The 49th annual Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish tournament was once again a raving success this year, with 56 boats participating amid good weather, and while the fishing was a bit slow by local standards, you’d never know it by listening to the participating anglers. They were there to fish and have fun and they certainly did both.
The big winner of the tournament was Magic Lady out of Trinidad and Tobago, scoring 3,000 points with one blue marlin, two white marlin and five sailfish releases to take home first place honors. They will also have the right to represent the tournament in the Offshore World Championship in April in Costa Rica. Glen Chartlett aboard Magic Lady was also the event’s top angler with 1,500 points.
Another boat from Trinidad and Tobago, EZ Axcess, placed second in the standings with 2,700 points; Ryan Agar from EZ Axcess was the second-place angler. Placing third was Capt. Frank Pettisani’s team aboard Exile, an American boat with anglers from Canada, the U.S. and Aruba. Tricia Thompson was the top lady angler and Amelee Mayers was the top junior, both fishing on Remember Me Now from Barbados.
For the tournament there were 85 billfish releases in three days of fishing: 14 blue marlin, 14 white marlin and 57 sailfish. The game fish were also well-represented, with a yellowfin tuna weighing 165 pounds scaled by Avi Paul from Black Child II from Grenada (it was just 8 pounds shy of the tournament record of 173 pounds).
Next year will mark the event’s 50th anniversary, and it’s sure to be not only a terrific party but one of the most memorable tournaments in the Caribbean, so make plans now to attend the 2019 Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament.