Reel Addiction Wins Big in Bermuda Billfish Blast | Marlin Magazine

Reel Addiction Wins Big in Bermuda Billfish Blast

Stephanie Choate and crew sweeps the top awards and jackpots in the tournament

Reel Addiction winner 2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Stephanie Choate

Stephanie Choate and the Reel Addiction team swept nearly all the awards and jackpots in the Bermuda Billfish Blast.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

The Bermuda Billfish Blast attracts some of the best big-game anglers and crews in the world, thanks in part to its positioning as the first event in the Bermuda Triple Crown and the coinciding Blue Marlin World Cup on July 4. This year’s big winner was the Reel Addiction team, with Capt. Cragin Curtis and angler Stephanie Choate, who caught a 625-pound blue marlin on July 4, the first day of the tournament. But the fishing just kept getting better for this team as the three-day event progressed. On Day One, Choate caught the big blue and released a white marlin; on Day Two, the team added two blues and a white, and Choate finished strong on Day Three with two more blues and a white to win another daily release jackpot. Stephanie Choate was the top angler and also the top lady angler for the Billfish Blast, and her big blue held on to win the optional jackpot in the World Cup. The Reel Addiction team will have the opportunity to represent the Bermuda Billfish Blast in the 2017 Offshore World Championship in Quepos, Costa Rica, as well.

Finishing in second place was the Reel Lax team, with owner Lester Petracca and Capt. James Barnes. They released three blue marlin and a spearfish in three days of fishing. Brooks Smith’s Uno Mas edged out Chasin’ Tail on time with three blue marlin released to round out the top three. A total of 30 teams and 158 anglers scored 39 blue marlin, eight white marlin and one spearfish over three days of fishing.

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Reel Lax second place

Reel Lax was second in the tournament with three blue marlin and a spearfish released.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Uno Mas Brooks Smith

The Uno Mas team finished in third place with three blue marlin released.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Stephanie Choate

Stephanie Choate grinds one out from the chair. She was the event's top angler and top lady angler.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Reel Addiction first place blue marlin

Reel Addiction's 625-pound blue marlin was the largest of the event and also won the optional jackpot in the Blue Marlin World Cup, which ran concurrently on July 4 with the Bermuda Billfish Blast.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Uno Mas backing down

Uno Mas backs down hard on a Bermudian blue marlin.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast white marlin release

A white marlin is released at boat-side.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Sea Toy trolling

The North Carolina-based Sea Toy trolls by during the tournament.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast

One of three blue marlin released by the Reel Addiction team in the Billfish Blast.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast Reel Addiction blue marlin release

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Fa La Me

One of the largest boats participating this year, Frank Rodriguez' Fa-La-Me struts her stuff on the rip.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast blue marlin release

A blue marlin just prior to release.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast

Cookie Monster heads out for a day of fishing off Bermuda.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast Cookie Monster

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Uno Mas  Brooks Smith

She's a familiar sight in Bermuda waters: Brooks Smith's Uno Mas.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Callie Girl

With beautiful scenery in the background, Callie Girl makes a grand entrance.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast Bree

Bree heads to sea in search of blue marlin during the Billfish Blast.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast blue marlin release

Teams were required to show a number like this one that's captured in their release videos.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

2016 Bermuda Billfish Blast

It's another beautiful day of Bermuda marlin fishing during the Billfish Blast.

Courtesy Bermuda Billfish Blast

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