It was a race to the finish for Sea Baby, who captured top honors at the 29th Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament (TCBT), June 10-15 at Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort, Abaco, Bahamas. Owned by Bill Brennan, Cape Canaveral, FL,_ Sea Baby_ made a dash for first place when they hooked up just minutes before lines out on Friday, the final day of the tournament, bumping Big T‘s owned by Bob Wolsey, Sarasota, FL into second place. Sea Baby released two blue marlin and a white marlin to clinch the title with 1400 points.
Rum Bum, owned by Luis Bacardi, Coconut Grove, FL caught the first blue marlin of the tournament and held onto the lead until the final day. At that point, 50% of the competitors had released a billfish.
The game changed on Friday. Sea Baby released a blue marlin in the morning and grabbed the lead with a total of 800 points at the time. Rum Bum released a white marlin, with a temporary hold on second place for 800 points. When_ Big T’s released their second blue marlin at 10:44 am, they were looking good for first place with 1200 points until _Sea Baby hooked up to a blue at the last moment on Friday. Sea Baby fought the fish for an hour and 20 minutes, raced back and sprinted down the dock with their release photos, as Big T‘s, then in second place, shouted their congratulations. Rum Bum received Third Place with a blue and a white marlin release.
Top Dolphin was won by Last Dance, Naples, FL for an impressive 56.2-pound bull dolphin.
Top Angler and Top Release Angler went to Bob Wolsey of Big T’_s. Second Place Angler went to Luis Bacardi of _Rum Bum. Ryan Beal of Sea Baby took Third Place Angler. Top Junior Angler went to Blye Hofstetter of Pandemonium.
A total of eleven billfish were released during the four days of fishing, by competitors who came from the Carolinas, Florida, Treasure Cay, South Africa and the United Kingdom to compete in this world-class competition. The field of sportfishing and center console boats enjoyed beautiful weather and calm seas for the most part.
For the lay day Kettle O’Fish tournament_ Big T_’s took First Place Bottom Fish with a 2.7-pound snapper. Rum Bum took First Place for the Lionfish Division with 79 fish. Pandemonium took Second Place Lionfish with 30 fish. Social events included crab races and a lay day dock party with delicious dishes prepared by the anglers.
The TCBT is a modified release tournament with four days of fishing, parties, dinners and fun competitions. Proceeds from the tournament were donated to the Treasure Cay Primary School. The winner of the TCBT received an invitation to fish the IGFA Offshore World Championship. Sponsors included Rubis Bahamas, Ltd, Silver Airways and Treasure Cay Beach, Marina and Golf Resort. Co-sponsor/official weather provider was Weather Routing, Inc. Bristol Cellars, in conjunction with Bacardi and Patron contributed to the tournament.
Open to the public, the TCBT awards 600 points for blue marlin, 200 points for white marlin, with rules, information and photos in the tournament magazine and on www.treasurecayfishing.com. Live scoring is on www.catchstat.com. Information is also on Treasure Cay’s Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/treasurecayresort.