The 10th Annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic is now in the record books. A total of 41 sport-fishing yachts ranging in length from 3 to 95 feet came to Venice, Louisiana, to fish for an available purse of $569,700.
Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., Reel Worthless, a 64-foot Viking, called in the first reported release of a blue marlin. At 12:15 p.m. Friday, Tico Time, a 65-foot Hatteras, called in to report a 115-inch blue marlin in the boat and headed to the scales. By Friday afternoon, Reel Worthless had called in their third blue marlin release along with Reel Fire, a 70-foot Viking, also released a blue marlin. Tico Time made it to the dock at 6:45 pm with the first blue marlin to hit the scales at 534 pounds for angler Randy Taylor and Capt. Mike Hester.
Saturday morning May 31, both Reel Worthless and Reel Fire both called in blue marlin releases before 9 a.m. Pipe Dream, a 60-foot Spencer custom yacht to reported a 123-inch blue marlin in the boat and headed to the scales. At 12:45 p.m., Capt. Justin Drummond with angler Bob Johnson on Pipe Dream weighed in a 706.1-pound blue marlin to take over first place. When weighing in the Pipe Dream fish, Sea Mixer, a 66-foot Spencer, had just boated a 121-inch blue marlin, but would not make the scales until after 5 p.m.
At 5:27 pm, Capt. Devin Potts started to back Sea Mixer into the scales with a blue marlin. Angler Chris Davis and the entire Sea Mixer crew started jumping for joy when weigh master Joe Yurt called out 708.6 pounds to take over the first place blue marlin by only 2.5 pounds.
The Tag/Release division, sponsored by Release Marine, was won by Team Reel Worthless, a 64-foot Viking, led by owner/angler Johnny Johnson and Captain Myles Colley with four blue marlin releases. Team Reel Fire, a 70-foot Viking, led by Captain Mike Roberto and owner Chris Ferrara finished in second place with two blue marlin releases, followed by Team Rehab, a 47-foot Buddy Davis with owner/angler Jasen Gast finishing in third place with one blue marlin release. The Tag/Release winners all received custom-inlaid teak step boxes, compliments of founding Sponsor Release Marine.
The Dolphin division was won by the only dolphin caught during the entire tournament. It was weighed in by angler Mike Akiu fishing on board the 95-foot Jim Smith Relentless Pursuit with owner Dennis Pasentine. The sole dolphin weighed 29.2 pounds and worth $85,950.
The Tuna division was won by Team Cut N Run, a 64-foot Tribute, led by Captain/Owner Geoff Collins, with angler Shane Zeringue weighed in a 154.3-pound yellowfin tuna, worth $29,700. Second-place and third-place tuna went to Team Rehab, Jasen Gast weighed in a 137.1-pound yellowfin and a 113.2-pound yellowfin, winning them $18,450.
In the Wahoo division, only two wahoo weighed in 47.2 pounds and 32.4 pounds, both by angler Ryan Engquist, fishing on board the 68-foot Weaver Chasin Tail with owner John Engquist and Capt. Clayt James.
The Top Female Angler Trophy, sponsored by Maui Jim Sunglasses, went to Kate Ferrara fishing on Reel Fire. Kate weighed in a 107.1-pound yellowfin tuna. She was awarded a custom trophy, a Maui Jim gift bag complete with a Top Female Angler robe, assorted gifts from comefishla.com and Professional Sports Shop, along with a gift certificate for a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Team Reel Worthless was awarded the C.R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy as our Top Boat with 2,400 billfish points. Team Reel Worthless also received an invitation to fish the Offshore World Championship as the Cajun Canyons is a qualifying event for the World Championship. Teams Sea Mixer and Tico Time both strengthened their standings in the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series with their first-place and second-place blue marlin.
We also named Mr. Grady Lloyd as our Honorary Weigh Master. Mr. Lloyd spent 51 years as Weigh Master for the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and 10 years with the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic.
Continuing the tradition of “taking care of the working captains,” the first-place winning captains were all awarded Maui Jim sunglasses. Additionally, all winning captains were awarded gift bags with numerous gifts from comefishla.com, Pelagic Gear and Professional Sports Shop, along with a TABASCO gift bucket.
The tournament ended with a total of nine blue marlin releases, two white marlin releases and three blue marlin.