The 21st-annual Custom Shootout began with calm seas and very little wind greeting a sold-out fleet of 53 of the sport’s finest custom boats, with the captains, owners, anglers, and crews all ready to battle it out. The fishing reports out of Abaco Beach Resort and Boat Harbour Marina had been good leading up to the event as well.
Day One saw the familiar faces aboard Lo Que Sea—Capt. Garrett Yarbrough, Tony Huerta, Taylor Beckford, Aaron Fratten and Corey Blanyan—in the lead with three blue marlin, two white marlin and a sailfish, earning them bonus points for the grand slam. Bear Trap caught a tripleheader of blue marlin to earn second place for the day.
The second day of fishing went to Builder’s Choice for the daily with four blue marlin releases, as the good bite continued. Wire Transfer was second in the daily with three blues and a white. That evening was the builder’s night celebration; in attendance were Russ Garufi from Titan Yachts, Rich Scheffer from Tribute, John Floyd with F&S, John Bayliss, Roy Merritt, Paul Spencer and Mike Rybovich. Other builders representing Jarrett Bay, Garlington, Willis and Jim Smith were also present. The stories the builders told that night had everyone laughing for days, and it was an enjoyable evening for all in attendance.
Day Three was a fight right to the end. Insane-O jumped into the lead with only an hour left with two blues and three whites to win the daily, while Lo Que Sea caught two blues and a sail for the second-place daily money. When the overall scores were tallied, it was Lo Que Sea winning the event with six blue marlin, three white marlin and two sailfish, good for $325,520. This is the third time this team has won the Custom Shootout. Insane-O was second, winning $190,060, and Wrapped Up was third. There was a total of 110 blue marlin caught and released, along with 62 white marlin and 46 sailfish. The charity tournament donated plenty of money to the Abaco volunteer fire department, a local school for challenged kids, and the Rotary Club to help many other people on the island.