The team from Point Runner, a 60-foot Guthrie charter boat based at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, led from start to finish in the 2017 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament, held at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.
Captain and owner Chris Kubik, Capt. Lucas Jolly, mate Scotty Simpson and the rest of the crew released 20 white marlin and won $231,193 for multiple categories. Point Runner was the top boat of the week and claimed first place overall, first place tuna (69.8 pounds), first place in the Day One daily and jackpot, and second place in the Day Two daily.
Pelican, a 56-foot Paul Mann also based at Oregon Inlet, released 17 white marlin and finished second overall. Combined with first place in the Day Two daily and jackpot, the team earned $151,036.
Fin Planner, a 58-foot Buddy Harris run by Capt. Chris Gornell, finished third with 15 billfish releases and won $55,048. Chasin’ Tail, a 68-foot Bayliss with Capt. Butch Davis at the helm, finished fourth place with 14 releases. Rigged Up, the 54-foot Omie Tillet, was fifth overall with 13 billfish released.
The 79-boat fleet released 555 billfish, including 429 white marlin, 78 sailfish, 46 blue marlin and two spearfish. No blue marlin were weighed, but releases with photo verification earned an extra 50 points.
Sandra D, a 58-foot Hudson with Capt. Mike Merritt at the helm, won $87,472 for first place in blue marlin release division. The team released three fish. Full Choke, a 38-foot Jarrett Bay, finished second in the blue marlin release category.
Ryan Dayton, fishing aboard Martha D, was named the top angler for six billfish releases (650 points). Stacey Allen, from the Wall Hanger team, earned top lady angler honors for nine billfish releases (900 points). E.J. Nettles, fishing aboard Short People, snagged five billfish and the top junior angler title.
The 2018 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament will be August 13-17 at the Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.