellite broadcast technology to supply anglers with real-time weather and sea state information, with data products that include radar, lightning, sea conditions and much more. Users can view and interact with this wealth of information on their choice of display devices like laptop computers, in-panel displays and compatible chartplotters. The service employs a powerful dual-redundant S-Band satellite

transmission that when coupled with the service’s continuous broadcast results in a data-rich signal that’s reliable and always available. With optional GPS functionality, anglers can show their own location offshore as an overlay on the high-resolution weather and sea-state data, giving them the ability to judge their proximity to approaching weather in order to plan the most productive and prudent course of action for the day’s activity.

XM WX Satellite Weather delivers worldclass weather data for world-class fishing, arming anglers with relevant weather information that will make their offshore time more productive. Systems running XM WX Satellite Weather will also be on display at several World Billfish Series events this year including the Ft. Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, White Marlin Open, Mid-Atlantic $500,000 and Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments, so participating anglers are welcome to try out this essential service for themselves. For more information, please visit www.XMWXweather.com for more on how this service can improve your days at sea.

CONSERVATION UPDATE: NO EXEMPTION FOR J-HOOKS

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he National Marine Fisheries Service has decided not to proceed with issuing exempted fishing permits during Atlantic billfish tournaments that would have allowed anglers to use traditional Jhooks in this fishery. The rule requiring circle hooks to be used by any vessel carrying a Highly Migratory Species permit in Atlantic billfish tournaments was part of the Final

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Billfishing ◆ January 2007

Consolidated Fishery Management Plan that became effective January 1, 2007. After publishing a Notice of Intent, NMFS received several public comments and applications from a number of East and Gulf Coast tournaments that would have allowed anglers to use J-hooks in order to assess and collect data on the

impact of this hook style and the use of heavy tackle on Atlantic marlin. However, after further discussion the NMFS determined that it would not issue exemptions for this fishery. For more information, please call Russ Dunn or Randy Blankinship at the Office of Sustainable Fisheries at 727-824-5313.


Industry News

PACIFIC FINS NAMES NEW DIRECTOR OF CHARTER OPERATIONS

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apt. Ron Hamlin, the current record holder for the most sailfish releases in one day, has been named the director of charter operations for Pacific Fins Resort in Guatemala. Hamlin brings over 30 years of charter fishing, sponsorship marketing and yacht management to Pacific Fins, formerly the Fins ‘n Feathers Inn. The resort is located on the Pacific coast of Guatemala and features luxury villas as well as individual suites complete with satellite television, wireless Internet access, a full gourmet restaurant and bar, pool, spa and other amenities. The property recently underwent a complete

renovation and is already begun filling up with reservations for the 2007 fishing season. Guatemala itself sits squarely atop the world’s best fishing for Pacific sailfish. The release numbers are staggering but perhaps even more impressive is the nation’s commitment to the conservation of the species, requiring the use of nonoffset circle hooks in the all-release fishery. “Capt. Ron is exactly the right person to direct our charter fishing operations,” said Pacific Fins’ U.Sbased marketing director, Rob Newton. “Over the years,

Guatemala has become synonymous with great sailfishing and Ron has been a key player in the area, not only putting up huge catch numbers but also as a leader in conservation and the use of circle hooks.” For more information on Pacific Fins Resort, please visit www.PacificFins.com or call 888-700-FINS.

COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION WINS IGFA AWARD FOR CONSERVATION

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he IGFA has named the Coastal Conservation Association as a recipient of its prestigious Conservation Award, established to honor organizations that have made significant and outstanding contributions to the cause of conservation in freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing communities. “This award is for the tens of thousands of CCA volunteers who have worked so hard over the last 30

years to advance the cause of proper marine resource conservation,” said David Cummins, CCA president. “All of them contribute their time, money and expertise because they see a need and have the ability to fill it. That sort of work has its own reward, but it’s also gratifying when a group like the IGFA recognizes those achievements.”

helped establish gamefish status for billfish and redfish, enacted net bans in four states and outlawed many destructive gear types. It’s also been recognized by fisheries managers as instrumental in the recovery of the stocks of redfish, king and Spanish mackerel, speckled trout, striped bass, Gulf grouper and Atlantic weakfish.

Among the many notable achievements in its history, the CCA has

For more information please contact Ted Venker at 800-201-FISH.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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caught on tour the place to see your face 10

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Win a new pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses! See page 15 for more on the “Caught On WBS Tour” Contest. 19

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Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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caught on tour the place to see your face 23

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Congratulations to our most recent contest winners:

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Pat Johnson—Hollywood, FL Rick Peeples—Islamorada, FL Laurie Pitalo—Biloxi, MS

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“Caught On WBS Tour” Contest

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The WBS Anglers Club member who correctly identifies the most people on pages 12, 13 and 15 by February 1, 2007 will win a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Send your entries—including photo number, names of individuals in photo, tournament name, and magazine issue— to sam@worldbillfishseries.com, fax to 727-319-8279 or mail to 7985 113th St. N, Suite 330, Seminole, FL 33772. Please include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Fax, e-mail or mail entries only. Entries will be judged on individual identification first, tournament identification second. Any ties will be decided by time and date of entry. Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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WBS Grand Championship Qualifier

ake the world’s top bluewater anglers from across the globe and pit them in a highly com petitive angler versus angler tour nament format for two days where only the top five have the opportu nity to move onto the final day of fishing—it’s the WBS World Tour Qualifier.

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By Sam White

Photos by Alaric Lambert

WORLD BILLF GRAND CHAMPIONSH

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owhere else in the world of sportfishing is there a more competitive tournament series than found during the 2006 WBS Grand Championships in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. Anglers must first prove themselves in regional competition in WBS-sanctioned tournaments in order to earn a qualifying spot in the year-ending Grand Championships. Then they’re faced with a second challenge: what became known simply as The Qualifier. Anglers would fish two per boat, against one another as well as the rest of the field, in hopes of finishing among the top five at the end of two days on the water. Only those five would have the chance to move on to compete in the World Championships where they would have a shot at the title of WBS World Champion of Billfishing.

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Los Sueños continues to top the list as one of sportfishing’s finest destinations. Few other spots in the world can match its winning combination of various luxury amenities, excellent restaurants, a world-class marina and some the planet’s best billfishing. Early December in Costa Rica is a time of transition from the windy and wet season to a time of drier and calmer air and sea conditions. This usually coincides with an uptick in the fishing—while it’s good nearly all year round in these waters, from late November through the spring is really the highlight for the offshore species, especially billfish. While visitors come to this quaint Central American nation for many different reasons, fishing certainly seems to be an important priority among those who frequent Los Sueños.

Over 30 anglers from the United States, Costa Rica and Russia turned out in Los Sueños Resort and Marina for this year’s tournament, which was filmed in its entirety by Barrett Productions for the Versus television network. Each angler qualified by either earning top angler status in a sanctioned event or by finishing among the top ten in one of the WBS worldwide divisions. Just earning a qualifying spot is a tremendous accomplishment in this highly competitive sport, but this year’s Grand Championships would take that one step further. In order for all the action to be fully captured on the water by the cameras, the field would be pared down to just the top five anglers from the Qualifier, plus the winner of the Tournament of Champions in Guatemala, for a field of six for the World Championship.

As the first day of the qualifying event kicked off under amazingly clear sunny skies, the fleet departed far and wide in search of productive waters. The anglers would have a full eight hours on the water in which to prove their mettle using non-offset circle hooks, dead bait and maximum 30pound test tackle. In addition, they would be fishing in pairs on each boat, rotating sides at the top of each hour to ensure a fair competition. The more numerous Pacific sailfish would be worth 100 points while any species of marlin would be valued at 400 points, and it would be up to the anglers to convert their strikes into hookups and hookups into releases in order to make the top five and progress on to the World Championship.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007


WBS Grand Championship Qualifier

FISH SERIES HIPS: THE QUALIFIER One of the first anglers to make a run for the top of the leaderboard was Singer Island, Florida’s Mark Wodlinger. A past World Champion (Mazatlan 2004), Mark was still bitterly disappointed from his showing in the Versus WBS Tournament of Champions nearly a month earlier in Guatemala, where the past World Champions were invited to compete for $25,000 in cash as well as an automatic qualifying bid to the World Championship in Costa Rica. During the first day of fishing, Wodlinger hooked into a sizeable blue marlin on light tackle but had to battle the pugnacious fighter for well over two hours in order to earn his 400 points for the release. In the meantime, the rest of the fleet had picked away at the sailfish, relegating the young champion to last place in the tournament. He was determined to make a better showing for himself in Costa Rica, and by the end of Day One he was leading with eight sailfish releases and 800 points fishing alongside Frank Rodriguez on the Fa-La-Me. Jim Vaughan was another angler who was on a hot streak and was poised for a run at his first World Championship. Vaughan had just come off a win in the Presidential Challenge of Central America’s Guatemala leg, so he was infinitely experienced with the Costa Rican style of fishing using light tackle, dead bait and circle hooks, and he also had the confidence required to see the tournament through to the end. Fishing aboard Jim McCord’s Priority, Vaughan also had the good fortune to connect with a blue marlin in the closing hour of Day One—combined with his three sail-

fish from earlier in the day, the successful release would give him 700 points and the second place standing. Experience is a resounding theme among this year’s tournament competitors. One of the most experienced would have to be Randall Garcia. The Costa Rican native earned Top Angler status during the first leg of the Los Sueños Signature Series earlier in the year so he was certainly one of the early favorites going into the tournament. With a successful two days on the water, he had the potential to be named the first Costa Rican World Champion of Billfishing. Pat Logue is another angler who had a great year on the World Billfish Series World Tour, having earned Top Angler status in the Sarasota HBA Pro/Am on Florida’s west coast. Pat would be fishing aboard his 74-foot Viking, First Strike, and would end the day with six sailfish released and 600 points, good for fourth place. Another Viking owner, Frank Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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WBS Grand Championship Qualifier

Rodriguez, rounded out the top five on Day One. Rodriguez also released six sailfish aboard the Fa-La-Me and would be in the running for a qualifying slot. It’s important to note that numerous other anglers in the field also had good days on the water, and with a little luck on Day Two could move into the top five. Among these were Michael Johnson (five sailfish/500 points), Ken Duell (one marlin/400 points) and the trio of Shane McMahon, Bill Pino and Bob Southard, Jr (four sailfish/400 points each). It was still anyone’s game and in waters as prolific as Costa Rica, anything could happen on Day Two. As the competition got underway the next morning, Frank Rodriguez fired the first shot with a quick sailfish release just after the call for lines in. It was clear that Frank was on a mission to make it to the final five and by concentrating on his fishing he was able to do just that. By the end of the day Rodriguez, a veteran of the Bahamas Billfish Championship series and past winner of the WBS Caribbean Division, showed just why he’s a fearsome competitor: he had moved from fifth place up to first place with another seven sailfish released. He would lead the Qualifier with 1300 points and would have a hot streak of his own going into the World Championship. Past World Champion Richard Richardson really made his presence known on Day Two of the tournament. Better known for his passion for chasing big blue marlin, Richard will be the first to say he would rather release one marlin than ten sailfish but his competitive nature and offshore experience paid off handsomely. He turned in the best oneday performance of any competitor, releasing 10 sailfish on Day Two to finish in second place with 1300 points in the Qualifier. Tournament experience continued to pay off for Mark Wodlinger as well. While not the stellar performance from Day One, Mark picked up another four releases on Day Two to finish the Qualifier in third place at 1200 points. He was the second past Champion in the field going into the World Championship and had fully redeemed himself from the disappointing finish in the Guatemala event a month earlier. Frank Rodriguez, center, led the Qualifier throughout Day Two to advance to the World Championship in first place with 1300 points.

Team Priority’s Jim Vaughan reflects on his Championship run on Day Two, hoping he would have enough points to move onto the World Championship. He would end up qualifying by just over 40 minutes.

Fourth place fell to James Kontos, fishing aboard the Let It Ride. James is perhaps better known as a freshwater trout guide in Crested Butte, Colorado but has spent many years fishing throughout the Caribbean and Central American waters as well. With five sails on Day One and six more on Day Two, Kontos moved onto the Championship with 1100 points and a steady, consistent approach to the tournament. With just one more good day at sea, the title could be his. A number of other anglers found their pace on Day Two, most notably Steve Brown (six sailfish/600 points). Several other anglers released five fish each, like Andy Levy, Andy Kontos, Chris Domel and Judy Ramey. Numbers like these had Jim Vaughan sweating bullets right down to the call for lines out. Vaughan was only able to manage another three releases to go with his Day One total and knew it would be close. But just how close? He ended up tied with Judy Ramey at 1000 points even, breaking the tie by releasing his last fish first by just over 40 minutes. By the narrowest of margins, Vaughan would advance to the top five. So the final day of fishing would see these top five joining Karl Knudsen, the affable Carolina barrister and winner of the Guatemala Tournament of Champions, for a shot at the title of World Champion and the keys to a new Mercedes automobile. Three of the six were past World Champions (Richardson, Wodlinger and Knudsen), while the other three (Kontos, Rodriguez and Vaughan) were each hungry for their first title. The anglers collectively represented the states of Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Colorado, and each had vast years of experience in tournament competition so the race for the Championship would be a full sprint to the finish. And once again the fishery off Los Sueños shone through—in two days of competition, the gathered anglers had released 190 billfish. Each competitor had the opportunity to release at least one of these magnificent speedsters on light tackle and would return to their homes with memories of intense competition, flat-calm seas and world-class fishing.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

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WBS World Championship

The Grand Finale By Sam White

Photos by: Alaric Lambert

The WBS World Championship. One day. Six qualified anglers. The title of World Champion of Billfishing on the line, and eight hours of competition to determine the winner.

T

he WBS World Championship was the culmination of this year’s Grand Championship series. The first leg, the Versus WBS Tournament of Champions, kicked off the competition in Guatemala in November, where five past World Champions battled it out for a cash prize of $25,000 as well as an automatic invitation to the World Championship, to be held in December in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. The second phase of the Grand Championships, the WBS World Tour Qualifier, hosted anglers from across the globe, each vying for a top five finish in that event in order to move on to the World Championship. Those top five anglers would join Karl Knudsen, the winner of the Tournament of Champions, in a one-day shootout to determine this year’s World Champion of Billfishing. In addition to receiving a lifetime invitation to future Championship events, the World Champion would also

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Billfishing ◆ January 2007

take home the keys to a new Mercedes automobile as well as the Grander Marlin bronze trophy by marine artist Geoffrey Smith and the signature gold Champion’s ring. Let’s briefly recap the qualified field. Knudsen, a past Champion from 1998, was automatically qualified from his earlier victory in Guatemala. The North Carolinian chose to make the most of his time in Costa Rica, choosing to visit the rainforest and spend time relaxing instead of prefishing for the tournament. Would he be well-rested for the final day or would the nerves overtake his abilities to successfully convert his billfish strikes into releases? Karl had chartered the popular local boat Spanish Fly for the tournament so with a good crew on his side, the angling responsibilities would fall squarely on his shoulders.


WBS World Championship

Frank Rodriguez, winner of the WBS Caribbean Division in 2005, posted the highest point total during the two-day World Tour Qualifier, and was definitely in the tournament’s pole position. Rodriguez was fishing aboard his 65 Viking, Fa-LaMe, and had been fishing hard in the waters off Los Sueños for several days prior to the tournament so he was also dialed in to the local fishing conditions. But would his hot hand last for just one more day? Richard Richardson, representing his home port of Houston, Texas is better known for his passion for chasing the world’s biggest blue marlin. A maverick of the sport, his deeply competitive nature compelled him to join the gathered anglers in Costa Rica for this year’s Championship event. A past World Champion from 1995, he posted the best single-day performance of any angler during the World Tour Qualifier, releasing ten sailfish on Day Two to finish in a close second place behind Rodriguez for a qualifying slot in the finals. Another past World Champion, Floridian Mark Wodlinger also put together a winning strategy during the Qualifier to make it to the final dance. Determined to improve his showing from the Tournament of Champions in Guatemala, Mark found his groove over the past few days of competition to finish in third place in the Qualifier. As the youngest WBS Champion, he also had the stamina and energy of youth to see him through the next eight hours of competition. James Kontos was perhaps the most consistent angler during the Qualifier, turning in two solid and steady days on the water to find him in fourth place. A resident of Crested Butte, Colorado, James spends his time guiding clients to freshwater species on the flyrod but is equally at home in the deep blue seas off Costa Rica fishing aboard the Let It Ride. Despite his youth, James had the competitive experience necessary to top the field.

As the six boats carrying their six anglers departed the Los Sueños Marina at 7 a.m, the fleet once again spread out far and wide in search of productive waters. While most boats would begin fishing where they left off from the day before, others would take a gamble on the outside chance of finding the mother lode of actively feeding billfish. As all boats were required to call in their releases via VHF radio to Tournament Control at Los Sueños, it was clear from the silence that the morning bite was indeed slow. Several fish had been seen but either were not in a biting mood or had been lost by the anglers, including a blue marlin for Karl Knudsen right off the bat. But this is a field with decades of billfishing experience among them—each knew that the winning fish can be right around the corner. Mark Wodlinger finally broke the radio silence with a sailfish release on the Hattaboy. Since Mark had fished alongside Frank Rodriguez on the Fa-La-Me during the Qualifier, and both had earned top-five spots in the Championship, Wodlinger had shifted over to Tim Smith’s beautiful 65 Hatteras for the final day. Obviously, fishing with a different crew didn’t have much effect on Mark since he was able to convert the first fish of the Championship into 100 points. “I really took my time with that one just to make sure I got on the board,” he said. “The first ones are always important.” By the 10 o’clock update, he was alone on the leaderboard. One thing that keeps fishermen of any kind coming back to the sport is the inherent unpredictability of the intended quarry. Whether it’s a largemouth bass in a farmer’s pond or a thousand-pound marlin, success in sportfishing sometimes depends on whether or not the fish are biting. By mid-morning it was clear that the fleet had not yet located a sizable group of billfish that were in a feeding mood.

Rounding out the field of six by the narrowest of margins was angler Jim Vaughan. Having recently emerged victorious in the Presidential Challenge’s Guatemala leg as Top Angler, Jim is intimately familiar with the Costa Rican style of billfishing using dead bait, light tackle and circle hooks. A timely marlin release on Day One of the Qualifier helped boost his point total and although he was able to release just three sailfish on Day Two, it was enough to earn him a qualifying spot based on the time of release of his last fish (just over 40 minutes ahead of Judy Ramey, who had tied Vaughan at 1000 points but dropped back to sixth place based on the time of release). As the Qualifier scores were reset to zero for the World Championship, each angler would start with a clean slate. Another format change placed each angler on individual boats fishing solo, with the Barrett Production cameras assigned to capture all the action in high definition for broadcast on the Versus Television Network. Operating alone in the cockpit would prove challenging as these anglers were now responsible for up to three lines and four teasers in the water at one time—they would have the opportunity to hook, fight and release multiple fish if the occasion arose by picking up and replacing rods in the holders but the decision would be theirs to make on a case-by-case basis. An overly-aggressive angler that chose to fight multiples could easily lose those billfish just as easily, while a more cautious single-fish approach could mean lost scoring opportunities as other anglers racked up the points in a hurry. This strategy would play a vital role in determining the winner.

Pacific sailfish were plentiful during the Grand Championships week.

Karl Knudsen finally got on the leaderboard a little after eleven o’clock. After missing an opportunity on a blue marlin first thing in the morning, he was rewarded with a pair of hungry sails behind his boat. Using the experience he had gained in Guatemala, he chose to capitalize on the opportunity and elected to fight both fish simultaneously. An angler of lesser skill would most likely wound up with a tangled web of monofilament line of unimaginable proportions but Karl was able to successfully fight both fish to release under the tournament rules, adding 200 points to his side of the ledger. “With the fishing as slow as it had been all morning, it seemed like the right call to make when those two sailfish came up behind the boat,” he said. “I felt like I had the opportunity so I took advantage of it and luckily it worked out well.” Billfishing ◆ January 2007

25


WBS World Championship

Just 20 minutes later, Karl was able to bait and release his third sail, with a fourth coming just ten minutes later. Mark Wodlinger responded with a release of his own at six minutes until noon, only to have Karl come right back with yet another release. By the twelve o’clock update the tournament had reached the halfway point: Karl was in the lead with five sailfish released and 500 points, while Mark would be in second with two releases and 200 points. The rest of the fleet was silent but that would soon change as the afternoon bite got underway. Of all the competitors in the tournament, Frank Rodriguez knew full well the importance of staying alert. A veteran of the Bahamas Billfish Championship series, he knew that the winning fish could suddenly appear in the spread at any time and while the constant droning of diesel engines and lack of action can dull the senses he didn’t fall prey to the inactivity. His first successful release occurred at a quarter past twelve, and team Fa-La-Me was on the board. Despite switching boats, Wodlinger seemed to be in good shape over on the Hattaboy, getting yet another release by 12:30. Mark was the only angler to release a blue marlin during the Versus WBS Tournament of Champions and those thoughts kept coming back to him now. “By this point Karl only had 500 points so if anyone caught a marlin and gained 400 points in a hurry, it would put them in the hunt—or in the lead,” he said.

Mark Wodlinger moved into second place in the World Championship with this sailfish release aboard Tim Smith’s Hattaboy.

his 400 points first and would move into the tournament’s third place spot ahead of Frank. Rebounding well from his disappointing Guatemala finish, Mark Wodlinger found himself firmly entrenched in second place for the day. This left Karl Knudsen as the lone angler left atop the leaderboard, having led nearly the entire event after his doubleheader of sailfish. His fellow competitors gathered back at the Los Sueños Marina docks for a ceremonial champagne shower as his victory was announced. “This is probably the pinnacle of my angling career,” he said. “It was pretty special for me to win my first World Championship but to repeat that feat against such a competitive group of anglers is something I never would have thought possible.” And to the victor go the spoils—in this instance, a new Mercedes C-230 automobile, the Grander Marlin trophy, gold Champion’s ring and the title of World Champion of Billfishing.

Bob Del Vecchio was this year’s recipent of the WBS Ambassador’s Award for his efforts in promoting the sport of tournament billfishing.

At the top of the one o’clock hour it seemed that Mark Wodlinger and Frank Rodriguez were chasing the leader, Karl Knudsen, across the Pacific for the tournament lead. Frank now had two, Mark three and Karl six. With a marlin release worth 400 points it was still far from a runaway at this point. Over the course of the next two hours, both Mark and Karl would add two more sailfish releases to their totals while the rest of the fleet remained uncharacteristically silent. At this point everyone’s fingers were crossed in hopes of seeing the elongated shape of a marlin appear behind the baits but it would be Jim Vaughan’s prayers that were answered when he hooked up with a small, acrobatic blue just after 3 p.m. aboard the Priority. With some aggressive angling and boat maneuvering, he was able to release the fish in relatively short order to add 400 valuable points to the scoreboard. Four minutes later, Frank Rodriguez added his third sailfish and was able to release his fourth as the final minutes of the tournament wound down. However, Jim Vaughan had earned

Karl Knudsen hoisted the Grander Marlin trophy at the awards presentation, marking his second World Champion of Billfishing title.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

27


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South Florida Sailfish Kickoff

High Seas and Big Bucks At the Sailfish Kickoff Story By Bart K. Davis Photos By Greg Gawlikowski Somewhere amid the turbulent swells of the Atlantic Ocean there lurks a sailfish worth a cool million dollars. This special spindlebeak was tagged by the tournament staff in November—any team fortunate enough to recapture the fish

during either the Florida Yachts International Sailfish Kickoff or the Miami Mayor’s Cup would be eligible for the prize. As if that wasn’t enough incentive to compete in this year’s Kickoff, there was also an additional tournament purse of $235,000 on the line as well. Prospective millionaires-in-waiting lined up to register for this event, the first leg of the Dewar’s 12 Billfish

Clockwise from above: The L&H prepares to check out at the start of the tournament on Day Two. The team won the event with a very consistent two days of sailfishing off south Florida. The high winds and seas forecasted for this year’s Sailfish Kickoff didn’t have much effect on the bigger boats in the tournament. Awaiting the official checkout to begin, this new Contender 33 is framed against a beautiful South Beach sunrise.

30

Billfishing ◆ January 2007


South Florida Sailfish Kickoff

Championship Series, each hoping their luck would see them through the fun-filled weekend. Despite this being one of the newest events on the south Florida sailfish circuit, it’s quickly become one of the most popular thanks to the efforts of tournament director Tony Albelo. His secret to a great tournament? Making sure all the participants have a great time, of course. The kickoff party welcomed 77 of the region’s top teams amid plenty of Dewar’s 12 and other beverages as Albelo and tournament emcee Capt. Dan Kipnis reviewed the rules.

occurred during this year’s Kickoff, as the winds went past howling and straight to tempestuous. The 25-knot plus winds forecast for the weekend had everyone on edge, and when the updated forecast called for gale force gusts the tournament staff elected to offer any team a full refund of their entry fee, a move that’s unusual in competitive fishing (most directors will offer the team an entry into the following year’s tournament in lieu of a refund). However, of the 77 teams signed up to compete, just one took up Albelo’s offer of a refund, and they happened to be the smallest boat in the fleet. The rest decided to stick it out and fish. In the interest of safety, the tournament staff decided upon a format change that would place the participants at reduced risk—the first day would be delayed by three hours but the afternoon fishing time would be extended by one hour, giving the seas a chance to subside. The final day’s fishing on Sunday would remain on the same terms. Once the decision was made to alter the tournament format, the phone calls began—within a short time, every single team in the fleet had been contacted, in itself an incredible feat of organization. All competitors agreed with the changes and applauded the modifications that would allow them to get in two days of fishing without canceling the event entirely. The game was on!

Sailfishing in south Florida is at its best when the winds whip up the seas into a frothing mass, confusing the baitfish and drawing the sails to the surface in a feeding frenzy. It also makes it much easier to deploy the standard spread of live baits, usually a combination of goggle-eyes, pilchards and threadfins, from kites flown high above the water in order to keep the baits suspended in the near-surface strike zone. Calm winds and no current usually spell disaster, or at least tough fishing conditions. However, the opposite

The late start on Day One also gave the participants a little longer to enjoy the pre-tournament festivities so there were more than a few long faces at the docks once things were ready to officially get underway. Apparently the sailfish didn’t seem to mind the weather, as the fleet went on to release 147 despite the shortened day (that’s still an average of nearly two sails per boat). As the teams returned to the Miami Beach Marina in order to drop off their scorecards and weigh in any gamefish caught during the day, it was clear that the fishing had been good despite the high seas and gusty winds. The Gilligan’s Revenge, a 35foot SeaHunter center console powered by Mercury Verado outboards, nabbed the tournament’s early lead with eight sailfish releases, while the L&H, a 46 Hatteras, was hot on their transom with eight as well. Chip Sheehan’s Chip’s Ahoy, a new Yamaha-powered Contender 33, turned in seven releases, while many other boats scored a half-dozen during the day. Tales of fish caught and lost echoed up and down the docks at the marina as the crews cleaned up their gear and prepared for one more day of competition in the waters of southern Florida’s Sailfish Alley.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

31


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South Florida Sailfish Kickoff

As Day Two progressed along, it was clear that the Davids on the L&H were on fire as a team. Bennett, Freddie, James and Debbi David, along with Bob Tesher, combined to produce another six releases on the second day for a two-day combined total of 14 releases, securing the top spot in the tournament. In addition, Debbi David held down not only the Top Lady Angler spot but the Top Overall Angler with nine releases, earning her an automatic three-year standing invitation to attend the World Billfish Series Grand Championships—this year’s event is slated for December 5-8 in Los Sueños, Costa Rica. The real story of the tournament however belonged to the No Mercy team. Captained by Steve Cunningham, the No Mercy blanked on Day One, zero releases, but went on to post 12 releases on Day Two in a stellar performance that vaulted them into second place in the tournament. Angler Rick Arnold posted seven releases himself to wind up in second place in the individual angler standings, gaining valuable points in the WBS Southeast Division toward a qualifying slot in the Grand Championships as well. Teammate Mike Causley added three releases while WBS veteran Rob Ruwitch managed another two. No Mercy, indeed. Another Southeast Division threat, Chip Sheehan and the Chips Ahoy held onto third place for the tournament, also finishing with 12 releases based on time. Anglers Chris Lemieux and Mike Risely had four each while Sheehan added two releases and JT Sheehan and Leyna Owen had one apiece. The Gilligan’s Revenge slipped off the pace they set from Day One, catching only three sails on Day Two to slide back into fourth place with eleven. Their top angler, Carlos Martinez, finished third in the angler standings with seven releases overall.

Capt. Steve Cunningham, second from left, led the No Mercy team to a second place finish in the tournament despite turning in a Day One goose egg. They finished the event with 12 releases.

The Chips Ahoy, with Chip Sheehan at the helm, had another good tournament showing. They placed third in this year’s Sailfish Kickoff with 12 releases, falling just short of second place based on time of release.

The competition among the Amateur division was equally as stiff, as the Fish Pig caught seven of their eight sailfish releases on the final day to move into the lead. The Fish Pig is a 29-foot SeaVee. The Quadzilla finished second in the amateur ranks with five releases, followed by the Dream Team in third, also with five releases. No one was able to locate that million-dollar sailfish during the tournament but everyone will have another chance during the Miami Mayor’s Cup as the Dewar’s 12 Billfish Championship Series rolls on toward its conclusion. For more information head over to their website at www.mayorscuptournament.com.

The Davids and team L&H were victorious, racking up an impressive two-day total of 14 sailfish releases to take home First Place honors. In addition, Debbi David was the tournament’s Top Angler and Top Lady Angler with nine releases, automatically qualifying her for a chance to compete in the 2007 WBS Grand Championships in Costa Rica this December. Billfishing ◆ January 2007

33


Jim Vaughan Profile

Tournament Awards 2006 3rd Place Angler: World Billfish Series World Championship, Costa Rica Overall Champion/Master Angler: Presidential Challenge of Central America Series Top Angler: Presidential Challenge, Guatemala Leg Top Angler: Presidential Challenge, Costa Rica 2005 Overall Champion/Master Angler: Presidential Challenge of Central America Series 3rd Place Angler: Presidential Challenge, Costa Rica Leg Favorite Billfishing Location: “My favorite would have to be south Florida in the winter. It’s an addictive fishery. Twenty-five knot winds, sailfish everywhere, double-digit release days if you can get out of the inlet—I always say that if you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough. This type of fishing can be hazardous to your health.” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: “For fun I really like the Gulf of Mexico in the summertime. Billfish, dolphin, wahoo, tuna, kingfish, cobia, snapper, just about anything you want to fish for is there. It’s also a great place to turn on firsttimers to offshore fishing.” Other Interests: “Gator hunting, bow hunting, diving and flying.”

I

started tournament fishing in south Florida in the early 80s, but only fished a few tournaments a year in the 90s when I was building my business. I really got back into it starting in 2000 where I fished in eight to ten events a year up until the last few years where I’ve been averaging 10 to 15 tournaments a year.” “My most memorable day fishing was when I was 12 years old. My Dad and I were fishing off the Houston ship channel in Galveston Bay— we caught 52 big speckled trout, ten pounds plus each, which is unheard of today. I think my Dad is still looking for that school of fish today!” “In preparing for tournaments, I rely heavily on prefishing. I try to get a handle on what’s going on with the current patterns and the bait schools. I respool all the reels and try to have all the tackle at 100 percent, then I make sure everything else I have any control over is ready: boat maintenance, a good supply of great-looking bait, whatever else we need. Then I save lots of change to throw to the ‘fish gods’ so they can do the rest.”

Occupation: ”Aquatic weed harvesting. My company cleans lakes and rivers throughout Florida using large aquatic weed barges.” Favorite Fish Story: “My favorite fish story is when my father and I were fishing in Guatemala. We went three for five on blue marlin and released 16 sailfish. It was exciting to see that at 75 years old my Dad could still reel in ‘the big one!”

The Priority streaks past the camera boat heading offshore during the WBS Grand Championships in Costa Rica. Vaughan ended up his Championship bid in third place. Billfishing ◆ January 2007

35


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Randy McCoy Profile

Tournament Awards 2006 1st Place: Bahamas White Marlin Open, Treasure Cay 2005 2nd Place: Bahamas White Marlin Open, Treasure Cay 3rd Place: Bahamas Billfish Championship, Spanish Cay Leg 2003 1st Place: Caicos Cup, Turks and Caicos Favorite Billfishing Location: “My favorite location for strictly billfishing would have to be Venezuela. That’s where we caught three blues and four white marlin in one day offshore. I enjoy marlin fishing and for numbers and variety, Venezuela is the place to go.” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: “The Turks and Caicos. There’s a wide variety of species to catch and the islands are just a beautiful place to spend some time.” Other Interests: ”Big game hunting, flying and golf.” Occupation: “Business and real estate investments keep me busy when I’m not fishing.”

I

started tournament fishing in 1998 and probably fish in five to eight tournaments per year. The competition of offshore fishing is why I started in the first place— I really enjoy it.” “My most memorable day on the water would be when we released four white marlin and three blue marlin on a trip to Venezuela. That was a pretty spectacular day of billfishing although we’ve also had some good days here at home.”

Favorite Fish Story: “We have lots of favorite fish stories but one that keeps coming back to me is the time where I was spooled by a blue marlin off Treasure Cay during a tournament. I fought the fish for over an hour and a half. The crew estimated that the fish weighed over 900 pounds so I guess it falls in the ‘one that got away’ category.”

“When it comes to tournament preparation, I leave those details to the crew since it’s their responsibility and area of expertise. I let them have the latitude to do their jobs correctly.” “The future of sportfishing is bright as long as we can keep commercial regulations in force to ensure the continued improvement of billfish stocks.”

Randy and the Reel McCoy team topped the standings in the Bahamas White Marlin Open in 2006 and won second place in that event in 2005.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

37


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Andy Levy Profile

Tournament Awards 2006 2nd Place Angler: White Marlin Open, MD 9th Place Boat: White Marlin Open, MD 1998 Most Points White Marlin: South Jersey Offshore Open, NJ 1997 Grand Champion: South Jersey Offshore Open, NJ Most Points White Marlin: South Jersey Offshore Open, NJ Favorite Billfishing Location: ”Without a doubt my favorite would have to be Venezuela for both the variety and numbers of billfish there. It’s just an incredible fishery and your chances of a grand slam are better there than just about anywhere else in the world.” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: ”My favorite place to fun fish would be the canyons off the Northeast. You just never know what your next bite will be, day or night.” Other Interests: ”Since work and fishing take up all my time I don’t really have any other interests.” Occupation: ”I work as a mechanic in my family’s automotive repair shop.”

I

started fishing tournaments with my Dad when I was 11 and since then we have fished three to five tournaments a year. I really enjoy the competition and was fortunate enough to qualify for the World Billfish Series Grand Championships this year.”

Favorite Fish Story: “When I was 15, we were out in the canyons fishing overnight. Around 2 a.m, I was the only person awake and ended up catching a 157-pound yellowfin tuna solo. That’s the one I remember the most.”

“My most memorable day on the water was when I caught my first white marlin. I was 12 years old and was so excited that I almost jumped out of the boat.” “When it comes time to get ready for a tournament, we spend a lot of time watching eddy movements and local fishing reports in order to try and determine where the best water will be by the first fishing day. We also respool every reel, check our drags, make new leaders and try to find the best baits to pull. We believe that if you’re prepared when a winning fish comes along then you have a much better shot at making good things happen instead of leaving a lot of the other variables up to chance or luck.” Andy gets in on the action in the Sea Splendour cockpit, wiring this hot marlin just prior to a successful release.

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

39


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BROKERAGE The Riviera brand is represented from Palm Beach to the Carolinas


FT LAUDERDALE 1-888-876-0792

N PALM BEACH 1-800-318-7817

PALM BEACH 1-800-503-8609 STUART 1-866-450-7425

JACKSONVILLE 1-866-353-8016

CHARLESTON 1-866-380-8585

“AQUAHOLIC” 68’ 2000 BUDDY DAVIS SF 3 stateroom/3 head layout, 1,400 original, 1-owner hrs., 40 knots w/16V2000s, new Merritt deck ‘06, tower, FASTIDIOUSLY MAINTAINED!

AT OUR DOCKS

AT OUR DOCKS

“DEELARRYUS” 63’ PAUL MANN CONV. 1300hp MANs, beautiful cherry int., 42” plasma tv in main salon, redundant systems throughout, awlgripped engine room, PRISTINE CONDITION!

hmy.com © BoatPix.com

“BOOMER” 76’ 2005 WHITICAR SF 16V2000s, navy blue hull, 4 stateroom/5 head/ galley-up layout, cockpit mezzanine, COMPLETELY LOADED WITH ALL THE BEST!

“ON GUARD” 60’ 2000 RYBOVICH SF 12V2000 MTUs w/low hours, tower, three staterooms, METICULOUSLY MAINTAINED! AN ABSOLUTE MUST SEE FOR ANY CUSTOM BOAT BUYER!

“FONDANA” 56’ 1968 RYBOVICH SF COMPLETELY REFIT & RESTORED AS NEW! Powered with 8V2000s, twin gens., chipper, watermaker. FLAWLESS THROUGHOUT!

“BLUE MAX” 55’ 1991 WHITICAR ENCL. BRIDGE SF 1000hp MANs recently majored, great electronics, many recent updates, Whiticar quality! SERIOUS SELLER MOVING UP!

“OUTTA HERE II” 53’ 1979 MONTEREY SF Fresh tower, tanks, decks, electronics. Low, low hours! Just completed new interior refit. Great layout & very economical cruise!

“MALAMAR” 53’ 2001 BLACKWELL EXPRESS 1300hp MANs w/266 original hrs, 40 knot boat, tower, Furuno & maptech electronics w/3 VEI screens, a/c helm deck, teak pod, chipper & watermaker, sleeps 4.

“GREGARIOUS TOO” 47’ 2002 BUDDY DAVIS EXP. 825hp Series 60 Detroits, teak & holly flooring throughout, 12.5kw Westerbeke gen. MINT CONDITION! READY TO FISH!

“ADIOS” 40’ 2000 GAMEFISHERMAN 450hp Cummins, generator, tower, excellent electronics, custom refrigeration and A/C system. RIGGED & READY TO SELL! Located in Costa Rica. Also a 34’ 2003 GAMEFISHERMAN available, call!

“INTENSITY” 40’ 2004 RITCHIE HOWELL EXP. C-12 CATs, cold molded hull, prop pockets, Furuno NavNets, TwinDisc transmissions, tuna tower & more! READY TO FISH!

AT OUR DOCKS

AT OUR DOCKS

HMY IS YOUR PRE-OWNED CABO CONNECTION!

HMY IS YOUR PRE-OWNED CABO CONNECTION!

AT OUR DOCKS

“THALLYHOO” 64’ 2007 VIKING SF Only 150 hours on CATs, $250K AME pkg., Palm Beach tower, mezzanine & more! DON’T DELAY! WILL NOT LAST!

“RELENTLESS” 52’ 2005 VIKING CONV. Custom yellow hull, 500 original hrs., watermaker, Eskimo, fabulous electronics and decor! BETTER THAN NEW! Also available: “PATTY ANN” 52’ 2003 VIKING CONV. Low hrs. on 1300hp MANs.

“OSPREY” 40’ 2005 CABO FLYBRIDGE Low hour 700hp C-12 CATs, upgraded 12.6kw genset, great electronics package, & more!

“EVA MARIE” 48’ 2005 CABO SF C-18 CATs w/400 hrs., incredible state-of-theart entertainment center w/plasma tv. RIGGED WITHOUT COMPROMISE BY AN AVID FISHERMAN! LIKE NEW!

BROKERAGE The Riviera brand is represented from Palm Beach to the Carolinas


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2007 WBS WORLD TOUR SPONSORS

T

48

Billfishing ◆ January 2007

he following companies proudly support the World Billfish Series and the sport of billfishing as sponsors of the 2007 WBS World Tour.

Bacardi USA 2100 Biscayne Blvd. Marketer of fine spirits, including Miami, FL 33137-5028 the world’s number one rum.

Phone: 305-573-8511 www.bacardi.com

Bertram Yacht, Inc. Builder of sportfishing boats from 39 to 67 feet.

3663 NW 21st St. Miami, FL 33142

Contact: Kari Webber Phone: 305-633-8011 www.bertram.com

Contender Builder of sportfishing boats from 21 to 36 feet.

1820 Southeast 38th Avenue Homestead, Florida 33035

Contact: Marty Bistrong Phone: 305-230-1600 www.contender.com

Costa Del Mar Manufacturer of premium performance sunglasses.

123 N. Orchard St., Building 6 Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Contact: Nicole Miller Phone: 386-677-3700 www.costadelmar.com

Davis Yachts The most beautiful ride on the ocean.

P.O. Box 702 Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Contact: Bob Hazard Phone: 609-965-2300 www.buddydavis.com

El Cid Av. Camaron Sabalo S/N One of Mexico’s finest resort des- PO Box 183 tinations. Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico 82110

Contact: Geronimo Cevallos Phone: 011-52-669-916-3468 www.elcid.com

Fountain Powerboats Builder of high-performance sport and fishing boats.

PO Drawer 457 Washington, NC 27889

Contact: Clayton Kirby Phone: 904-838-3230 www.fountainpowerboats.com

Los Sueños Resort and Marina Costa Rica’s premier resort and marina.

PO Box 25635 Miami, FL 33102-5635

Contact: Ashley Bretecher Phone: 866-865-9759 www.lossuenosresort.com

Lowrance Electronics, Inc. Manufacturer of sonar, GPS and chartplotting equipment.

12000 E. Skelly Dr. Tulsa, OK 74128-2486

Contact: Dave Ittner Phone: 918-437-6881 www.lowrance.com

Mercury Marine Manufacturer of boat engines, propellers and racing products.

PO Box 1939 Fond du Lac, WI 54936

Phone: 920-929-5040 www.mercurymarine.com

MTU Detroit Diesel The leading name in marine power.

13400 Outer Drive West Detroit, MI 48239-4001

Phone: 313-592-7000 www.mtu-online.com

Release Marine Manufacturers of custom fighting chairs and accessories.

2100 Roger Lacy Ave. Savannah, Georgia 31415

Contact: Jimmy Dewberry Phone: 800-603-4448 www.releasemarine.com

Sperry Top-Sider, Inc. The leading brand of footwear for those who love the water.

191 Spring Street Lexington, MA 02420-9191

Phone: 617-824-6000 www.sperrytopsider.com

Underwater Lights USA, LLC 277 SW 33rd Court Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315 Underwater lighting & camera equipment as well as deck lights.

Phone: 954-760-4447 www.underwaterlightsusa.com

Topaz Building legends, one boat at a time.

P.O. Box 702 Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215

Contact: Bob Hazard Phone: 609-965-2300 www.topazboats.com

Versus Home of the finest in field sports programming.

Two Stamford Plaza 281 Tresser Boulevard Stamford, CT 06901

Contact: Greg Trager Phone: 203-406-2500 www.versus.tv

Viking Yachts Sportfishing boats from 45 to 74 feet.

Route 9, “On the Bass River” New Gretna, NJ 08224

Contact: Peter Frederiksen Phone: 609-296-6000 www.vikingyachts.com

XMWX The leader in mobile weather display software and receivers.

430 Research Drive Huntsville, AL 35805

Phone: 800-985-9200 www.wxworx.com

Yamaha Motor Corp. Manufacturer of two- and fourstroke outboard engines.

1270 Chastain Rd. Kennesaw, GA 30144

Contact: Mike Dixon Phone: 770-420-5700 www.yamaha-motor.com


2007 WORLD TOUR STANDINGS

800 200 725 350 275 575 575 275 500 0 125 0 0 125 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 0

0 575 0 350 350 0 0 350 0 500 350 425 425 275 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 350

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TO

TA L

IS LA M O RA DA M IA M TO I UR SW N OR AM D EN FIS T H

KI CK CH O EE FF CA LO DG BU E CC AN EE R SI CU LV P ER DE SA M RB ILFI IA Y SH CU MI P MA YO Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122; FT S .L AU DE RD CA PT AL E LE AIN W IS BO B YC M BT

BOAT NAME Fish Pig Get Lit L&H Contender One Wound Up No Mercy Gilligans Revenge Morning Dance Vitamin Sea Too Sweet Release Miss Britt Yabba Dabba Doo Caribee Double D Reely Tight Wound Up Qualifier Chips Ahoy Gilligans Revenge Hook and Tackle Top Vee Contender One Chips Ahoy Gotcha

ADDITIONAL PARTICIPATION POINTS

ANGLER James Quinn Kitt Toomey Debbi David Wayne Savage Warren Sands Rick Arnold Carlos Martinez Bob Brockway Tim Maddoch Joseph Kraegy Bill Danko Robert Richardson Fulton Ivy Freddie David Vince Austin Roy Huff Trey Claus Chris Lemieux Alex Bienes Mike Simpson Ariel Pared Bill Cordes Mike Risely Jeffrey Deis

SA IL FI SH

S O U T H E A ST D I V I S I O N

800 775 725 700 625 575 575 575 500 500 475 425 425 400 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350 350


2 0 0 7 WO R L D TO U R S C H E D U L E TOURNAMENTS BY DIVISION

2 0 0 7

W O R L D

MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION Charleston Harbor Billfish Tournament, 6/27 – 6/30 N.C. Ducks Unlimited Band the Billfish, 7/26 – 7/28 White Marlin Open, 8/6 – 8/10 Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament, 8/13 – 8/17 Mid-Atlantic $500,000, 8/19 – 8/24

NOV 30 - DEC 3, 2006 Miami, Florida South Florida Sailfish Kickoff Anthony Albelo (305) 461-2700

MARCH 15 - 18 Playa Herradura, Costa Rica Los Sueños Signature Series - #2 Ashley Bretecher abretecher@lossuenosresort.com

JANUARY 3 - 6 Palm Beach, Florida Silver Sailfish Derby Tom Twyford (561) 832-6780

MARCH 18 - 19 New South Wales, Australia Broken Bay Game Fishing Club Craig Findlay cfindlay@sge.com

JANUARY 16 - 20 Palm Beach Shores, Florida Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Release Gary Caputi caputifish@comcast.net

MAR 29 - APRIL 1 Miami, Florida Yamaha Contender Miami Judy Layne (305) 598-2525

JANUARY 18 - 20 Islamorada, Florida Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Liz Hill (305) 451-5094

APRIL 16 - 19 Boat Harbour, Bahamas Bahamas White Marlin Open Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

JANUARY 18 - 21 Playa Herradura, Costa Rica Los Sueños Signature Series - #I Ashley Bretecher abretecher@lossuenosresort.com

APRIL 20 - 23 Guanamar, Costa Rica Riviera Presidential Challenge Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JANUARY 25 - 28 Miami, Florida Miami Mayor’s Cup Anthony Albelo (305) 461-2700

APRIL 22 - 27 Boat Harbour, Bahamas BBC Marsh Harbour Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

FEBRUARY 7 - 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tourn. Kitty McGowan (954) 523-1004

MAY 2 - 5 Marsh Harbour, Bahamas MarineMax/Hatteras Billfish Invt'l Jessica Chavez (954) 618-0440 ext. 10634

FEB 25 - MARCH 3 Black River, Mauritius South Indian Ocean Billfish Tourn. JP de Ravel 011-230-483-6528

MAY 6 - 11 Eleuthera, Bahamas BBC Harbour Island Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

MARCH 1 - 4 Miami, Florida Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge Capt. Ernie Portuondo (305) 259-7273

MAY 20 - 25 Treasure Cay, Bahamas BBC Central Abaco Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

MARCH 4 - 10 Raiatea, Tahiti, French Polynesia Raiatea Int’l Billfish Tournament Dominique Goche 011-689-60-05-45

MAY 25 - 28 Orange Beach, Alabama Mobile BGFC Memorial Day Roger Setzler (251) 342-5326

SOUTHEAST DIVISION South Florida Sailfish Kickoff, 11/30 – 12/3 (2006) Silver Sailfish Derby, 1/3 – 1/6 Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Release Tourn., 1/16 – 1/20 Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tourn., 1/18 – 1/20 Miami Mayor’s Cup, 1/25 – 1/28 Ft. Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, 2/7 – 2/11 Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge, 3/1 – 3/4 Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tourn., 3/29 – 4/1 Islamorada Swordfish Tournament, 8/24 – 8/26 Miami Swordfish Tournament, 9/27 – 9/30

GULF COAST DIVISION Mobile BGFC Memorial Day Tournament, 5/25 – 5/28 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, 6/6 – 6/10 New Orleans Invt’l Billfish Tournament, 6/13 – 6/17 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, 6/19 – 6/24 Pensacola Int’l Billfish Tournament, 6/28 – 7/1 Bay Point Billfish Invitational, 7/11 – 7/15 Orange Beach Billfish Classic, 8/1 – 8/5 Sarasota HBA/MarineMax Billfish Pro-Am, 8/8 – 8/11 Old Salt Loop Tournament, 8/15 – 8/19

CARIBBEAN DIVISION Bahamas White Marlin Open, 4/16 – 4/19 BBC Marsh Harbour Championship, 4/22 – 4/27 MarineMax/Hatteras Billfish Invt'l, 5/2 – 5/5 BBC Harbour Island Championship, 5/6 – 5/11 BBC Central Abaco Championship, 5/20 – 5/25 Boat Harbour Billfish Blast, 5/28 – 6/1 BBC Treasure Cay Championship, 6/3 – 6/8 BBC Boat Harbour Championship, 6/17 – 6/22 Int’l Billfish Tournament of San Juan, 8/16 – 8/22 U.S.V.I. Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tourn., 8/25 – 8/29 Presidential Caribbean Cup-Venezuela, 10/11 – 10/14

PACIFIC DIVISION Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series - Tourn. I, 1/18 – 1/21 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series - Tourn. II, 3/15 – 3/18 Presidential Challenge-Costa Rica, 4/20 – 4/23 Mazatlán Billfish Classic, 11/7 – 11/10 Presidential Challenge-Guatemala, 11/15 – 11/18

SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION South Indian Ocean Billfish Tournament, 2/25 – 3/3 Raiatea Int’l Billfish Tournament, 3/4 – 3/10 Broken Bay Game Fishing Club, 3/18 – 3/19 Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, 10/13 – 10/20

2007 WBS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIPS December 5 – 8, 2007 *The World Billfish Series reserves the right to make any changes in the Tournament Schedule, including additions and deletions of events, at any time during the course of the year. Please visit www.worldbillfishseries.com for the most up-to-date tournament information. 50

Billfishing ◆ January 2007


2 0 0 7 WO R L D TO U R S C H E D U L E T O U R

S C H E D U L E

B Y

D AT E

MAY 28 - JUNE 1 Marsh Harbour, Bahamas Boat Harbour Billfish Blast Mike Dickman (954) 926-0400

AUGUST 1 - 5 Orange Beach, Alabama Orange Beach Billfish Classic Joan Norris (251) 458-4656

OCTOBER 11 - 14 La Guaira, Venezuela Presidential Caribbean Cup Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JUNE 3 - 8 Treasure Cay, Bahamas BBC Treasure Cay Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

AUGUST 6 - 10 Ocean City, Maryland White Marlin Open Jim Motsko (410) 289-9229

OCTOBER 13 - 20 Lizard Island, Australia Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic Bob Lowe 011-61-2-9546-8540

JUNE 6 - 10 Biloxi, Mississippi Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic Bobby Carter (228) 436-7928

AUGUST 8 - 11 Sarasota, Florida Sarasota HBA/MarineMax Pro-Am T.J. Nutter (941) 650-2321

NOVEMBER 15 - 18 Mazatlán, Mexico Mazatlán Billfish Classic Kathie Hundley (714) 258-0445

JUNE 13 - 17 Venice, Louisiana New Orleans Invt’l Billfish Tourn. Gino Rendeiro (504) 529-5100

AUGUST 13 - 17 Manteo, North Carolina Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tourn. Nick Griffith (800) 422-3610

NOVEMBER 15 - 18 Iztapa, Guatemala Presidential Challenge Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JUNE 17 - 22 Boat Harbour, Bahamas BBC Boat Harbour Championship Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

AUGUST 15 - 19 St. Petersburg, Florida Old Salt Loop Tournament Tom Verdensky (727) 867-9388

JUNE 19 - 24 Sandestin, Florida Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Shawna Meisner (866) 505-4458

AUGUST 16 - 22 San Juan, Puerto Rico Club Náutico Int’l Billfish Tourn. Luis Infanzon (787) 722-0177

JUNE 27 - 30 Charleston, South Carolina Charleston Harbor Billfish Tourn. Deidre Menefee (843) 345-0369

AUGUST 19 - 24 Cape May, New Jersey Mid-Atlantic $500,000 Bob Glover (609) 884-2400

JUNE 28 - JULY 1 Pensacola, Florida Pensacola Int’l Billfish Tourn. Greg Whibbs (850) 433-7671

AUGUST 24 - 26 Islamorada, Florida Islamorada Swordfish Tourn. Richard Peeples III (305) 282-1006

JULY 11 - 15 Panama City, Florida Bay Point Billfish Invt’l Josh McCulley (850) 235-6911

AUGUST 25 - 29 Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands U.S.V.I. Open Atlantic Jimmy Loveland (340) 775-9500

JULY 26 - 28 Morehead City, North Carolina N.C. Ducks Unlimited Mark Shouse (252) 247-2106

SEPTEMBER 27 - 30 Miami, Florida Miami Swordfish Tournament Richard Peeples III (305) 282-1006

DECEMBER 5 - 8 WBS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

Los Sueños, Costa Rica Sam White (727) 319-3449 www.worldbillfishseries.com

The WBS World Tour is a group of individual billfish tournaments, each operated individually but sanctioned by the World Billfish Series. These events are grouped according to geographic location in one of six WBS worldwide divisions. Competing WBS anglers strive to not only win or place in these individual events but also to accrue enough points to win one or more of these divisions. Top anglers at each sanctioned event as well as divisional winners and top points qualifiers will receive an invitation to compete in the WBS Grand Championships at the end of the season, where the WBS will crown the World Champion of Billfishing. Billfishing ◆ January 2007

51


White marlin, sails, yellowfin tuna, whatever your mission, it’s always open season aboard the Viking 52. The tournament-equipped cockpit is 148 square feet of business with Viking’s exclusive mezzanine deck, featuring enough stowage to empty a tackle shop. The bridge deck boasts fish-catching visibility from its three Murray Products pedestal seats with teak ladder backs, an L-shaped lounge to port and a molded fiberglass console to starboard with a refrigerator and more stowage. Below, two plush staterooms, each with a head and shower, a posh salon and spectacular galley create a most satisfying retreat after a long day working the edge. All this, plus Viking’s unmatched 42-year reputation for excellence in design, performance and customer service. Contact your Viking dealer today for a sea trial. The fish are waiting for you. Route 9, “On the Bass River”, New Gretna ,NJ 08224 | P: 609-296-6000 | F: 609-296-3956 | www.vikingyachts.com


OPEN SEASON

Also available in a Sport Yacht edition with hard back and sides.


TM

BIG GAME ROOM Co-presented by Marlin and Sport Fishing magazines

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL

BOAT SHOW FEBRUARY 15–19, 2007 Miami Beach Convention Center, Second Level, above Hall B

Rod bending, reel-peeling, line screaming action…pursue your passion at the world’s largest big game fishing expo! Sportfishing enthusiasts from around the world head to the Big Game Room™ at the Miami International Boat Show® to see what’s new, hone their skills and share their love for blue-water fishing. This annual gathering features seminars hosted by legends of the sport, bait rigging clinics taught by experts, daily entertainment and happy hours, and, of course, everything sportfishing— Custom boats, tournament organizers, lures, tackle & fishing lines, fishing destinations and charters, and much more!

Don’t Miss the Yamaha Flats Room — everything you’ll need for shallow water fishing!

For show details visit MiamiBoatShow.com or call 954.441.3220

®


Vol 7, Issue 1  

Billfishing Magazine, January 2007

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