A fleet of 33 boats squared off on the fertile fishing grounds east of the Island known as the "Marlin Boulevard" during the 2013 St. Martin Billfish Tournament. The fishing was a bit slow compared to previous years. This meant that the competition was intense right up to the the final whistle on the last day. No fish more than 400 pounds were leadered, thus no fish were brought ashore; however, several very large fish were lost, notably by the boats Big Sailfish Too, when its fish threw the hook right before spooling them, and Vini Vidi Fishy, when its fish broke the line after a fight of more than an hour and a half.
Going into the final day of fishing, the local boat Stars of St. Martin seemed to have a comfortable lead on the competition, especially if it kept up the consistency it had during the first two days, but the local team on Follow Me V had different ideas and it managed to put together a great come-from-behind victory and take top honors. Follow Me V ended up winning first prize, the prize for most releases, and the Marlin Jackpot prize, netting it a total of $26,900, not including all the other great prizes the team received.
This year, there was more than $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, including the Contender Grand Prize, which was a brand new 25-foot Contender Bay boat for the team that broke the tournament record of 809 pounds by half a percent! This edition of the St. Martin Billfish Tournament also saw the introduction of fun prizes given to the biggest tuna, wahoo and mahi mahi caught during the tournament, which proved to be very popular. Legendary marlin Capt. Roddy Hays was present as one of the judges, and he provided many of his world-class Legend Lures as prizes. All in all, there was a lot of cash and great prizes to be won along with great entertainment every night of the tournament.
In the end, 18 blue marlin and 8 white marlin were released, and the final standings were as follows:
Marlin Jackpot : $17,000 : Follow Me V
1st Prize : $6,600 : Follow Me V : 1 Blue marlin Release, 4 White Marlin Releases – Total 1,000 Points
2nd Prize : $4,950 : Stars : 1 Blue Marlin Release, 2 White Marlin Releases – Total 700 Points
3rd Prize : $3,300 : Ti Donki La : 2 Blue Marlin Releases – Total 700 Points
Most Releases : $3,300 : Follow Me V : 5 releases
Biggest Wahoo : Nicomar : 50 pounds
Biggest Mahi Mahi : Stars : 39 pounds
Biggest Tuna : Yellow Whip : 63 pounds
See more at the official tournament website: www.billfish-tournament.com