The Blue Marlin Release Tournament has grown to become one of the largest billfish tournaments found anywhere in the Caribbean, thanks in part to strong support from the local fishing community in Curaçao as well as a contingent of visitors from other areas, including nearby Aruba, Bonaire and Venezuela. Several teams from the United States also came to Curaçao to compete in the event, now celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. The Curaçao Yacht Club hosted the tournament.
Emerging victorious was the Living Easy team from Aruba. Led by owner Herbert Merryweather, the team, fishing aboard a 37-foot Bertram, released three blue marlin on the first day of competition and never looked back. On Day Two they were unable to connect with a fourth blue marlin but did release a white marlin first thing in the morning to also win the release division for that species. “Knowing that it would be a very competitive tournament this year, we were happy to have a strong start,” Merryweather reports. “With three on the first day we weren’t sure if it would be enough. The second day felt like it was 36 hours long!”
And competitive it was indeed. In second place was the Curaçao-based Reel Easy team, also releasing three blue marlin for the tournament (two on Day One and another on Day Two). The third place team, Picante, also had three blue marlin releases. There were 21 blue marlin released, along with one white marlin and one sailfish, in two days of fishing.