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Volume 8 No. 1

WBS WORLD TOUR WBS Grand Championships FYI Sailfish Kickoff The Sailfish Tournament Silver Sailfish Derby Los Sue単os Signature Series #1


PLUS Caught On Tour Industry News Angler Profiles World Tour Standings And Much More!

January 2008

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On the Cover The competing boats in the fleet prepare to leave the Los Sueños marina prior to the start of the WBS Grand Championships. Photo by Robbie Carter.

Departments Destination 18

Destination: The Bahamas.


Editor’s Message


Upcoming Event Calendar


Industry News


Caught On The WBS World Tour

Tournament Tales 24

WBS Grand Championships The world’s best anglers in fishing’s hottest destination battled to become the World Champion of Billfishing.


FYI Sailfish Kickoff The sailfish season gets underway in South Florida.


The Sailfish Tournament The world’s first carbon-neutral fishing event.


Silver Sailfish Derby A perinneal Palm Beach classic.


Los Sueños Signature Series #1 Pacific sailfish and marlin rule the waters off Costa Rica.

Sponsor Profile 50

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Angler Profiles 47 49 51

Tim Hake Keith English Jim Murphy

Inside the WBS 69

2008 Standings


2008 World Tour Schedule

“Supporting Tournament Fishing, Now and Forever” Billfishing Magazine


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E D I T O R ’ S


Welcome to a brand-new year of competition on the WBS World Tour!

The season has already begun with some great fishing in South Florida, with several tournaments reporting excellent catch ratios and angler participation. The establishment of the new Treasure Coast Division, stretching from the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale north to historic St. Augustine in northern Florida has allowed us to sanction new events and further expand the reach of the WBS World Tour in the Sunshine State. The marlin bite down in Costa Rica also continues to make headlines in the fishing community. The anglers attending the WBS Grand Championships had a taste of this outstanding action during our event there in December, and the numbers continued to pile up during the first leg of the Los Sueños Signature Series, putting Costa Rica on par with such famous marlin destinations as Venezuela and St. Thomas. What makes this even more special is the potential for a super grand slam—Pacific blue marlin, black marlin and striped marlin are all being caught in good numbers along with plenty of sailfish. The buzz about Los Sueños is completely justified—it’s the hottest destination in fishing right now. With several divisions now underway, the race for a Championship berth is now underway. Top anglers in WBS-sanctioned tournaments earn a threeyear qualifying bid, while anglers finishing among the top ten in each geographic division receive a tw0-year qualifying exemption. Billfishing is one of the only sports where an angler can begin the year with a clean slate and wind up the World Champion by December, so don’t miss your opportunity to fish in this year’s tournament, scheduled for December 3-6, 2008. It’s going to be a great year—we hope you’ll join us for the ride. See you on the docks soon, Sam White World Billfish Series



The Official Monthly Publication of the WBS Volume 8 No. 1, January 2008

Published monthly by SportsUSA Group, Inc 100 Pinellas Bayway #112 Tierra Verde, Florida 33715 phone: (727) 864-4400 fax: (727) 867-1149 email:

President & CEO James R. Simons Editor-in-Chief Sam White Director of Marketing & Communications Kathryn Chappetto Creative Director Linda Fisher-Morgan Senior Account Executive Anthony Mendillo Senior Account Executive Erik Tate Administrative Director Jana E. Simons

Upcoming Events

Member Services Amy Hunter Special Contributors Bailey Bobbitt

Marty Locke

David A. Brown

Heather Maxwell

Jacqueline Caspari

Kitty McGowan

Peter Caspari

Jim Niemiec

Laurie Ciecierski

Bruce Paul

Bart K. Davis

John E. Phillips

February 27 - March 2 Ft. Lauderdale Billfish Tournament

Capt. Rob Ellyn

Walt Rhodes

Brenda Fletcher

Capt. Jim Sharpe

March 5 - 10 Raiatea Int’l Billfish Tournament

Rick Gaffney

Tom Twyford

Greg Gawlikoski

Capt. Joan Vernon

March 12 - 15 Los Sueños Signature Series #2

Scott Kerrigan

Eric West

February 10 - 19 South Indian Ocean Billfish Tournamet February 28 - March 2 Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge

March 14 - 16 Broken Bay Billfish Tournament

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 © 2008, SportsUSA Group, Inc.

Order the WBS Tournament Calendar at Billfishing Magazine






egendary U.S. sportfish manufacturer Bertram Yacht has appointed Mike Myers as its new president and chief operating officer. Myers will report directly to Giovanni Vacchi, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Bertram.

“We are very pleased to have Mike joining our team,” said Vacchi. “He comes from an outstanding background, including 20 years in the marine industry, and has extensive operations experience. He is a quality-driven manager who will significantly contribute to Bertram’s reinforcement as the world’s leading sportfish manufacturer.” Previously president of Boston Whaler and Brunswick’s Saltwater Boat Group Division, Myers has joined Bertram Yacht in its Miami-based headquarters. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and has 28 years of managerial experience, including eight years at General Electric and 20 years in the marine industry. “I’m very enthusiastic and honored to be working with such a legendary brand as Bertram Yacht, a brand which enjoys a worldwide reputation and a strong history for its unique product characteristics,” Myers said. “I’m also thrilled to join the Ferretti Group, with its clear focus and vision for its prestigious portfolio of world-leading brands.”

Jim Simons, president of the World Billfish Series, said, “We have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship for many years with Bertram on the WBS World Tour, and we look forward to working closely with Mike in the future.” Bertram currently builds models from 36 to 70 feet in length and remains the industry benchmark for superior performance, durability, reliability and efficiency. Bertram Yacht is part of the Ferretti Group, an industry leader in luxury motoryachts with a unique portfolio of exclusive brands in the nautical world: Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Apreamare, Mochi Craft, Custom Line and CRN. For more information, please visit or



he National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that the Atlantic white marlin does not warrant listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Based on the biological status of the species and consideration of the ESA listing factors, the species is not in danger of extinction. This comes as good news to anglers throughout the world that target this popular billfish species on a recreational and tournament level.

“All indications are that the white marlin stock has grown since we last estimated the stock size in 2002,” according to Dr. Roy Crabtree, NOAA Fisheries Service’s southeast regional administrator. “With reduced fishing mortality, the population should remain stable or continue to increase.” “A 2006 stock assessment showed a population increase since 2002, likely due to improved compliance with international requirements to reduce the incidental catch of the species commercially. Total Atlantic-wide white marlin landings from longline fisheries have declined annually between 2000 and 2004, from 1,242 metric tons to 610 metric tons. The United States accounts for about three percent of that total.


In 2002, NOAA determined that an ESA listing of white marlin was not warranted, but there were still concerns about the species population. NOAA committed to conducting a new status review of the white marlin once the 2006 stock assessment was completed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body that manages tuna and highly migratory species including billfish. White marlin have historically been landed as an incidental catch of foreign and domestic pelagic longline fisheries, or by recreational anglers. Domestically, it is illegal to retain, land or sell white marlin in a commercial manner, reserving the species for the recreational fisherman. For more information on the status review, please visit





ased in no small measure on the tough and persistent advocacy strategy of The Billfish Foundation, the Mexican Senate recently passed a resolution informing that nation’s fisheries agency, Conapesca, that the commercial access to billfish afforded to longliners and high-seas gillnetters in the new Shark Norma 29 Regulation is illegal under Mexico’s federal fisheries law. The Mexican Senate requested that Conapesca revise the regulation in order to conform to the conservation demands raised in legal action taken by attorneys representing The Billfish Foundation. Almost simultaneously, the Mexican Secretary of

Economy advised Conapesca that his department would not approve a 30 percent bycatch allowance of billfish and requested that the agency conform the Norma regulations to the demands made in TBF’s legal action, which will protect the future of sportfishing in Mexico by conserving once-abundant marine resources along both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. According to TBF, over 90 percent of marlin mortality is the result of bycatch in fisheries outside the United States. Many distant-water fishing nations are willing to forego years of billfish stock assessment research in order to justify hundreds of tons of billfish as acceptable bycatch in their commercial fishing operations. For more information and to join The Billfish Foundation, please call 800-438-8247 or visit



irate’s Cove recently awarded a three-year event management contract for its annual Big Game Tournaments to Cabin Fever Communications, who will assume responsibility for all events headquartered at the Pirate’s Cove facility in Manteo, North Carolina. The Pirate’s Cove Big Game Tournaments include nine annual events including the WBS-sanctioned Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament, one of the largest events of its kind found in the world of sportfishing. The tournament celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2008.

Cabin Fever Communications specializes in marketing, publishing and photography and is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. They will also have offices on-site at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, NC. CFC management includes Harry Hindmarsh, chief executive officer, and Kevin Crum, chief operating officer. Both currently reside in Virginia. Pirate’s Cove rests on a 600-acre private island bordered by the Roanoke Sound on one side and acres of protected marshland and wildlife preserve on the other. The facility includes residential homes and rental properties along with a world-class marina and fullyequipped clubhouse. For more information on Pirate’s Cove Big Game Tournaments, please visit, and for more on Cabin Fever Productions please go to



he United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated since 1990 that:

• 17 percent of the world’s commercial fisheries have been overexploited. • 7 percent are listed as depleted. • 1 percent are in recovery.

The Northeast and Northwest Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas have the largest number of depleted fish stocks. In 2005, the total global commercial catch of fish totaled 93.8 million tons, with 84.2 million tons representing saltwater species. Asia and Africa have the world’s largest freshwater commercial fisheries.

Billfishing Magazine


Enter the "Caught on the WBS World Tour" contest and win a new pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses!







D0 you recognize anybody in the “Caught On WBS Tour” photo gallery?

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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.




Billfishing Magazine


caught on tour the place to see your face 23








Congratulations to our most recent contest winners: Peter Franks — Miami, FL Michael James — Wyoming, MI Bill McDowell — Clearwater, FL



“Caught On WBS Tour” Contest



The WBS Anglers Club member who correctly identifies the most people on pages 12, 13 and 15 by February 29, 2008 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, fax to 727-869-1149 or mail to 100 Pinellas Bayway #112, Tierra Verde, FL 33715. 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 Magazine




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The Bahamas

The Bahamas


ByBailey Bobbitt



uring a recent cold spell in South Florida, when the temperature plunged into the mid-60s, I closed my eyes and began to daydream (something those close to me say I do entirely too often). My mind drifted to a warmer climate, a mere fifty miles away, where there is little deviation in the temperatures of both the air and water. The islands of the Bahamas are bathed in sunlight throughout the year and by the time those infrequent cold fronts push across the Gulf Stream, it will be ten degrees warmer and the term “cold front” itself will be superfluous.


There are over 750 islands in the Bahamas and approximately 365 of them are located 35 miles southeast of Nassau, in the Exuma chain. Think of the opportunities: you could visit a different island every day for an entire year!

I drew an imaginary circle which began with Bimini and wound northward to include Walker’s Cay, then a south-easterly sweep of the Abaco chain and northern Eleuthera, then west again toward Nassau, Chub Cay and back to Bimini. “Within this circle,” I confidently said to myself, “lies the most productive marlin fishing in the Bahamas.” It was then that I realized that my imaginary circle contained less than a third of the entire land mass of the island chain and was certainly not the only area where the ocean’s premier predator could be pursued. The reputation for billfishing excellence within the circle has been earned over a 70-year period, with world records too numerous to list, including the only two grander blue marlin brought to the scales in the Bahamas. Due to its proximity to Florida and the high quality of

fishing tournaments, resorts and marinas, the vast majority of visiting anglers seldom venture south of Nassau. And it is a shame, for if you let your mind wander and break free of the circle, a whole new realm of possibilities will open before you. There are over 750 islands in the Bahamas and approximately 365 of them are located 35 miles southeast of Nassau, in the Exuma chain. Think of the opportunities: you could visit a different island every day for a year and yet the entire chain is only ninety miles in length. In the process, your blood pressure would lower considerably and you could alter yourself from a Type A personality to a Type L, at the minimum. At the close of the highly competitive Bahamas Billfish Championship, which takes place entirely within this circle, tournament coordinator Al Behrendt invari-

Billfishing Magazine


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Below: Allan’s Cay is one of the few remaining natural habitats for iguanas in the islands of the Bahamas.

Sampson Cay is home to the totally renovated Sampson Cay Club.

ably points his 52-foot Hatteras, Still Uncontrollable, south for a month of unwinding in these tranquil waters.

Cat Island offers some of the most spectacular diving available in the Bahamas.

The Exumas sweep in a southeasterly direction with Beacon Cay in the north down to the islands of Great and Little Exuma in the south, offering some of the most exquisite cruising, diving and fishing experiences in the Bahamas. The color and clarity of the water must be seen to be believed. Most likely, your first stop would be Highborne Cay, offering 30 slips, fuel, electricity and supplies for visiting boaters. It is also only a mile or less to Allan’s Cay, one of the few remaining habitats of iguanas in the Bahamas, which are easily seen basking on the beach. It is wise not to feed these wee beasties, however, as their eyes are not nearly as sharp as their teeth, and they just might inadvertently bite the hand that feeds them.

Sea Park, an area 22 miles long by eightmiles wide, which was founded and enforced by the Bahamas National Trust. While you may dive here, fishing is strictly prohibited. The next port of call would be Sampson Cay and the totally renovated Sampson Cay Club or Staniel Cay and the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, and the neighboring Happy People Marina and Hotel. That name pretty much sums up the atmosphere for all who visit this lovely area.


Heading south, visitors will cruise through the Exuma National Land and

Big blue marlin like the one above are frequent visitors to the Out Islands.

With the exception of the yacht club on Little Farmer’s Cay, facilities are sparse until you arrive at George Town on Great Exuma, a picturesque town of approximately 900 people, which is the southernmost headquarters for visiting yachtsmen. This bustling community has it all: restaurants, hotels (the Peace & Plenty Club and Beach Inn and Regatta Point are two of the finest), full-service marinas, grocery and hardware stores and an airport with connections to Nassau and South Florida.

Miami captain Bill Harrison, who regularly visits the Exumas, is enthusiastic about the fishing here in general and the marlin fishing in particular. He notes that the great expanse of deep water, known as the Exuma Sound, lies directly east of the entire island chain. “Results,” he says, “are often excellent at the northern end of the Exumas as the prevailing southeasterly winds push the baitfish, and also the marlin, up into that corner. It is very similar to the conditions in ‘The Pocket’ off Chub Cay.” On many occasions, he has caught and released blue and white marlin as well as sailfish in this area, which also teems with dolphin, tuna and wahoo. Like many captains, Harrison is an expert in the galley, and many of his recipes have been perfected using the grouper and snapper plucked from this fertile area. Billfishing Magazine


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ly 18 miles to the south while following the 100-fathom line, or from Stella Maris you can travel north or east, staying at least two miles offshore to avoid the reefs. This area is the southern entrance to Exuma Sound and is highly productive.

Stella Maris offers both a marina and a small airport near the capital of Clarence Town.

With its beautiful beaches, both pink and white powder, Cat Island is often touted as a secluded spot for honeymooners. Well, once you are cruising the neighborhood in a modern sportfishing vessel, I don’t see it as remote at all as it lies between Eleuthera and Long Island, and is approximately a 50-mile run from the central Exumas. Just remember, that’s why the Bahamas refers to them as the Out Islands.


It is a bit of a logistical decision at this point as to whether you want to head for Cat Island or Long Island, but for now, our decision will be based on proximity, and the northern end of Long Island is approximately 20-plus miles away to the east. The first known European sailor to venture into the Western Hemisphere, a fellow named Christopher Colombus, visited this island back in the 1400s. It was not the first island to which his lookout in the crow’s nest shouted “Land ho!” That distinction belongs to San Salvador, a little farther to the north, but he was so taken with the natural beauty of the island that he named the northern tip, Cape Santa Maria, after one of his ships.


The waters off San Salvador teem with big wahoo during their peak annual migrations past the island.


Billfishing Magazine

shore drops sharply into the sea from rocky cliffs and bold headlands, while the western shore seems like an endless ribbon of sandy beaches and shallow bays. Residents have enjoyed periods of prosperity due to the fertility of the soil by growing cotton, corn and fruit. The island’s main community, Clarence Town, lies about two-thirds the way down on the eastern side of the island. It is a beautiful community which is also well-known for the two large twin-spired churches built by Father Jerome. The Flying Fish Marina has at least 15 slips and all the amenities you would require. There are really only two areas to marlin fish while visiting Long Island: from Clarence Town, you can troll approximate-


The Hawk’s Nest Resort and Marina sits conveniently on the southwestern tip of Cat Island and is ideally located for the sportfishing enthusiast. The Tarter Bank, several miles to the south is home to a variety of gamefish and reef

There are two resorts here, one bears the same name and the other is Stella Maris, which has a marina and an airport. The island is 80 miles long and no more than four miles wide. Much of the eastern

Marlin aren’t the only billfish available in the Bahamas, as good numbers of sailfish are also caught through-out the island chain.

Cat Island is named after the pirate Arthur Catt, not the feline, and with a stretch of the imagination is shaped like a fish hook. Similar to Long Island, it is also long, about 48 miles, and narrow, from one to four miles. What the island lacks in width, it makes up for in height, as the highest point in the Bahamas, Mt. Alvernia, soars up to a dizzying 206 feet. It was at this point that Father Jerome built his Hermitage, which proved to also be his final resting place. Ironically, it is not far from the birth place of actor Sidney Poitier.

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Scheduled Service from South Florida: Chalks: 800-424-2557 Bimini Island Air (Ft. Lauderdale): 954-938-8991 American Eagle: 800-433-7300 Air Sunshine: 800-327-8900 Continental Connection/Gulfstream: 800-525-0280 USAirways Express Lynx Air: 954-772-9808 Charter Service from South Florida: Yellow Air Taxi: 954-359-0292 Florida Coastal Airlines: 888-FCA-0077 Sky Limo: 954-491-5930 Island Air Charters: 800-444-9904 Scheduled Service from Nassau: Bahamasair: 800-222-4262 Sky Unlimited: 242-377-8993 Cherokee Air: 242-367-2089 fish and the entire Exuma Sound is at your doorstep. During the past few seasons, Dr. Eric Prince with NOAA Fisheries and Dr. Robert Cowen from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and their team of marine biologists initiated research on blue marlin spawning and larval growth in this entire area with some emphasis on Exuma Sound. A separate, but coordinated study, the Adopt-A-Billfish program, utilized pop-up archival tags in these same waters with impressive results. With the help of international anglers Jim Lambert from the Reel Tight, Ralph Christiansen aboard the Pescador, and Jose Valdez’s Lady Lou, as well as Bobby Brown on Cutnail and Chip Soleck aboard the Out of Bounds, the biologists managed to tag 14 blue marlin in one 11-day stretch, and wound up with close to 80 fish overall for the program. Further east lies San Salvador, perhaps the most historically important of the Bahama Islands. For it is here, on a white sand beach in Fernandez Bay that Christopher Colombus is reputed to have first set foot in the Western Hemisphere. Today, the island’s center of activity is a few miles north at Cockburn Town and further on, there is a Club Med and the Riding Rock Inn and Marina. Fortunately for all of us, these were not in place in the late 1400s, as Colombus would have had no incentive to sail on. Today, San Salvador has earned a reputation as one of the premier fishing destinations of the Out Islands, with several Bahamian and world records to its credit. For many seasons, Bahamian


The Bahamas Out Islands are easily accessible from South Florida, with a number of airlines providing service to the region.

captain Emory Black and Miami captain Ron Schatman have teamed together and canvassed this area with extraordinary results. Immense wahoo track these waters and Black and Schatman’s highspeed trolling techniques off an area called The Hump, also known as Wahoo City, produced a ladies world record for 16 pound-test line several years ago and a 157-pound dynamo last November. Capt. Black boated a 581-pound blue marlin during the World Cup tournament on July 4 two years ago and his enthusiasm for this entire area, including the distant Crooked and Acklins Islands, has no limits. San Salvador, 12 miles long by five miles wide, is the exposed peak of a submerged mountain which plunges an astounding 15,000 feet to the ocean floor. It is not surprising that fishermen are drawn here, like a moth to a flame, to experience the thrill and the beauty of the exquisite gamefish that patrol the depths surrounding San Salvador. As Colombus did, we too must sail on to one more destination, Rum Cay. But like all journeys in life, we should take time for small detours for simple pleasures, and Conception Island is just that. The island is a land park, under the protection of the Bahamas National Trust, and is an important sanctuary for migrating birds and is also a rookery for the long-tailed tropic bird. The island is uninhabited and is virtually surrounded by reefs, and is an ideal location to lose a few hours. The final leg of our Out Island journey, Rum Cay, is referred to as the Sleeping Beauty of the Bahamas by the Yachtsman Guide to the Bahamas. There are only 60 or so residents on Rum Cay and most are nestled into the village of Port Nelson, which is also where you will find Sumner Point Marina. The island, nine miles long and five miles wide, is surrounded by the

Atlantic Ocean and lies directly at the opening of the Exuma Sound. Frank Murray, founder of Murray Products and an innovator of sport fishing equipment, has enjoyed several prolific fishing safaris in this area while based at the Sumner Point Marina. “We caught two to three fish a day, and while they tended to average in the 100- to 200-pound range, we did manage to release an 800pounder,” he reported. Quite naturally, the diving and reef fishing around Rum Cay is superb. So, now you have a new circle, which includes the luxuriant Exuma Sound and a tiny patch of the Atlantic Ocean, to explore and experience. Make sure that you make reservations well in advance as facilities are smaller and farther apart in the Out Islands. No matter which sport fishing circle you and your friends select, you will certainly experience that adrenalin rush when an incredibly powerful billfish begins that line-stripping surge. As our friends at Tourism like to say, “It is better in the Bahamas!”

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on the many islands of the Bahamas, contact the Bahamas Tourist Office by telephone at (800) 32-SPORT/ 327-7678 or via email at Visit for information on Bahamian fishing regulations and bag limits. Visit for information on marinas and resorts in the Bahamas. Visit for more information on the Out Islands. For information on the Bahamas Billfish Championship series, visit or call 954-920-5577. For updated standings in the World Billfish Series Caribbean Division, visit

Billfishing Magazine


2007 WBS Grand Championships, Los Sue単os, Costa Rica


2007 WBS Grand Championships


Los Sueños, Costa Rica By WBS Staff

Photos by Robbie Carter

nce again for 2007, Los Sueños Resort in Costa Rica was chosen as the setting for the Grand Championships. Offering a near-perfect combination of luxury accommodations, outstanding billfishing, a world-class marina that’s home to a top-notch fleet of both private and charter boats, fantastic options for dining and entertainment back ashore, Los Sueños has become the “must fish” location for the serious bluewater enthusiast.


Set against the rocky backdrop of Herradura Bay, the resort itself is located on the central Pacific coast of the nation of Costa Rica. Originally developed by California angler William Royster, it’s the result of many years of intensive planning. The property features over 300 residences (townhomes, condominiums and singlefamily dwellings) with another 300 planned or in construction. Most overlook the 200slip marina, the PGA-caliber golf course, or the surrounding rainforest, giving their owners and guests sweeping vistas that seem to unfold right outside the front door before them. Between the Colonial-style architecture and landscaping, the resort seems to blend into the countryside rather than sharply conflict with it. In addition, the new Marina Village, located just a short distance from the marina entranceway, features a variety of shops, restaurants and services like legal, banking, car rental and more, making it a central hub of activity for the resort. Finally, there’s a five-star Marriott hotel on property, making it even easier for first-time visitors to find sumptuous accommodations at every turn. The

options are quite extensive here. Los Sueños is also a prime setting in terms of billfishing as the deep blue waters offer outstanding action just a relatively short distance offshore in the prime months of December through April. A variety of billfish fill the lineup here, including good numbers of marlin (Pacific blues, blacks and striped marlin) along with vast shoals of Pacific sailfish. The sails here are quite a bit larger than their Atlantic brethren, often weighing in excess of 100 pounds, making them ideal light-tackle targets of opportunity. Their numbers are such that it’s not uncommon to have multiple fish in the trolling spread at one time—doubles, triples and even quadrupleheaders are frequent enough that it’s possible to rack up big numbers in a hurry. The fishing style here is also geared toward making the most of those shots as

The World Billfish Series Grand Championships represents the culmination of over 60 tournaments throughout the year, and it’s become the hottest ticket in sportfishing. Only qualified anglers are invited to attend this ultra-prestigious event, making the field one of the most competitive found anywhere. So it’s no surprise that when this group hits the water, it’s nothing short of magical. well. Most anglers will troll a spread of dead ballyhoo in combination with several large hookless teasers to entice multiple fish into the pattern. Circle hooks are mandatory when targeting billfish in Costa Rican waters, a conservation move mandated by the nation’s government several years ago in an effort to help conserve these magnificent gamefish (circle hooks will usually latch onto a fish’s jaw hinge allowing for a harmless release at the end of the fight, rather than the conventional J-hooks that frequently hook fish much deeper in the vital gill or stomach region). After the first fish is hooked up, the boats will usually go into a tight circle in an attempt to raise and hook additional sails or marlin that may be following the first but remaining out of sight of the crew. As a result, daily releases of 10, 20 or more sailfish are not too unusual in the waters offshore of Los Sueños. While the sailfish make headlines in terms of their sheer numbers, the buzz on the docks prior to this year’s Grand Championships centered around the marlin bite that was hot and in progress, right on schedule. Bigger and stronger than their diminutive cousins, these bruisers were out in force in the days leading up to the tournament and were giving the anglers Billfishing Magazine



Megadock 2007 WBS Grand Championships fits. While smaller tackle is usually employed for sailfish, it’s not the sort of thing you would want in the water when a 400-pound blue or black marlin shows up looking for lunch. Instead, crews keep a larger outfit handy, usually something in the 50-pound class range, baited with a Spanish mackerel or horse ballyhoo ready to pitch the instant a bigger fish makes an appearance. Because of the difference, the prolific sails would be worth 100 points per each successful release, while any species of marlin would tally the angler 400 points upon release. It would be a difference that would prove decisive in the end. The anglers that descended upon Los Sueños this year, many visiting the area for the first time, each had to qualify for the right to attend, either by winning Top Angler status in a WBS-sanctioned World Tour tournament or by finishing among the top ten anglers within a geographic division. Past World Champions are also invited to return with a standing lifetime qualifying berth, as are recipients of the WBS Ambassador Award. Just qualifying for this prestigious tournament is a feat in itself. Highlighting the field this year were five past World Champions of Billfishing: Terry Tri (1992, 1993, 1996), Richard Richardson (1995), Scott Rickert (2003), Mark Wodlinger (2004), and Karl Knudsen (1998, 2006), each looking to add another World Championship trophy to their mantles.

Pacific sailfish provided plenty of action throughout the tournament.

WBS World Tour divisional winners also had a strong presence at the Championship event. Ted Smith, owner of the Hattaboy, won the 2007 Pacific Coast Division with 3100 points by fishing all five events in the division. Scott Logue, top angler in the Gulf Coast Division, accumulated 3306 points by scoring well in over half of the tournaments in the division and Harry Sergeant aboard his Black Gold captured an amazing 7000 points in the Caribbean by competing in eight out of the 12 events in the Caribbean Division, winning two Top Angler titles along the way. The remaining anglers in the field had each qualified through their performance on the WBS World Tour, so it was anyone’s guess as to who would emerge victorious in this year’s WBS Grand Championships. As in past years, this season’s signature finale tournament featured an elimination format—the entire field would fish for the first two days with two anglers per boat, after which the top five would be announced. They would move on to compete for the title of WBS World Champion of Billfishing, one angler per boat, in a one-day shootout. The tournament would be filmed in its entirety by Barrett Productions’ outstanding staff of videographers for the upcoming WBS Championships television show. The stage was now set for the showdown.

The shotgun start from Herradura Bay provided an early-morning adrenaline rush for the competitors.

Day One kicked off under the beautiful calm Costa Rican sunrise for which the region is famous. After a quick breakfast, each angler picked up their scorecards and headed purposefully down the gangplank to their waiting vessels. In the days leading up to the event, it was determined that the main body of clean blue water was located approximately 40 miles from the dock so everyone was anxiously awaiting the long run. A shotgun start cleared the fleet to depart Herradura Bay and, like Derby contenders charging out of the gate, they were off and running. Moments after the 8:30 call for lines in the water, Scott Logue drew first blood with a sailfish release, the first of the event, aboard the 1st Strike. Fishing with his father Pat, Scott had qualified through tough competition in the Gulf Coast Division so he was no stranger to the thrill of the hunt. Luis Bacardi and Barry Carr soon called in releases of their own a short time later, so the battle was well and truly joined at that point.

Set against the scenic backdrop of Costa Rica’s Pacific shoreline, few places in billfishing are more beautiful than Los Sueños.

Fishing aboard the High Hook and representing the Southeast Division, Peter Adrian became the first tournament angler to hook up with one of the highly-prized marlin species just after 9 a.m. Like flicking a light switch, the Billfishing Magazine



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Megadock 2007 WBS Grand Championships marlin bite turned on in a flash—within less than an hour, Bob Del Vecchio, Richard Pingree, Terry Tri, Bill Pino, Mainor Oporto and Mark Wodlinger would each release a marlin of their own. But the first day of the two-day qualifier would belong to Louisiana native and Gulf Coast competitor Scott Cooper, fishing aboard the MisBehavin’. Incredibly, he was able to release two blue marlin within a very short timespan. Cooper said, “After the first one, I immediately put my lines back in the water—before I even had time to clean the saltwater off my sunglasses, I had another blue up on the teaser on my side of the boat. The marlin bite was just incredible today.” However, Cooper wouldn’t be alone at the top. Peter Adrian also scored another marlin release, putting him into the 800-point club along with Jeff Futch (two marlin aboard the Rum Bum) and local hotshot Mainor Oporto (one marlin and four sailfish on the Spanish Fly). Bob Del Vecchio, Terry Tri and Ted Smith each finished the day with 600 points, each with one marlin and two sailfish each, while Bill Pino, Pat Logue, Jay Blount, Chris Lepping and Tim Hake would also be in striking distance of the leaders at the 500-point mark. Day Two would determine the top five anglers that would move onto the finals.

The 1st Strike heads offshore on Day One. Owner Pat Logue would make it to the top five for his shot at the World Championship title.

To put this all in perspective, during the 2006 Grand Championships tournament only five marlin were released during the entire three days. On Day One alone of the 2007 version, there were 18 marlin releases. Day Two started again with a shotgun start from the bay but this time the fleet was forced to punch through a late-season rain shower on their way to the fishing grounds. The seas became a bit choppier but the fish didn’t seem to care. After a 500-point performance on Day One, Enola, Pennsylvania’s Tim Hake started the day off with a bang with a striped marlin release at 9:14 a.m, moving him into the lead with 900 points. WBS Caribbean Division winner Harry Sergeant joined the action at 9:45 a.m. with his first release of the tournament. Sergeant, fishing with Denny Doyle aboard the Safari, would string together another sailfish and two more marlin by the end of

Peter Adrian on the High Hook has his hands full with this blue marlin.

The 2008 Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series consists of two tournaments, fished out of the worldclass Los Sueños Marina in Playa Herradura, Costa Rica. These events comprise a significant portion of the WBS Pacific Division schedule. In addition to the top prizes for each individual tournament, the resort itself offers a $50,000 cash bonus to the team with the highest overall point total in the Signature Series, making it one of the most competitive of its kind in the region. •Tournament I: January 9-12, 2008 •Tournament II: March 12-15, 2008 For more information, please contact tournament coordinator Ashley Bretecher via email at

Tim Hake, fishing aboard the Tunabite, scored another 100 points with this sailfish on Day Two. Billfishing Magazine



2007 WBS Grand Championships day, falling just short of the final five. At 1:48 p.m. aboard the Tunabite, Tim Hake called a sailfish release to Tournament Control. Hake’s two-day total of 1000 points seemed to be the cut line for the final five, just 100 points ahead of Scott Cooper, Jeff Futch, Artie Kontos and Mark Wodlinger. All one of those anglers had to do is release one marlin the last three hours of competition to move up into the top five and eliminate Hake from contention. But it would not happen this year. Hake’s mid-afternoon sailfish release would prove to be the difference.

first two days of fishing. The final five would have their hands full when they battled head-to-head, one angler per boat, for the title of 2007 World Champion of Billfishing. It was marlin magic in Los Sueños. So the top five were now set to move on to the last day. The winner would take home the keys to a new Mercedes automobile, the bronze Grander Marlin trophy by marine artist Geoffrey Smith, a custom Gevril timepiece and the gold champion’s ring. Let’s take a moment to look at the qualifying field:

Spanish Fly’s Mainor Oporto finished Day One in third place overall with 800 points. At 11:13 a.m, Oporto released a striped marlin, earning him the 400 points. A sailfish release two hours later would be his ticket into the top five with two-day 1300-point total. Finishing Day One in ninth place, Pat Logue knew it would take a big day to put him contention to compete in the finals. And a big day is exactly what he got. After a slow start to the morning, Logue released his first fish of the day, a marlin, at 12:06 in the afternoon and quickly followed that release with three sailfish in the next hour and a half. His qualifying spot wouldn’t be official until he called in a marlin release at 3:46 p.m, with less than an hour before lines out was called. Unlike in past Grand Championship events where the sailfish rule the day, this year’s qualifying field of fought long and hard during a marlin bite that produced 39 marlin releases of all species during the

This year marked Pat Logue’s second straight appearance at the WBS Grand Championships. After finishing the qualifier in first place, he had to be the favorite entering the final day of fishing. After all, he has done this before. Logue missed the final five at last year’s Championship last year by just a handful of points—he knew what it took to win and was determined that this year the title would be his. Costa Rican-born Mainor Oporto earned his spot in the final five with two solid days in the World Tour Qualifier. Sponsored by Maverick Sportfishing

Yachts, Oporto qualified for the WBS Grand Championships after winning the Top Angler award at the WBS-sanctioned Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica tournament in April. Oporto, who fished alongside Rodney Williams aboard the Spanish Fly in the Qualifier, recorded 1300 points and finished second to Pat. Oporto’s experience and knowledge of these local waters made him a serious threat to win the title. Miami Beach, Florida native Peter Adrian earned the third qualifying spot. After an 800-point performance on Day One, Adrian released one marlin on Day Two to give him 1200 points and just enough wiggle room to make the final five. Adrian first qualified for the Championship after finishing in the top ten in the WBS Southeast Division. His experience and skill at using circle hooks also gave him an advantage against some of his competitors. Also fighting for the 2007 title is 2006 WBS Ambassador Award winner Bob Del Vecchio. Del Vecchio returned to the Grand Championships in 2007 with the hopes of finally winning the big one. In the qualifier, Del Vecchio recorded stellar backto-back days on the water with a very consistent 500 and 600 points respectively. Bob’s experience in tournament fishing had to have him feeling confident entering the final round. Tim Hake earned his way to the WBS Grand Championships by being named the Top WBS Angler at the 2007 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 tournament in Cape May, New Jersey. Tim earned the fifth and final quali-

2007 Grand Championships Roll Call Peter Adrian Miami Beach, FL

Dell Dembosky Bennettesville, SC

Rocky Jones Gulf Breeze, FL

Mainor Oporto Herradura, CR

Brooks Smith Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Luis Bacardi Coconut Grove, FL

Chris Domel Marble Falls, TX

Craig Joy Clearwater, FL

Dennis Pasentine Mandeville, LA

Ted Smith Milledgeville, GA

Jay Blount Morehead City, NC

Denny Doyle Jacksonville, FL

Karl Knudsen Raleigh, NC

Richard Pingree Beaufort, SC

Thad Stewart Anderson, IN

Scott Bowers Asheville, NC

Bill Easum Port Aransas,TX

Artie Kontos Monmouth Bch, NJ

Bill Pino Tyaskin, MD

Terry Tri Valdosta, GA

Barry Carr Leesburg, GA

Keith English Gulf Breeze, FL

Chris Lepping Collegeville, PA

Judy Ramey Orange Beach, AL

Jim Vaughan Lake Wales, FL

Susan Clements Gulfport, FL

Art Frigo Jr. Jupiter, FL

Andy Levy Warwick, PA

Richard Richardson Houston, TX

Greg Voell Leesburg, VA

Scott Cooper New Orleans, LA

Jeff Futch Sebring, FL

Pat Logue Cape Coral, FL

Scott Rickert Bradenton, FL

Rodney Williams Piedmont, SC

Debbi David Hollywood, FL

Tim Hake Enola, PA

Scott Logue Augusta, GA

Bill Royster Los Sueños, CR

DeCarol Williamson Wilmington, NC

Bob Del Vecchio Little Torch Key, FL

Hope Hanckel Johns Island, SC

Jim Murphy Atlanta, GA

Harry Sargeant Boca Raton, FL

Mark Wodlinger Singer Island, FL


Megadock 2007 WBS Grand Championships fying spot for the Championships by a mere 38 minutes. Hake’s experience in high pressure tournaments like the Mid-Atlantic and White Marlin Open would surely help him when he’s got a doubleheader on and a pair of cameramen filming his every move. The final five that survived the dramatic two-day World Tour Qualifier would find themselves in for a different treat in this Championship round. After two days of trolling horse ballyhoo and big teasers in search of marlin, the anglers and their crews quickly realized that the sailfish had arrived in huge numbers. And they were hungry and ready for a fight as well. The World Championship got underway in the same fashion as the previous two days, only this time the anglers went to sea solo—they would be able to fish up to three lines and four teasers with just themselves in the cockpit, under the ever-vigilant cameras of Barrett Productions adding to the stress levels. Pat Logue was the first to strike the leaderboard with a sailfish doubleheader just before 9:00 a.m. At the same time, Bob Del Vecchio aboard the Desperado released a sailfish of his own, earning his first release of the day. At 9:49, Mainor Oporto got on the board with his first of many big Pacific sailfish, after hearing on the radio that Pat Logue had just released this fifth sailfish of the day three minutes earlier. But Oporto was not worried. The sailfish bite was on and that’s what he had the most experience in. When the noon update rolled around, Mainor held a slim lead with 900 points, while Bob Del Vecchio and Tim Hake had 800 each, Pat Logue had 700 and Peter Adrian, 100. Twenty-two minutes after Tournament Control announced the update, Peter Adrian released a marlin to get him in contention. Little did he know that Oporto and Logue were about to get started on sailfish bite that would decide the winner of the event.

Mainor Oporto The 2007 WBS World Champion of Billfishing

Oporto was first to act, releasing a trio of sailfish at 28, 35, and 43 minutes past noon. Logue answered right back with a sailfish release at 12:45 p.m. and then a marlin release at 12:59 p.m. Two more sailfish before 1:45 moved Logue into a tie with Oporto at the top of the leaderboard. This would be last time the score would be close. At 2:25 p.m, Oporto put the proverbial nail in the coffin with a striped marlin release. The 400 points gave him 1900 points for the day and a 400-point lead over second place Pat Logue. From that point on, there was only one boat that was able to find more fish–the Tunabite. Tim Hake, sitting back in fourth position, found a hot sailfish bite in the afternoon and released five sailfish in a 57minute span to leap-frog him over Bob Del Vecchio and earning himself a top three finish at the WBS Grand Championships. The surprising sailfish action would allow for a highly competitive final day of fishing. “We saw almost 40 fish in our spread throughout the day,” third place angler Tim Hake said. “It was just amazing—we were getting two, three, four bites at once, fish on both teasers, absolutely an incredible day of fishing.”

Pat Logue Second Place Overall

Tim Hake Third Place Overall

“I am very excited about my performance,” Pat Logue said at the awards ceremony. “These are the world’s best anglers, and finishing second to an angler like Mainor is something to be proud of.” Third place angler Tim Hake said, “He was incredible today. He capitalized on his opportunities [and] he deserved to win.” One-hundred and sixty-three billfish, including 45 marlin and 118 sailfish, were released in the three days of fishing. Tim Hake was awarded a crystal trophy and Gevril watch for his third place finish, while a similar prize went to Pat Logue in second. But the night would belong to a shy young Costa Rican angler named Mainor Oporto, who would be honored as the WBS World Champion of Billfishing for the year 2007.

Bill Royster WBS Ambassador Award

Ted Smith World Traveler Award Billfishing Magazine


FYI Sailfish Kickoff, Coconut Grove, Florida

Photos by Greg Gawlikowski


FYI Sailfish Kickoff

h s i f l Sai n o s Sea f f o k Kic B y To n y A l b e l o


s the weather turns cool and the holiday season approaches, tournament anglers start gearing up for sailfish season. Reels are respooled with fresh monofilament, leaders are meticulously crafted and equipment is gone over with a fine-tooth comb to ensure reliability and proper operation—after all, with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, any small malfunction could cost a team big in the end. Seventy-four teams tested their fishing skills against one another during the 2007 FYI Sailfish Kickoff, presented by Riviera Yachts. All the dockside talk was about the great turnout for this fourth annual event and all the new and reshuffled teams— many were receiving their first taste of tournament billfishing, while others had been reconstituted from existing teams or had added additional members. In total, the teams battled for over $200,000 in cash prizes. This year’s FYI Sailfish Kickoff not only kicked off the beginning of the south Florida tournament season, but it also marks the start of a new era in tournament fishing: no observers. This past year predicted many changes in the tournament world, most notably the change from an observer-based verification system to a camera-based system. This change was met with some resistance and since the Sailfish Kickoff is the first major tourna-

ment to make this move, it was a true trial by fire. Overall, the new system was wellreceived by the anglers. It was implemented with no issues and the fish were all verifiable using the camera procedure. “I was ready to D.Q. [disqualify] some fish,” commented tournament radioman Dan Kipnis. “I was happily surprised that the teams did very well with their photos… excellent actually.” The FYI Sailfish Kickoff also featured a new concept in tournament fishing, where professional and amateur anglers were separated by division based on their qualifications. The tournament organizers felt this gave the true “weekend warriors” an opportunity to become introduced to the sport while also providing the stage for the pros to showcase their talents.

Each year, tournament anglers eagerly await the start of the sailfish season in southern Florida. Beginning in early December, packs of hungry sails start their annual migration through these prolific waters, and tournament anglers line up with a vengeance to target them. This year’s season is truly underway with the South Florida Sailfish Kickoff. The first day of fishing saw sporadic action as the fleet totaled 82 releases with a surge late in the day. Things heated up for the afternoon bite as several teams reported multiple hook-ups. Two teams battled it out atop the leaderboard, but by the end of the day the tournament veterans aboard the Wound Up kept the edge on time with 1200 points. Almost tied for first place was the Miss Britt II, also with 1200 points. Third place is Sonny Boy with 800 points. Nine boats were tied with 600 points, putting a tournament win within easy reach of anyone. The second day of fishing was greatly improved with 135 releases. By mid-day it was anyone’s game. The Miss Britt II captained by Brett Wilson took the early lead, but kept swapping places with Sandman, Wound Up, and newcomer RockStar. These four boats swapped the lead eight times during the day. As the day grew to a close, the Miss Britt II edged out ahead of the pack and ended up winning $ 48,285 with a total of 12 sailfish releases. The other teams in the pack each ended up with 10 sailfish, with the three-way tie broken by their release times. The final order was Sandman in second place with $70,585 in Billfishing Magazine


FYI Sailfish Kickoff winnings, Wound Up in third with $20,045 and Rock Star fourth with $6,985. Top Amateur Team honors went to Team Brickell GMC with a total of three releases and a check for $5,000. Rounding out the Amateur Division was Lost Boys in second and Perfect Finish in third. Top Female Angler Sandra Kirkpatrick fished on the Sandman and recorded three releases. The Top Junior Angler was Nicole Portuondo on Bonadeo Boat Works.

Team Wound Up showed up ready to fish and took home the third place check for $20,045.

Team Sandman, led by Todd and Sandra Kirkpatrick, was awarded second place.

The team at Ocean Promotions has been running this event for four years, during which time it’s grown to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sportfishing world. It is also leading the way with technological advances. The Sailfish Kickoff and its sister tournament, the Mayor’s Cup, employ a cutting-edge electronic scoring and leaderboard system. Along with that, the radio calls and events are live video streamed during the tournaments, making it a popular event with the many online spectators around the world. The FYI Sailfish Kickoff marks the beginning of the South Florida tournament circuit. The next tournament, the Mayor’s Cup, represents the second half of the Dewar’s 12 Billfish Championship Series. For full standings and photos, please visit


This year’s top team and the winner of the $48,285 purse was the Miss Britt II.

Ocean Promotions, a professional event management company, is home to a number of tournaments including the WBS-sanctioned Mayor’s Cup and Sailfish Kickoff events that comprise the Dewars 12 Billfish Championship, the Bahamas Wahoo Challenge, the Grove Slam Dolphin Tournament, Kingfish Masters and King of Bimini kingfish tournaments. Their services include event concept and design, advertising and marketing, implementation and post-event wrap-up. For more information, visit or call them at 305-461-2700.

Billfishing Magazine


Photos by Greg Gawlikowski

The Sailfish Tournament, Miami Beach Marina, Florida


The Sailfish Tournament

Going Green In Miami By Capt. Dan Kipnis


n a first-of-its-kind event, The Sailfish Tournament presented by Bill Ussury Motors, at Miami Beach Marina became the world’s first carbon-neutral fishing tournament. A total of 23 boats and 124 anglers competed in this year’s inaugural event. The tournament also completed its pledge to balance its carbon ledger, using a portion of the proceeds to offset its carbon footprint. Fishing on Day One started with the fleet spread out from Dania Beach in the north to Triumph Reef, located well to the south. A 10- to 15-knot wind out of the south-southwest held fishing to a slow but steady bite for the first part of the day, with 32 sailfish releases through one o’clock in the afternoon before the fishing tailed off for the day. Only eight additional fish were called in during the final three hours. With lines out at 4 p.m, the boats returned to Miami Beach Marina with their catch cards and photos of the releases for review by the judge’s committee. In this event, successful releases would be determined by a variety of layered methods to ensure honesty, including the use of digital photography rather than official tournament observers. As the sun set on the first day and the crews partied at the dock to reggae music and a bar-be-que dinner spread, veteran skipper Joe Turner and the 4 Aces team sat atop the leaderboard with seven sailfish releases, followed by the Get Lit with five

releases and the Miss Britt II with four releases. The fleet was tightly bunched, and in competitive sailfishing just about anything can happen. Double-, triple- or quadruple-headers are not uncommon, and all it takes is one brief flurry of activity, with an experienced team that’s ready to take advantage of the opportunity, to vault a team right to the top of the leaderboard. Day Two dawned with a five-knot breeze out of the southwest and temperatures in the low 70s. The Get Lit, with Capt. Quinton Dieterle at the helm, released the first fish of the day at 8:40 a.m. to pull within one fish of the 4 Aces, but the leader countered with a release of their own just two minutes later. The Get Lit then tied for the lead with another release and a double header at 10:47 a.m. While this battle raged on, the Night Prowler, with team members Adam Yunis,

Tournament billfishing has always been a cutting-edge sport, one that rapidly changes and adapts to advances in techniques and technology. And so with the spectre of global warming looming on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to see tournaments embracing the idea of “going green.” John Salom, Daniel Uribe and Ryan Alexander, added to their Day One total of two sails with a run of five more releases in quick succession. Also entering the fray, the Jichi, with Ricky Linder at the helm, released five sails. At 11:55 a.m, the 4 Aces let another sail go in what proved to be their winning fish, with the final three hours again producing only a few bites. The Get Lit added another to tie again but with any ties broken by the time of release, the 4 Aces would come out on top. At the awards ceremony, tournament director Capt. Dan Kipnis congratulated a packed room of tired anglers and their families for taking part in a historic event—the world’s first carbon-negative fishing tournament. Kipnis thanked tournament partners Environmental Defense and the National Wildlife Federation for their generous support and leadership and vowed to continue the move toward having all tournaments cover their carbon footprints in the future. Before an incredible dinner, the tournament presented the Grand Champion award and a check for $42,223 to the 4 Aces team of Peter Adrian, Top Overall and Billfishing Magazine


The Sailfish Tournament

Left: The Get Lit took home second place honors in this year’s inaugural event. Bottom Left: The Night Prowler placed third on the strength of their seven releases. Below: With Top WBS Angler Debbi David leading the way, the 4 Aces emerged victorious with ten sailfish releases in this hotlycontested tournament.

Final Standings Bill Ussury Motors Grand Champion 4 Aces 10 releases $42,223 Rolland Coffee Roasters Runner-Up Get Lit 10 releases $14,077 Shoreline Marine Fueling Third Place Night Prowler 7 releases $11,797 Bet Construction Fourth Place Jichi 7 releases $10,080 Dewar’s 12 Fifth Place Miss Britt II 7 releases

$ 2,667

Biscayne Rod Top Angler Debbi David 6 releases Florida Detroit Diesel Top Lady Angler Debbi David 6 releases Glasstech Top Junior Angler Tyler Claus 1 release

Top Lady Angler Debbi David (six releases), Jimmy David, Iggie Quintana and Albert Hernandez. As the Top WBS Angler for the tournament, Debbi David will also receive a standing three-year invitation to represent The Sailfish Tournament at the WBS Grand Championships, to be held later this year in beautiful Los Sueños, Costa Rica. Runner-up honors went to the Get Lit team of Kit Toomey, Peter Miller, Jon Cooper, Claudio Martinez and Kelly

Mayo, taking home trophies and a check for $14,077. Night Prowler moved into third with seven releases, taking home $11,797. Also in the money in fourth place was the Jichi, who pocketed $10,080. Coming in fifth place was the Miss Britt II, earning $2,667. The Sailfish Tournament’s inaugural year marked a turning point in the fight against global warming with anglers leading the way in protecting our cherished ocean resources. Billfishing Magazine


Photos Courtesy of Leonard Bryant Photography

Silver Sailfish Derby, West Palm Beach, Florida


Billfishing Magazine

Silver Sailfish Derby

Harsh weather and sea conditions punished the 51 boat fleet fishing the West Palm Beach Fishing Club’s 71st running of the venerable Silver Sailfish Derby, held January 3rd through 5th out of the Sailfish Marina on Singer Island.

B y To m Tw y f o r d espite the inhospitable conditions the fleet managed to catch and release a total of 210 sailfish during three days of fishing, besting last years total of 148 sailfish releases. “This is a tough bunch. They all deserve a medal for just braving the conditions,” said Derby radioman Pete Schulz from Fishing Headquarters in Jupiter. The 1.51 sails per boat day catch rate during this year’s Derby was on the high end of the tournament’s historical average which is between 1.3 and 1.5 sails per boat per day.


Summer-like weather conditions and reports of few fish being caught preceded this year’s Derby. On the evening of the captain’s meeting a very strong cold front rolled through the area prompting gale warnings and significantly dropping the temperature. The timely arrival of this weather system increased anglers hopes that a push of sailfish would move into local waters. A similar scenario occurred in the 2006 Silver Sailfish Derby when a fleet of 50 boats released a record setting 958 sailfish, an exciting memory that was still fresh in the minds of many Derby regulars.

Dave Webb, who visually checked all boats out of Palm Beach Inlet each morning of the tournament. Fortunately for the Derby fleet, there was some west in the strong winds that were still gusting to over 30 miles per hour. This provided a little protection for boats staying close to the beach and for those opting to fish to the south. NOAA’s sea condition forecast was for 6 to 8 foot seas nearshore and up to 14 to 17 foot seas in the Gulf Stream. Many Derby anglers will tell you that the forecast was pretty accurate.

On the Derby’s first morning the air temperature was a frigid 35 degrees, with a wind chill of 25 degrees. Anglers layered in long johns, sweaters and foul-weather gear resembling the Michelin Tire Man boarded their boats, checked out with the committee boat and headed offshore with high hopes. “Some of the teams looked like high seas bandits wearing full face masks,” said Derby committee member

Team X Generation from Delray Beach, skippered by Mike Riseley, jumped out to an early lead on day one of the Derby with six releases—an impressive accomplishment from an open boat given the extreme weather conditions. Several other boats finished the demanding first day with impressive scores including Sandman, a 58-foot Spencer skippered by Capt. Neil Orange, with five sails. Teams aboard the

Miss Britt, Viking 60, Lady Lane, Drag’n Slayer and Miller Boys all posted four sailfish releases on the first day and were among the top boats. Forty-eight boats fished on the first day and released a total of 73 sails. X Generation angler Doug Konz of Lake Worth was the top individual angler on day one accounting for five of his team’s six sails. Teams already battered by the previous days fishing faced more challenges on Day Two. The relentless wind had swung more northeast and was still gusting as high as 30 mph. Eight-foot seas greeted tournament anglers as they pounded out Palm Beach Inlet. Wisely, some of the smaller boats in the fleet turned back. A total of 42 boats fished the second day. Without question, the continued rough weather severely limited every team’s ability to search for fish and to make moves up and down the coast. Miss Britt, captained by Brett Wilson, picked the right spot to begin their sailfish search on Day Two. Anglers Danny Farkas and Dave Dickerson both of Jupiter posted three sails in the first half-hour of fishing aboard the Miss Britt and were keeping pace with the Sandman. The Viking 60 team lead by Capt. Ryan Higgins posted an impressive quadruple sailfish release during the second hour of fishing. It would be the only quad posted during the event. The Viking 60 team would end the day with a total of Billfishing Magazine


Tournament Silver Sailfish Derby Trophy, a large silver sailfish mounted on a green marble base that dates back to 1935. The Rea Trophy is the oldest award presented in competitive billfishing. Dickerson received a miniature silver sailfish replica of the award, an assortment of Penn fishing tackle and an invitation to the World Billfish Series Grand Championships. The Silver Sailfish Derby has been a WBS-sanctioned event since 1999.

Proving they’re competitive in any tournament in the world, Capt. Ryan Higgins and the Viking 60 team hooked up with third place honors. nine releases, earning the Top Daily Boat Award, a nostalgic title art trophy from Canyon Gear International. Dave Dickerson took Top Daily Angler honors with five individual releases. The Miss Britt and Sandman scored eight releases on Day Two. Team’s Viking 60 and Sandman were tied at the top of the leader board with 13 releases each, Miss Britt was in second place with 12 sailfish releases and Lady Lane was in fourth with eight releases. A total of 83 sailfish were caught and released by the fleet bringing the two-day total to 156 sails. “They certainly earned ’em the past two days. That’s about as rough as it gets,” commented one veteran captain at Sailfish Marina. On the Derby’s final day the wind finally began to back off and swing a little more easterly. Even though it was still blowing, the conditions were far more tolerable than the previous two days. Team Sandman got off to a quick start posting four sails within the first two hours of fishing and began to pull away from the pack. Viking 60 and the Miss Britt dueled throughout the day for the second position on the leader board.

The Sandman team, consisting of Capt. Neil Orange, mates Mike Dineen and Chip Sheehan and anglers Jason Roe, Kitt Toomey, and Todd and Sandra Kirkpatrick earned Top Boat honors with a total of 18 releases. “When I joined the team, Todd and Sandra asked me which tournament I wanted to win the most. My response was the Derby,” said an elated Chip Sheehan. “We did a heck of a lot of preparation for this event and it really made a difference.” Capt. Brett Wilson guided Miss Britt anglers David Dickerson, Danny Farkas, Roger Adia and Charlie Watson to the Second Place Boat award with 15 releases. The Viking 60, lead by Capt. Ryan Higgins with anglers Dwight Mooney, Don Gemmell, Dave Wilson and Lonnie Rutt earned the Third Place Boat trophy with 14 releases. Team X Generation, Mike Riseley, Joe Ferulle, Kyle Smith and Doug Konz, claimed the Fourth Place Boat trophy with 10 releases. A total of 92 different anglers registered at least one sailfish release during this year’s Derby. All sails were caught and released on tournament approved Eagle Claw L2004 series circle hooks. Circle hooks have been proven to cause less damage to sailfish compared to more traditional j-hooks and have also been shown to reduce post-release mortality. The Derby went to an all circle hook format five years ago.

In the Top Individual Angler standings, past Derby champion Kitt Toomey of Coral Gables finished in second place with seven releases on time. Toomey was also the Top Daily Angler on day three. David Dickerson of Jupiter, a longtime Derby participant, earned the coveted Mrs. Henry R. Rea Trophy, the Derby’s Top Angler award. Dickerson posted eight individual sailfish releases overall. His name will be added to the magnificent perpetual Rea

Already having a stellar season so far, the Sandman team kept up the pressure for the Southeast Division title with a win in Palm Beach.


The Miss Britt II fell just short of the winning mark to place second. Dave Dickerson, left, was the event’s Top Angler.

For many years, veteran photographer Leonard Bryant has prowled the docks, capturing some of the sport’s most spectacular images (including those within this feature). For more information on viewing and ordering tournament photos from Leonard, please visit his informative website at or call 561-721-5249. Interested participants can also email him at

Billfishing Magazine


Los Sue単os Signature Series #1, Los Sue単os, Costa Rica


Billfishing Magazine

Los Sueños Signature Series #1

Marlin Magic

When the WBS Grand Championships wound up in December, the waters off Los Sueños were literally teeming with billfish, including a significant and surprising number of marlin—Pacific blues, blacks and striped marlin all co-mingle in these baitfish-filled seas during certain times of the year. The Championship anglers were treated to a mixed bag of billfishing, making for one of the most exciting finishes in WBS history.

By Anthony Mendillo


e could only hope that these fish remained in the area for a few more weeks until the Los Sueños Signature Series tournaments kicked off with their first event in January. While Venezuela gets most of the press when it comes to anglers and boats catching grand slams, (one of three different billfish species in one day), Costa Rica offers up an excellent chance as well. Those days are truly magical, as an angler never really knows what to expect. The next fish up on the teaser might be a Pacific sailfish, an acrobatic 100-pound “stripey” or a bruising blue or black marlin weighing anywhere from 200 to 800 pounds. The first leg of the 2008 Los Sueños Signature Series was about to begin and once again I found myself in beautiful Costa Rica in the heart of the hottest billfishing destination in the world right now. The event kicked off with a short and sweet captain’s and anglers meeting that was quickly followed up with a delicious buffet dinner at one of the prettiest places on the resort’s property–the Beach Club. A huge stage overlooked the Club’s massive pool with water so clear and unruffled that it resembled a giant sheet of Plexiglass. While many in the crowd partied the night away with the beautiful Costa Rican bartenders pouring plenty of drinks, others decided it was best to call it an early night knowing it would be a long tournament. The three days of fishing would start the following morning, when the fleet of 42 boats roared out of Herradura Bay fol-

lowing the shotgun-style start. Like most tournaments in Central America, these two tournaments include short runs out to blue water, normally flat seas, and a plethora of billfish species to target. But what makes the Los Sueños Signature Series different from other tournaments is the level of competition. Some of the best anglers, captains and crews from around the world take part in this two-leg event. As an integral part of the World Billfish Series Pacific Division, any angler that performs well in the two Los Sueños tournaments, held in January and March, has an exceptionally good chance of qualifying for the WBS Grand Championships by finishing among the top ten anglers in the division. The first leg of the Los Sueños Signature Series, typically at the tail end of the Costa Rican rainy season, is normally decided by the team that releases 20-plus sailfish in the three day event. But this year’s event would be highlighted by an incredible marlin bite, the same as we had

experienced during the WBS Grand Championships. After it cooled down in late December due to an unusually high rainfall, the bite turned back on shortly after the New Year. The tournament committee picked the perfect time for big marlin numbers to be accumulated. Miss Behavin’ was the first to tear up the leader board. Releasing multiple fish by 10:00 a.m, anglers David Finkelstein, Bobby Moses, Roberto Gonzalez, and Paulo Soto went on to release a total two sailfish and six marlin during the day for a total of 2,600 points. At the end of Day One, Miss Behavin was in first place with two sailfish and six marlin releases for a super grand slam and a total of 3200 points. Lady Columbo and Prime Time finished a close second with 2600 each. With such a hot marlin bite, the fleet knew that this battle would come down to the wire. Day Two would again see the majority of the fleet target marlin around the popular marlin hotspot aptly named Cabo Blanco, or White Cape. Joan Vernon, tournament director of the WBS-sanctioned Presidential Challenge of Central America tournament series, fished alongside good friends and WBS veteran anglers Jimmy Taylor and Bill Billfishing Magazine



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Tournament Los Sueños Signature Series #1 Easum aboard the Super Fly. After a first day that saw three billfish releases, the team knew that with a strong day on Day Two they could be right there in the hunt. The team would go on to release six marlin and one sailfish on the second day alone to give them a two-day total of 3,800 points. “We were on a hot boat with a great captain,” Vernon said at the dockside cocktail party later that evening. “We were focused the entire day and when we saw fish we didn’t miss them. It was an absolutely incredible day of billfishing.” Anglers Robert Beasley, Ronald Lea, and Ron Stutzman aboard the Sweet Dreams also made a big charge on the second day. The team released seven billfish, including Lea’s four marlin releases in a four hour span. The teams aboard Super Fly and Sweet Dreams came out of nowhere on Day Two to take control of the event. But it was still anyone’s ballgame. With a tremendous bite the first two days, more that half the fleet remained in contention on the final day.

Above: WBS veterans Jimmy Taylor, Joan Vernon and Bill Easum took home second place aboard Superfly. Below: With three marlin and 13 sailfish on the final day, The Bite emerged victorious in Los Sueños.

Unknowing to everyone before the shotgun-style start out of Herradura Bay, the sailfish bite was about to turn on in typical Costa Rican style. It seemed that double- and triple-headers were being released every few minutes. Onboard The Bite, the team was ready for the sailfish bite. Anglers Mariano Da, Carlos Quesada, Sef Stupakoff, Bob Warkiewiez, and John Chandler would release 13 sailfish and three marlin on the final day of fishing. And to make things even more dramatic, as the clock struck 3:59 p.m. with just one minute before lines out was called, The Bite was in second place based on time. But thirty seconds later, The Bite had called in a sailfish hook-up just before lines out. Eleven minutes later, the team released the fish, and as the sailfish went diving down the deep bluewater, The Bite began to celebrate their tournament-winning billfish. The last sail gave The Bite a total of 5,200 points, moving them a mere 100 points ahead of the Superfly and 200 points ahead of third-place finisher Hook.

in fifth place. Second place finishers aboard the Super Fly, Jimmy Taylor and Bill Easum also recorded their first slams in their careers that both included hundreds of billfish releases. Captain John LaGrone aboard the Xta-Sea released his 1,000th career blue marlin on Day Three of the event (he quickly followed it up with his 1,001 and 1,002 before lines out was called). Costa Rican native Mariano Da fishing aboard The Bite, released 12 sailfish and three marlin to receive the WBS Top Angler award. This is the second time in two years that Mariano has won a WBS Top Angler Award at one of the Los Sueños tournaments.

The Hook placed third in the opening leg of the Los Sueños Signature Series. When all the releases were tallied, there were 306 sailfish and 134 marlin releases during the three-day event. The marlin release ratio of 1.06 marlin per boat per day is good enough to put Costa Rica and Los Sueños on the map as one of the world’s hottest marlin destinations. The three-day event was also a time for personal achievements. Los Sueños developer Bill Royster, fishing aboard his tomato-red Cabo named After You, released his first-ever grand slam on Day Two of the event during a tournament that saw his team finish

The awards ceremony, held once again at the luxurious Beach Club, topped off another terrific tournament in Costa Rica with a five-star meal, fireworks, and the signature video recap by Chris Fischer and his production company, Fischer Productions. The top three teams were presented with their trophies and checks worth over $200,000. There were will be even more money on the line come March, when the second kicks off in March. The team that tallies the most combined points from the first and second event will win the series and a bonus jackpot of $50,000 from Los Sueños. Traveling to Costa Rica is worth every second and cent it takes to get there. Combine an excellent fishery with a world-class resort and it is no coincidence that The Los Sueños Signature Series tournaments have separated themselves as one of the elite billfishing events found anywhere in the world. For more information on the Los Sueños Signature Series, please visit and to view the latest WBS Pacific Division standings, visit Billfishing Magazine


he history of Underwater Lights Limited started back in 1991, when they designed and supplied the first underwater lights purpose-designed for the marine industry. Serious investment into research and development has enabled them to evolve our lights using our experience and knowledge of the present and future technology. Quite simply, Underwater Lights Ltd. is the original and still the best choice in underwater lighting for today’s demanding customer in terms of quality, price and service.


During the year 2000, Peter Urquhart, president of Underwater Lights Limited, developed the original ‘through-hull’ light called the Bulleyt. Thousands of both the large- and smallscrewed Bulleyts were sold throughout the United States and can easily be upgraded to utilize new technology. If you have the small-screwed halogen or 35-watt Bulleyt, you may easily upgrade to the brighter 55-watt xenon light. Below are some of Underwater Lights Limited’s unique inventions for you to enjoy in both new purchases and upgrades.


thermally protects the LED without switching it off. All of the new UL Ti MATE 80 products can be used in your existing lights.

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Billfishing Magazine


Tim Hake Profile Tournament Awards: 2007 1st Place: MTU Legends Series 1st Place/Most Overall Points: Mid-Atlantic $500,000, New Jersey 2nd Place/Most Points White Marlin: Mid-Atlantic $500,000, New Jersey 3rd Place: WBS Grand Championships, Costa Rica 2005 1st Place: Ocean City Tuna Tournament, Maryland 3rd Place: Fish For Life, Florida 2001 3rd Place Wahoo: White Marlin Open, Maryland 1995 1st Place: Montauk Mako Tournament, New York 2nd Place: Ocean City Tuna Tournament, Maryland Favorite Billfishing Location: ”Los Sueños is now my favorite billfish location just because of the mixed bite there. We caught blues, blacks, stripes and sails in just four days—how can you beat that for variety?” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: “Ocean City, Maryland. It’s the closest to my land-locked home and it’s also the home port for my boat from July through October. I get to fish with my family and that same woman that I married 21 years ago.” Other Interests: “I like hunting as well as shooting trap and sporting clays, and NASCAR.” Occupation: ”Business owner—Freedom Propane, Tim Hake Mechanicals, D’CIZIONS Sportfishing & Tackle.”


ournament fishing for me started off as something crazy that I got conned into doing about 16 years ago. I must have fished in about 110 or so events over the years from Montauk to Florida and now Costa Rica. Right now I’m fishing in about 10 to 12 tournaments a year.” “My most memorable day would have been back in 1986 on my honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico. My wife and I went fishing—I caught my first billfish and she caught a nice blackfin tuna. That was July 28th, 1986. By the way, I’m still married to the same woman 21 years and a whole lot of fishing later—what a gal.” “I don’t do much different in a tournament than I would do in everyday fishing as we always feel that we’re on top of our game. We do spool up with new line and leaders, check our drags and maybe run offshore a little harder or a little farther—we try to keep it simple, stupid.”

Favorite Fish Story: “This one just happened—it was the first day of the WBS Grand Championships in Costa Rica, fishing on the Tuna Bite with Capt. Howard “Howwood” Lynch and angler Bill Pino. Bill hooked up with a striped marlin so Howard backs down pretty aggressively given the sea conditions. After I watched the water running between the engine boxes and down into the cabin (it’s an open flybridge day boat), it’s getting up past Bill’s knees. I hollered up that we had enough water in the boat—we went forward but the scuppers were also under water by now, so the mate and I grabbed buckets and started bailing until we could get the scuppers back above the waterline. We didn’t realize at the time that Bill had his foot over one of the floor drains and that the other was half-blocked by some trash. We were never in danger, just a little added excitement to an already exciting trip. Way to go, Howwood.”

“I think that we’re heading in the right direction in terms of conservation with the use of circle hooks in billfish tournaments, but the only real concern I have is with all the permits and different licenses that are now required to even retain a dolphin or bluefish. If these folks spent more time controlling the commercial quotas and by-catch instead of worrying about who has their $25 permit for this or that then I think we would all be farther ahead.” Billfishing Magazine



Keith English Profile

Tournament Awards 2007 1st Place Blue Marlin: Pensacola International Billfish Tournament, Florida Top Angler: Pensacola International Billfish Tournament, Florida 3rd Place Tag and Release Team: Pensacola International Billfish Tournament, Florida 2002 2nd Place Blue Marlin: Oyster Bar Blue Marlin Classic, Florida Favorite Billfishing Destination: “I really like fishing the Gulf of Mexico’s northeastern region, from south of Panama City west to the tip of Texas. We do not get the sheer numbers of billfish like the other areas, but there are once in a lifetime fish swimming around there as well as plenty of multiple blue marlin days. Plus there are enough whites and sails to make it interesting each time out.” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: “I have fished out of Jaco and Quepos in Costa Rica quite a few times and I really enjoy the area for the sheer numbers of fish you have the opportunity to see and hook each day. Plus it’s hard to beat the natural beauty of Costa Rica as well.” Other Interests: “Golf, reading and travel.” Occupation: ”I own a small Internet marketing company.”


started fishing tournaments in North and South Carolina in 1998, and have fished in around 25 to 30 events primarily on the Gulf Coast since relocating here in 2000. I currently fish between five and seven tournaments each season.”

Favorite Fish Story: “My grandfather and I used to spend a lot of time fishing together. He taught me an awful lot about what I know about fishing and how to enjoy time on the water.”

“My two most memorable fish so far were the 751-pound blue marlin we caught during the Pensacola International Billfish Tournament [in 2007] and the first billfish I ever caught in 1996, fishing out of my old 19-foot center console off Marathon in the Florida Keys.” “When it comes to tournament preparation, I rely heavily on my captain, Scotty Kettenring, to make sure the boat and tackle are ready to go. At the dock before each event, we recheck everything prior to departure to make sure everything’s all set. At that point you just have to relax and have a good time.” “I know that tournaments have been moving toward placing more emphasis on catch and release, with some going to 100 percent release and others raising the minimum fork lengths for any fish to be kept. I think that these measures will help increase the fishery and will hopefully continue to allow a significant amount of self-governing on these issues. I would hate to see mandated guidelines from those outside our sport that are any more strenuous than those that we place upon ourselves.”

Billfishing Magazine


Jim Murphy Profile

Tournament Awards: 2007 4th Place: USVI Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament, St. Thomas Top Tagging Team: USVI Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament, St. Thomas 7th Place Overall: Bahamas Billfish Championship Series Favorite Billfishing Location: ”Madeira. It’s unbeatable in terms of a location with top-notch accommodations, scenery and the ability to produce a grander blue marlin.” Favorite “Fun Fishing” Location: ”Anywhere I am fishing at the time is fun for me. St. Thomas rates very high on the list—plenty of blue marlin on the North Drop and the beautiful Caribbean setting is a bonus.” Other Interests: “All types of fishing and big-game hunting, flying and staying in shape.” Occupation: ”CEO of Afterburner, Inc.” Thoughts on the Future of Sportfishing: “If we cannot get a handle on the longlining situation and over-exploitation by the world’s commercial fishing fleet then the future is not pretty. Being an optimist, I believe we can rally and preserve a sustainable fishery for the future.”


ast year was my first full season fishing all of the Bahamas Billfish Championship tournaments. We also fished the Bacardi and the Boy Scout down in St. Thomas and had a great time along the way. We plan on fishing that same schedule in 2008.”

Favorite Fish Story: “After many years of traveling around the world trying to catch my first marlin, I ended up catching my first on my own boat with only my girlfriend and I onboard to manage the task.”

“One of my best personal catches was off Madeira in 2006 when I was able to release a blue marlin we estimated at 800 pounds—my biggest blue to date. We also had 23 sailfish releases in a half-day off Miami in 2005. I just need to catch a spearfish and a stripey to fulfill my goal of catching all the major billfish species.” “Our team has a published Sierra Hotel standards guide that ensure all crewmembers and anglers are on the same page—it’s required reading before any tournament we fish. It outlines the basic configuration of our Merritt as well as the location and operation of the safety equipment along with how we split winnings, how we communicate onboard during the hook-up to release and where everyone is expected to be and how they should act based on their assigned positions. We also hold pretournament briefings outlining our plans for an upcoming event that takes into account our prefishing results, tournament rules, current fishing conditions, weather and dock intel. We also set a daily “Objective” (besides catching the winning fish) that will highlight a weak area we may have encountered recently. We also hold a debrief based on the objectives outlined in the briefing, where we identify what went right or wrong so we can incorporate these lessons learned into the next day’s fishing. If the lesson is significant, we will change the standards guide to reflect this new item.”

The Sierra Hotel team, led by owner Jim Murphy (third from left) during the ever-popular Bahamas Billfish Championship in 2007.

Billfishing Magazine



The following companies proudly support the World Billfish Series and the sport of billfishing as sponsors of the 2008 WBS World Tour.


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Viking Yachts Sportfishing boats from 45 to 74 feet.

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

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Contact: Mike Dixon Phone: 770-420-5800


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Angler Peter Miller Luis Isaias Warren Sands Rick Arnold Kitt Toomey Brett Dudas Rick Murphy Robert Southard Sr. Janice Sands John Burke Johnny White Robert Southard Jr. Scott Robins Debbi David Anthony DelDuca Robert Richardson Mike Mraz John Cooper Rob Ruwitch Jorge Diez Cathy Hamill Ralph Montalvo Charlie Greenberg Joseph Zelenka


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Billfishing Magazine


2008 Tournaments By Division MID-ATLANTIC DIVISION Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina Billfish Tourn., 6/25 - 6/28 HMY-Viking Megadock Billfish Tournament, 7/9 - 7/12 N.C. Ducks Unlimited Band the Billfish, 7/31 - 8/2 White Marlin Open, 8/4 - 8/8 Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament, 8/11 - 8/15 Mid-Atlantic $500,000, 8/17 - 8/22 The Sailfish Slam, 10/1 - 10/4 SOUTHEAST DIVISION FYI Sailfish Kickoff, 12/6 - 12/9 (2007) The Sailfish Tournament, 1/10 - 1/12 Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Tournament, 1/17 - 1/19 Miami Mayor's Cup, 1/24 - 1/27 Captain Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge, 2/28 - 3/2 Yamaha Contender Miami Billfish Tournament, 4/3 - 4/6 Islamorada Swordfish Tournament, 8/15 - 8/17 Miami Swordfish Tournament, 9/12 - 9/14 TREASURE COAST DIVISION Silver Sailfish Derby, 1/7 - 1/10 Jupiter Billfish Tournament, 1/9 - 1/11 Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Release Tournament, 1/15 - 1/19 Palm Beach Sailfish Classic, 1/22 - 1/26 Ft. Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, 2/27 - 3/2 El Pescado Billfish Tournament, 10/2 - 10/4 New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invt'l, 10/9 - 10/12 GULF COAST DIVISION Mobile BGFC Memorial Day Tournament, 5/23 - 5/26 Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, 6/4 - 6/8 New Orleans Invitational Billfish Tournament, 6/11 - 6/15 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, 6/24 - 6/29 Pensacola International Billfish Tournament, 7/3 - 7/6 Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament, 7/9 - 7/13 Outcast Blue Marlin Classic, 7/23 - 7/26 Texas International Fishing Tournament, 7/30 - 8/3 Orange Beach Billfish Classic, 7/30 - 8/3 Sarasota Slam-HBA Fishing Tournament, 8/6 - 8/9 Old Salt Loop Tournament, 8/15 - 8-18 CARIBBEAN DIVISION Bahamas White Marlin Open, 4/7 - 4/10 BBC Central Abaco Championship, 4/13 - 4/18 BBC Marsh Harbour Championship, 4/27 - 5/2 BBC Harbour Island, 5/11 - 5/16 Boat Harbour Billfish Blast, 5/26 - 5/30 BBC Treasure Cay Championship, 6/1 - 6/6 Abaco Billfish Challenge, 6/10 - 6/13 BBC Boat Harbour Championship, 6/15 - 6/20 A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament, 7/9 - 7/23 Club Nautico Int’l Billfish Tourn. of San Juan, 8/11 – 816 USVI Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament, 8/13 - 8-17 Presidential Caribbean Cup, 9/14 - 9/16 PACIFIC DIVISION Los Sueños Signature Series #1, 1/21 - 1/24 Los Sueños Signature Series #2, 3/12 - 3/15 The Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica, 4/12 - 4/14 The Presidential Challenge of Guatemala, 11/21 - 11/23 The Presidential Challenge of El Salvador, 11/14 - 11/16 SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION South Indian Ocean Billfish Tournament, 2/10 - 2/16 Broken Bay Fishing Club Invitational Tournament, 3/14 - 3/16 Raiatea International Billfish Tournament, 3/24 - 3/29 Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic, 10/13 - 10/20 MEXICO DIVISION Cancun Billfish Classic, 4/23 - 4/26 Puerto Los Cabos Billfish Classic, 5/12 - 5/16 Puerto Los Cabos World Cup, 10/14 - 10/18 Mazatlán Billfish Classic, 11/5 - 11/8 Puerto Vallarta Billfish Classic, 11/12 - 11/14

2008 WBS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIPS December 3 – 6, 2008




DECEMBER 6 - 9, 2007 Miami, Florida FYI Sailfish Kickoff Anthony Albelo (305) 461-2700

MARCH 12 - 15 Playa Herradura, Costa Rica Los Sueños Signature Series - #2 Ashley Bretecher

JANUARY 2 - 5, 2008 Palm Beach, Florida Silver Sailfish Derby Tom Twyford (561) 832-6780

MARCH 14 - 16 Broken Bay, Australia Broken Bay Game Fishing Club Craig Findlay

JANUARY 9 - 11 Jupiter, Florida Jupiter Billfish Tournament Scott Nichols (561) 262-6424

MARCH 24 - 29 Raiatea, Tahiti, French Polynesia Raiatea Int’l Billfish Tournament Dominique Goche 011-689-60-05-45

JANUARY 9 - 12 Playa Herradura, Costa Rica Los Sueños Signature Series - #I Ashley Bretecher

APRIL 3 - 6 Miami, Florida Yamaha Contender Miami Judy Layne (305) 598-2525

JANUARY 10 - 13 Miami, Florida The Sailfish Tournament Richard Peeples III (305) 672-38075

APRIL 7 - 10 Boat Harbour, Bahamas Bahamas White Marlin Open Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

JANUARY 15 - 19 Singer Island, Florida Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Release Gary Caputi (732) 899-9988

APRIL 12 - 14 Samara, Costa Rica Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JANUARY 17 - 19 Islamorada, Florida Cheeca Lodge Presidential Sailfish Liz Hill (305) 451-5094

APRIL 13 - 18 Treasure Cay, Bahamas BBC Central Abaco Championship Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

JANUARY 22 - 26 West Palm Beach, Florida Palm Beach Sailfish Classic Pat Ross (561) 818-6095

APRIL 23 - 26 Cancun, Mexico Cancun Billfish Classic Harvey L. Hunnicutt (714) 259-4899

JANUARY 24 - 27 Miami, Florida Miami Mayor’s Cup Anthony Albelo (305) 461-2700

APRIL 27 - MAY 2 Boat Harbour, Bahamas BBC Marsh Harbour Championship Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

FEBRUARY 10 - 16 Black River, Mauritius South Indian Ocean Billfish Tourn. Kapil Ramnarain

MAY 11 - 16 Eleuthera, Bahamas BBC Harbour Island Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

FEB 27 - MARCH 2 Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tourn. Mark Constantino (877)-561-7245

MAY 12 - 16 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Puerto Los Cabos Billfish Classic Harvey L. Hunnicutt (714) 259-4899

FEB 28 - MARCH 2 Miami, Florida Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge Capt. Ernie Portuondo (305) 525-8941

MAY 23 - 26 Orange Beach, Alabama Mobile BGFC Memorial Day Mike Rogers (251) 479-2675

*The World Billfish Series reserves the right to make changes in the Schedule, including additions



MAY 26 - 30 Marsh Harbour, Bahamas Boat Harbour Billfish Blast Mike Dickman (954) 926-0400

JULY 23 - 26 Orange Beach, Alabama Outcast Blue Marlin Classic Tommy Holmes (850) 457-1450

SEPTEMBER 12 - 14 Miami, Florida Miami Swordfish Tournament Richard Peeples III (305) 282-1006

JUNE 1 - 6 Treasure Cay, Bahamas BBC Treasure Cay Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

JULY 30 - AUGUST 3 South Padre Island, TX Texas Int’l Fishing Tournament (TIFT) Betty Wells (956) 943-8438

SEPTEMBER 14 - 16 La Guaira, Venezuela Presidential Caribbean Cup Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JUNE 4 - 8 Biloxi, Mississippi Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic Bobby Carter (228) 436-7928

JULY 30 - AUGUST 3 Orange Beach, Alabama Orange Beach Billfish Classic Beth Reed (251) 978-2524

OCTOBER 1 - 4 Charleston, South Carolina The Sailfish Slam K.C. Rennie (843) 278-4914

JUNE 10 - 13 Marsh Harbour, Bahamas Abaco Billfish Challenge Amy Withers (305) 934-0505

JULY 31 - AUGUST 2 Morehead City, North Carolina N.C. Ducks Unlimited Bob Lichauer (336) 454-5493

OCTOBER 2 - 4 St. Augustine, Florida El Pescado Billfish Tourn. Dennis Rosa (904) 642-0210

JUNE 11 - 15 Venice, Louisiana New Orleans Invt’l Billfish Tourn. Gino Rendeiro (504) 529-5100

AUGUST 4 - 8 Ocean City, Maryland White Marlin Open Jim Motsko (410) 289-9229

OCTOBER 4 - 11 Lizard Island, Australia Lizard Island Black Marlin Classic Bob Lowe 011-61-2-9546-8540

JUNE 15 - 20 Boat Harbour, Bahamas BBC Boat Harbour Championship Brenda Fletcher (954) 920-5577

AUGUST 6 - 9 Sarasota, Florida Sarasota Slam-HBA Fishing Tournament T.J. Nutter (941) 650-2321

OCTOBER 9 - 12 New Smyrna Beach, Florida New Smyrna Beach Billfish Invt’l Jon Zellar (386) 290-4181

JUNE 24 - 29 Sandestin, Florida Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic Shawna Meisner (866) 505-4458

AUGUST 11 - 15 Manteo, North Carolina Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tourn. Harry Hindmarsh (252) 473-1015

OCTOBER 14 - 18 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Puerto Los Cabos World Cup Harvey L. Hunnicutt (714) 259-4899

JUNE 25 - 28 Charleston, South Carolina Charleston Harbor Billfish Tourn. Deidre Menefee (843) 345-0369

AUGUST 11 - 16 San Juan, Puerto Rico San Juan Int’l Billfish Tourn. Gonzalo M. Ferrer (787) 727-7700

NOVEMBER 5 - 8 Mazatlán, Mexico Mazatlán Billfish Classic Harvey L. Hunnicutt (714) 259-4899

JULY 3 - 6 Pensacola, Florida Pensacola Int’l Billfish Tourn. Greg Whibbs (850) 433-7671

AUGUST 13 - 17 Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands U.S.V.I. Open Atlantic Jimmy Loveland (340) 775-9500

NOVEMBER 12 - 14 Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico Puerto Vallarta Billfish Classic Harvey L. Hunnicutt (714) 259-4899

JULY 9 - 12 Charleston, South Carolina HMY-Viking Megadock Billfishing Tourn. K.C. Rennie (843) 278-4914

AUGUST 15 - 17 Islamorada, Florida Islamorada Swordfish Tourn. Richard Peeples III (305) 282-1006

NOVEMBER 14 - 16 Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador Presidential Challenge of El Salvador Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JULY 9 - 13 Panama City, Florida Bay Point Billfish Invt’l Scott Burt (850) 235-6911

AUGUST 15 - 18 St. Petersburg, Florida Old Salt Loop Tournament Tom Verdensky (727) 867-9388

NOVEMBER 21 - 23 Iztapa, Guatemala Presidential Challenge of Guatemala Joan Vernon (305) 361-9258

JULY 19 - 23 Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands A.H. Riise BVI Billfish Tournament Lawrence Wheatley (284) 495-8002

AUGUST 17 - 22 Cape May, New Jersey Mid-Atlantic $500,000 Bob Glover (609) 884-2400

DECEMBER 3 - 6 WBS GRAND CHAMPIONSHIPS Los Sueños, Costa Rica Sam White (727) 864-4400

and deletions of events, at any time during the course of the year. Please visit our website at for the most up to date tournament information.

Vol 8, Issue 1