Team “Rod Bender” with local legend Capt. Kerwin Masunaga, on a 35-foot Cabo, found the winning blue marlin in the last 20 minutes of the Hawaiian Billfish Series “Kona Shootout” Tournament. The Rod Bender team led by Steve Spina started off slow with one tag going into the third day, on the final day right before stop fishing, they hooked a blue marlin that came in to the weigh station to tip the scales at 456lbs. This was good enough to sweep the awards/cash for first place Bodo Muche bronze sculpture, biggest marlin daily, high points daily, high point’s tournament, last day shootout division and crew high points award.
The Second place position went to team “Anxious” with long time Kona Capt. Neal Issaac and angler Adam Bozarth, they were on fire with seven hook-ups during the three day event and they completed the tournament with two tags to take the second place Bodo Muche sculpture, the Northern Light generators gift certificate and a high points daily awards. The fish were all over them, but did not want to stay hooked!.
Another team familiar with the winner circle was team Harris on the Last Chance with epic Kona Capt. Tracy Epstein, team Harris collected the third place Bodo Muche sculpture, the TrollPro and some cash prizes for their one blue marlin tag and biggest Ahi caught. In addition to the third place award/ prizes, they swept up one high points daily award and the biggest Ahi award with their 150.5lb catch.
The first place winner in addition to the cash/prizes were awarded by Spencer Yachts a custom illustration commission by Steve T. Goione, Spencer Yachts also sponsored giclees prints of the custom illustration for each member of the winning crew when completed, as well as the invitation to the Offshore World Championship event in Quepos, Costa Rica in spring of 2015, to fish with the best!
The Kona Shootout tag verification system was completed with the assistance of the new Garmin VIRB Elite cameras with a satellite time and date stamped video and still photos. All tagged fish were released win accordance with IGFA regulations and the Billfish Foundations guidelines. The Hawaiian Billfish Series is a firm believer in conservation and only weighs large fish that was utilized for local food.
This year’s event was complimented by the food and ambiance of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai in Kona for the registration/awards dinners and the daily prizes/ giveaways to all the teams, these prizes were provided by our valued sponsors including Hilton Waikoloa with a two day certificate awarded to most number Ahi caught, custom painting by Kona Icon Capt. Kevin Nakumara awarded to high points angler, second high points angler a custom Release Marine bucket harness, in addition a Yeti cooler was presented to high points captain and a Hamboards skateboard for the first mate award. All teams will have access to a professional video that will be constructed using all the onboard footage shot with the new Garmin VIRB Elite cameras.
The Hawaiian Billfish Series would like to thank all of the contributing sponsors of the Kona Shootout 2014- Spencer Yachts, Northern Lights Generators, Release Marine, Techincold, Mojo Sportswear and Meltons Tackle. In addition we are proud to be supported by Garmin Electronics, Bodo Muche sculptures, Northern Lights Sportfishing, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Koya Lures, Steve Goione paintings, Feadship, ded reckoning wine, Discount Car rental Hawaii and TrollPro.
The Hawaiian Billfish Series will be adding a second event in 2015 due to the demand and the success of this year’s “Kona Shootout”, look for that date to be announced soon for the beginning of June 2015 and next years ”Kona Shootout” will be held Aug 3rd to Aug 6th, 2015, don’t miss it!
For the latest tournament info please visit our website www.hawaiianbillfishseries.com and
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