International Billfish Tournament, Puerto Rico: On the Docks

Sights from San Juan

Marlin senior editor Sam White had the opportunity to fish as an angler in this year's International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan in Puerto Rico, where he posted these images from the docks and on the water during the event.

2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan sunset
Just after sunset, the skies turned amazing colors behind the palm trees as everyone headed for the tournament registration. Kickoff for these events is always fun but sometimes you have to stop and watch the scenery as well.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan perpetual trophies
The perpetual trophies of the various winners in Salon Rojo, the upstairs bar in Club Nautico. The club was founded in 1930 so the history is very impressive. There are currently about 400 members.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan Sal Egea Jr. tournament director
Tournament director Sal Egea, Jr. addresses the audience of anglers, captains, crews, sponsors and volunteers during the welcome party. Egea did an exceptional job managing the various facets of the tournament from start to finish.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan
The shotgun start at the IBT is always exciting. Islamar goes roaring past on the way to the fishing grounds just offshore.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan boat trolling
Most of the action takes place just a few miles offshore, well within the sight of land. Seas were calm each morning before the breeze picked up in the afternoons but conditions were generally very good throughout the event, with plenty of bright sunny skies.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan pitch bait
Teams had the choice to pitch-bait if they chose. Marco on B-Way has a mullet with a circle hook ready for any blue marlin that are raised to the teasers behind the 64-foot Spencer.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan
Puerto Rico has installed a series of fish-attracting buoys like this one about 4 miles offshore, so much of our efforts in the tournament were centered around the FADs. They attract baitfish and, in turn, mahimahi, bonito and blue marlin.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan Lasik
Lasik, a beautiful 70-foot enclosed flybridge F&S, makes a run to one of the FADs. They hooked up to a blue marlin shortly after they arrived, breaking the fish off after about 40 minutes.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan Tim Mossberg blue marlin
Tim Mossberg battles a blue marlin on 30-pound-test gear aboard Panama Jack, a 50-foot Viking. This fish came in hot on the right short teaser, a purple Flippy Floppy Thing, before switching to an all-black Moldcraft Chugger pitch-bait. Mossberg released the fish after a fight of about 25 minutes.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan lures
Some teams preferred to pull a spread of all artificial lures while others used lures on the long riggers and teasers in close, preferring to pitch-bait any blues that came in hot on a teaser. There's a definite preference for the darker colors in San Juan, with most teams running lots of black/red, black/purple and black/green color patterns.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan fort morro
During the tournament's mandatory lay day, a visit to historic Fort Morro was in order. The historic Spanish fortress guards the entrance to San Juan Harbor and its natural deep-water port.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan lighthouse fort morro
The lighthouse at Fort Morro still stands.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan church
One of the many Catholic churches that dot historic Old San Juan. A walking tour of this fascinating part of the city yielded lessons in history, architecture and more.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan
Angler Rene LeFranc gets to work on a blue marlin under the watchful eye of his uncle, legendary Puerto Rican angler Jaime Fullana, aboard the 74-foot Buddy Davis, Bolita. The fish was the second part of a double-header.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan rene lefranc
LeFranc is all smiles as his big blue marlin tears off a run of several hundred yards. Despite hooking the fish on 50-pound tackle, he was unable to turn the fish and ended up breaking the line after a fight lasting more than two hours.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan fleet returning
The tournament fleet returns to Club Nautico with the city skyline in the background. This year's event hosted 47 of the top teams fishing in the Caribbean.Sam White
2016 International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan sunset
The sun sets on the 63rd anniversary of the International Billfish Tournament of Club Nautico de San Juan. Preparations are already underway for next year's tournament.Sam White