Point Runner Wins 2017 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

The team started fast and led the entire way in the North Carolina tournament

August 23, 2017
Point Runner wins 2017 Pirate's Cove Tournament
Fishing on Point Runner, the winning team celebrates its big payday after releasing 20 white marlin. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

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 team finishes second
Pelican‘s crew finished second in this year’s tournament. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

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 wins release division
Capt. Mike Merritt and his Sandra D team won the blue marlin release category with three releases. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

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.

Builder's Choice fishing boat
Builder’s Choice shows off its flags at the 2017 Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament in North Carolina. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
sport-fishing boats at docks
The tournament fleet included 79 sport-fishers, three of which sit at the docks above. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
sport-fishing boats on the water
Part of the sport-fishing fleet returns to the docks after fishing for a wide range of offshore species. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
preparing bait for tournament
This team is gearing up for fishing with a little time devoted to bait prep. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
panda mask
Back at the docks, things were getting a little weird. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
Point Runner flags from tournament
At the conclusion of the tournament, Point Runner shows its colors high and leaves no doubt which team won. Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

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