The Florida-based crew aboard the 62-foot Spencer Shoe finished on top of the leader board and took home a fortune in cash and luxury prizes when fishing was complete after final day of this year’s Casa de Campo International Blue Marlin Classic tournament in the Dominican Republic which took place March 17 through March 22.
Unusually strong currents greeted the tournament fleet on Day One as they headed out to the fishing grounds off of Casa de Campo’s marina. At 9:22AM Blue Heaven broke the ice with the tournament’s first blue. During the afternoon of the first day, a battle ensued between North Carolina’s Contango and Miami-based Betsy _with both boats releasing a pair of blue marlin. At lines out _Contango _held on to take the daily by releasing their second blue ahead of _Betsy.
Day two dawned much the same as the first with currents so strong that many of the boats reported that a number of the local artisanal fleet’s FADs (Floating Aggregate Devices) were being pulled under the surface by the churning tides and could not be seen while others had disintegrated and scattered. A new battle broke out this day between Betsy and Shoe, releasing three blues each with Shoe taking the daily by virtue of bonus points earned for releases registered on 30-poundunder tournament rules. Contango also remained in the hunt with the release of a blue.
On the third and final day, crews were met with the same conditions as the previous two days of fishing, and the stage was set for what was expected to be an exciting down to the wire finish. Shoe _immediately proceeded to get things started by releasing the first blue of the day and added a second one in the early afternoon, pulling ahead of _Betsy due to the 30-pound bonus points. Contango _gave chase and released two blues of their own to catch up to the leader, but were unable to pass them and finished in second place based on time. _Betsy finished third with no blue marlin released on the final day. The 17-boat fleet released 40 blue marlin in the three days during the tournament.
Shoe’s _owner Don Schumacher commented, “Hard work and attention to details by everyone on the team is what accomplished the win for us. My captain, Devin Silas, worked very hard to get us on fish and that was the reason for our win.” In addition to the blue marlin releases, six white marlin and two spearfish were released, and although these did not score points in the tournament, they did count towards series points for the Dominican Triple-Header tournament. Following the Blue Marlin Classic, _Contango is holding the lead in the series.
In the Individual angler standings Betsy’s owner, Mike Brauser was the tournament’s top angler for releasing five blues, earning him the Mustad Silver Hook Trophy. Geno Savers from Miss Magnolia _took second place in the angler division with three blues and edged out _Shoe’s _Kenny Krumins who also had three blue marlin releases. Top Lady Angler was Patricia Ranik aboard _Tomahawk.