Sodium Tops the Fleet at Scrub Island Invitational

The popular team holds on to win the hurricane-shortened tournament

2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Four blue marlin releases put the Sodium team in the winner's circle.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography

The 2nd Annual Scrub Island Blue Marlin Invitational was held at the beautifully scenic Scrub Island Resort and Marina in the British Virgin Islands on September 1-3, 2017. Eleven boats participated in the tournament despite a threatening Hurricane Irma heading in that direction. The tournament was moved up a day and then shortened to just two days of fishing due to the approaching storm, which did considerable damage in the Caribbean islands as well as South Florida and the Florida Keys.

On Day One, Capt. Randy Jendersee led Chad Damon's Sodium team, fishing aboard Damron's 75-foot Weaver, to three blue marlin releases and the tournament lead. Marlin Darlin and Never Say Never each released two blues each to stay in contention while A1A, My Pearl and Venator each let go one blue each. In all there were 10 blue marlin caught by 11 boats on Day One.

2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
With four blues on Day Two alone, Ruckus swooped into second place overall.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography

Capt. Jerome Emanuel and the Ruckus team found the bite on Day Two in the corner of the North Drop, releasing four blue marlin. However, an earlier release by Sodium put Damron's team in first place; Ruckus would settle for second. Never Say Never caught two more blues to place third overall. Business Stinks, My Pearl and Bree each released two blue marlin each; for the two days, the 11 boats released a total of 24 blue marlin.

At the awards, the Sodium team of Damron, Jendersee and teammates Travis Butters, Tyler Valles and Richard Gibson were presented with a custom Kent Ullberg bronze sculpture and a check for $48,300 in prize money. Ruckus earned $18,900 for second place and Never Say Never won $8,640. Business Stinks cashed in with a couple daily awards that were good for $27,000; in all, over $114,800 in cash was presented at the awards. Damron was the event's top angler, while the Top Junior Angler trophy went to Jose Garcia III.

2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Tournament director Capt. Skip Smith (left) presents Chad Damron with his custom Kent Ullberg trophy as the tournament's top angler.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Never Say Never stayed in contention over the two days to place third.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Jose Garcia III was the tournament's top junior angler.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Scrub Island Resort, located in the British Virgin Islands, is a beautifully scenic tournament-host location.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
With dockage just in front of the resort, it's popular with both owners and captains alike.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Smith with the resort staff, ready to provide after-fishing drinks and snacks for the boats.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
A welcome after-fishing courtesy.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
My Pearl shows off a release flag.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Business Stinks won over $27,000 in the optional jackpots.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Roy Merritt (far right) and the Never Say Never team with a pair of blues released.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
The boys on Reel Tight, always competitive wherever they fish.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
The Sodium team after a long two days of fishing.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Randy Ringhaver's Bree cleans up nicely.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
A fun group of tournament participants.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Goose had a great time at Scrub Island.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
Three Times L after a hard day on the North Drop.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography
2017 scrub island blue marlin invitational
The docks were lit up each night.Courtesy Debra Todd Photography