Fish the Scrub Island Invitational Billfish Series

The North Drop heats up in late summer
A sport-fishing boat cruises through the waters around the British Virgin Islands.
A victorious Mon Chari returns to port after the final leg of the 2022 tournament series. Courtesy Out Your Front Door

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For decades, the North Drop in the Virgin Islands was known as perhaps the most consistent spot on the planet for blue marlin fishing, especially during the periods just prior to and just after the full moons from July through October. These are big, aggressive fish that crash baits and teasers with abandon. Captains also enjoy this fishery because you’re actively hunting along more than 25 miles of structure.

This summer, two back-to-back events will highlight just how good this fishery can be. Get ready to fish the Scrub Island Invitational Billfish Series. Leg One is slated for August 27-31, and Leg Two will take place August 31-September 4. Each leg will feature three days of head-to-head tournament competition amid those blue marlin-rich waters during the unique “blue moon” period, just 25 miles from the Scrub Island Resort and Marina. It’s a series you won’t want to miss.

A sport-fishing team celebrates with a champagne shower.
Mon Chari’s Capt. Matt Coppoletta gets a champagne shower from boat owner Damon Chouest during the 2022 series. Courtesy Out Your Front Door

In the breaking-news category, there is now fuel available at Scrub Island for visiting sport-fishers. No longer do they need to head to Tortola or elsewhere in the BVI to refuel. Another highlight of the resort is the superb amenities it offers nonfishing guests and families. They can relax and be pampered in the resort’s spa; go snorkeling, diving or exploring around the completely safe private island; or hop a water taxi to Tortola to visit the world-famous Baths. Air travel to Scrub Island is also easy, with flights landing in nearby Tortola, with the ­aforementioned water taxi shuttling visitors back and forth day and night. If there were a tournament destination to bring the wife and kids, this is certainly one that’s worthy of consideration.

A fleet of sport-fishing boats returning at the end of a tournament.
The boats return to Scrub Island at the conclusion of the second tournament. Courtesy Out Your Front Door

Last year’s series winner and owner of the 68-foot American Custom Yacht Mon Chari, Damon Chouest, says: “We love fishing the North Drop—and have for a long time—for a lot of reasons, but mostly it’s the consistent bite. You can start a week on the front side of the [full] moon in August or September and fish through to a few days after, and be pretty confident of good fishing.” The savagery of the bite is another box to check: “We fish with all bait rather than lures, and the teaser bites are usually pretty amazing to see. Sometimes after the moon, the fish can get a bit lazy, but usually they are aggressive, and it’s a lot of fun.” Mon Chari won the 2022 series with 17 blue marlin, one white marlin, three sailfish and one spearfish in six days of fishing. When they returned to fish in early November, usually considered the tail-end of the season on the Drop, they had incredible fishing, going 9-for-9 on blues, 2-for-2 on whites and 3-for-3 on sailfish. That’s a hot bite in anyone’s book.

A Scrub Island Invitational attendant handing out cocktails on the boat docks.
Unbeatable hospitality is just part of the program. Courtesy Out Your Front Door

Again, the tournament staff will have a government liaison in place to assist visiting teams with all licensing and permits this year, and multiple-month permits are also available. Scrub Island is an excellent host destination, with 55 deepwater slips, provisioning, several options for dining and drinking just steps from the docks, luxurious accommodations, and more. The staff is also top-notch.

An angler reels in a large blue marlin on the leader.
A feisty blue marlin takes to the air. Richard Gibson

For more information on the Scrub Island Invitational and to request an invitation to fish, head to

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