Posted in fishing report, tournament, travel on July 18th, 2013 by Scott

The July moon is ramping up and so is the fishing.  With 10-15 boats fishing the North Drop each day, the number of marlin bites has been increasing each day for the fleet.  One or two bites per boat turned into 2 releases per boat yesterday.  A mild tropical wave is rolling thru today ahead of the start of 50th annual July Open Billfish Tournament this weekend.  Stay tuned for a fishing report.

1944-189I might have a little spray on the lens after this catch.

1944-083A calm jumper on the leader.





The bite.  What can I say, the bite on the pitch bait is what it’s all about.

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Posted in fishing report, tournament, travel on June 14th, 2012 by Scott

It’s that time of year already.  Summer time in the caribbean and The Virgin Islands Game Fish Club is gearing up for their annual event – The 49th annual July Open Billfish Tournament.  This world class event is always a blast and the fishing on the North Drop on the July moon can be fantastic.  I’m flying down early to do some pre fishing and then will be covering the event start to finish.  Hope to see you there.


UPDATE:  I’m back from another great event!  Nine boats signed up to fish and the weather was calm.  The bite could have been better, but a good time was had by all.  In the end, Black Gold won with five blue marlin releases and one white marlin.  To see all of the photos from this event, click on the tournament logo below.


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Posted in fishing report on June 26th, 2011 by Scott

Well it’s finally happened.  Someone has finally caught a fish large enough to set a new Bahamian Blue Marlin record.  A quick history is that back in 1979, Miami developer Sam Jennings was fishing a Bimini BBC tournament on his boat the “JC”.  Late in the afternoon on the last day of the event they trolled over toward a Frigate Bird and hooked a monster fish right out front.  Epic battle, mates swimming over to help with the gaffs, and a WFO run across the sandbar gets them to the weigh in scale just in the nick of time.  Ends up being 1060 lbs, and this record holds for the last 32 years.  Fast forward to this week and we find team Double Dog fishing the final leg of the BBC out of Treasure Cay.  Bahamian angler David Albury hooked the fish and took three hours to reel it in.  This monster ends up weighing in at 1119 lbs!  This record should hold a while.

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Posted in fishing report, travel on May 25th, 2010 by Scott

I’m in Isla Mujeres this week and happen to be overlapping one of the annual fishing tournaments held here on the island. This event is the Gran Torneo de Pesca and is unlike any other tournament I have ever seen. For staters, the prizes for first thru tenth place are on display in a parking lot. And as far as tournament trophy’s go, they are very useful. First place is an SUV, second is a pickup truck, third is a compact car, fourth is Ponga skiff, and fifth thru tenth are various levels of mopeds and scooters. Lets just say that most of the participants aboard the 114 boats entered are a wee bit motivated to do well in this one. The target species (in order of highest points to lowest) are Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Wahoo, Dorado, Tuna, Kingfish, Barracuda, and other. One fish from each category can be weighed each day for each team. This other category lets you pick one more fish to bring in each day, such as a Bonita, AJ, snapper, grouper, etc. They have a minimum length for the billfish and a 10lb minimum for the meat fish. Note the missing Sailfish category. The Sailfish is obviously the most common and revered fish here and forces teams to use all their skills to place in this event.

Day 1 of 2 – It’s blowing today. They say it’s been blowing for the last two weeks now. This sure is unusual weather for late May. I catch a ride with Tammy and Dave aboard the 59′ Spencer boat Double Trouble. They decide to go long odds and run 30 miles South to the edge down below Punta Morales. A 33 knot cruise and a Carolina ride make this seem easy even with 20+ knots of wind. Little or no crowd down there but the fishing was slow. They did manage to catch a small undersized White, an undersized Wahoo, a keeper Dorado, and an undersized Kingfish. Then the current changed and the weed moved in and things shut down. The evening weigh in is a sight to see with a line for your moment at the scale snaking well down the dock. One Blue and many whites were brought in today along with plenty of grande meat fish.

Day 2 – The same or even more wind today. Again riding aboard the Double Trouble. Today Dave runs out front of Isla with the bulk of the fleet and we start in deep water. Out here the current runs strong and I mean to tell you it was rough on the deep side of the edge. Several keeper Dorado and a fat 18lb Bonita go in the box early. A White teases in half way then peels off without eating. Then a long lull before another White appears on the bridge teaser and eats a flat line. While pulling drag this keeper size White pops up behind a long rigger and goes ahead and eats that before pulling off both rods seconds later. Terrible luck.

Day 3 – Riding with Anthony aboard the Keen M today. Wind conditions have improved slightly from yesterday as it appears the weather is going to do what the forecasters say it will do – improve. Only a few boats out today. We pick away all day and end up with 20 billfish bites total (3 white Marlin and 17 sailfish) and a Blue Marlin sighting. Also plenty of Dorados, from peanut to 30lbs. Spent about 30 minutes live baiting a Bonita on some wire as it’s not too late to see a Mako up on the bank. We saw one Whale Shark on the ride in.

Day 4 – The weather is getting nicer everyday. We went deep early and had three white marlin bites along with some nice Dorados. Ended up running inshore for the late afternoon sail bite. Ended up with 21 billfish bites today. We saw several large turtles while trolling. Good solid fishing for late May.

Day 5 – Calm and sunny today with a nice gaffer Dorado right out of the gate. Then a deepwater Sailfish shows up and finds a hook. Not long after a welcomed White Marlin makes a showing. Lots of jumps and photos. A few more sails in the afternoon complete the day.

Day 6 – Flat calm today. Deep early with not much action. A few sail bites and a gaffer Dorado. No signs of the White Marlin. We spend about an hour bouncing a bait on the bottom in 1100 feet of water looking for a daytime Swordfish. No bites. Only a cookie cutter shark on the bait when we wound up (above). A move to the inshore zone in the afternoon was quiet also. A few sail bites to be had. Our final push was to try to catch dinner and the Mangrove Snapper and Gag Grouper were very excited to see our baits. The action was fast and furious for the short time we spent at it. Even caught two snapper on one live bait – a double hooked Cigar Minnow (below).

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