The Channel Islands Billfish Tournament was held September 10-14, 2016, in Southern California. Good weather and solid fishing resulted in 12 striped marlin successfully released by the fleet of 16 participating boats, with several more hooked and lost. The main body of fish were spread out between the west end of Catalina and Santa Cruz Island. Jim Dalpozza’s Hydrocarbon team, with Capt. Eric Hermann, took home the highest honors with four striped marlin releases. Gerry Bellaart and Seaway took second place with two marlin releases and Ruckus with C.G Miller and crew took home third place with two releases.
The Channel Islands Billfish Tournament started in 1970 as a spin-off of the Channel Islands Angling Club and for ten years was known as the Channel Islands Invitational Broadbill Tournament. Only broadbill swordfish were targeted in the 1970s and the largest one ever taken was 443 pounds, caught in 1975 by Ted Naftzger. Eve Radon landed the last swordfish caught in the tournament in 1978, which weighed 336 pounds.
In 1980, marlin were added to the tourney to spice things up, and it was then that this event became known as the Channel Islands Billfish Tournament. The Channel Islands Billfish Tournament is unique because it is a relatively small tournament fished primarily by local anglers. The competition among boats is only exceeded by the camaraderie shared between crews during the annual event. The Channel Islands Yacht Club is the host for the tournament.