Bermuda charter captain and boat owner Cragin “Curly” Curtis had an incredible run this season with angler Stephanie Choate, who initially booked him to fish the Blue Marlin World Cup and the Bermuda Billfish Blast aboard his 48-foot Holton, Reel Addiction. Along with Choate would be legendary South Florida skipper Capt. Ray Rosher and mates Alex Mackenzie and Steven Stallings.
With just 30 minutes left to fish in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the team boated a 625-pound blue marlin that won the daily and overall optional jackpots in the Billfish Blast as well as the Big Blue Challenge of the Blue Marlin World Cup, the one-day shootout which runs concurrently on July 4 each year. Choate added two more blue marlin plus a white marlin, all released, to win the Billfish Blast hands-down, sweeping nearly every award category. Not bad for her first time fishing in Bermuda!
Fishing without their good-luck charm, the Reel Addiction team added another blue marlin release in the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Bermuda Big Game Classic. Choate then returned with Rosher and Stallings for the third and final event, the Sea Horse Anglers Club tournament, where they boated a 562-pound blue marlin on the first day of the tournament and released a second blue the following day. That gave them a total of 5,287 points from seven blue marlin and three white marlin releases, plus two weighed fish at 562 and 625 pounds, in the Bermuda Triple Crown. Reel Addiction is the first Bermuda-based boat to win the Triple Crown in the 12-year history of the event.
The Seamaster team placed second in the Bermuda Triple Crown with 4,700 points, while No Vacancy was third at 4,238 points. Fa-La-Me was fourth at 4,200 points and Chasin’ Tail rounded out the top five with 4,000 points.
The 2016 Bermuda Triple Crown had record-setting fishing, with 182 billfish scored: 161 blue marlin, 20 white marlin and one spearfish. And due to the generous sponsorship from Elaine Jones, Dan Doyle Sr., Dan Devine, Dan Murphy, Stephanie Choate, Spencer Butterfield, and Frank Rodriguez, the Bermuda IGFA Great Marlin Race satellite tagging program continues for the second year in a row.