Walker’s Cay Invitational Draws Big Fleet to Legendary Island

Fourth Annual Tournament Draws 60 Boats, Hundreds of Anglers, and Awards $1.24 Million in Prizes
The winning team celebrating at the awards ceremony of the Walker's Cay Invitational
Team Cowdawg celebrates its first-place victory at the 2024 Walker’s Cay Invitational. Courtesy Walker’s Cay Invitational

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The fourth annual Walker’s Cay Invitational, held from May 22 to May 25, 2024, attracted 60 boats and hundreds of participants, all vying for a share of the $1.24 million purse. Anglers caught a total of 175 fish, including 101 blue marlin, 37 white marlin and 37 sailfish, which were released back into the ocean.

The docks buzzed with excitement daily as anglers gathered to watch wahoo, mahi-mahi and tuna being weighed on the official IGFA-certified scale. On the second day, 81-year-old Frank Criscola of the boat Crisdel wowed the crowd with a 577.4-pound blue marlin, a feat that earned his team $270,000 after a grueling four-hour battle.

The overall winner of the tournament was team Cowdawg, which took home $135,000 for the win. Kickin Tires took second place; Plane Simple came in third. Jim Jensen of the Plane Simple took home top angler honors, while Kristy Sevag of the My Love won the trophy for top lady angler. Xander Black, on the Sea Base, was the highest scoring junior angler.

Walker’s Cay, located 100 miles east of Stuart, Florida, is the northernmost and most western island in the Abaco chain of the Bahamas. Known for over 50 years as a premier deep-sea fishing destination, the island is experiencing a renaissance under the stewardship of philanthropist and marlin fishing enthusiast Carl Allen and his wife, Gigi. In 2021, the Allens reopened Walker’s Cay for its first tournament in nearly two decades.

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