Uno Mas Wins Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament in North Carolina

The popular North Carolina event hosted 72 teams this year

2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Uno Mas first place team Brooks Smith
Brooks Smith and the Uno Mas team emerged victorious after a hard-fought week of fishing.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear

Brooks Smith, Capt. Tommy Lynskey and the Uno Mas team released 11 white marlin, six sailfish and one blue marlin to win the 2016 Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament, taking home $144,665 in prize money. Smith was also the top angler of the tournament. "There's just something special about this place. We're very comfortable here," Lynskey explained. "When you're going against the best in the world, it's good to come in here and beat 'em." Uno Mas is a 68 Bayliss.

Rigged Up, a classic 54 Omie Tillet with Capt. Charles Haywood at the helm, came in second with 16 sailfish released, good for $114,965. Capt. Daniel Spencer led Bullwinkle, a 57 Spencer, to the third-place finish with nine white marlin and seven sailfish released. There were no qualifying blue marlin boated, so all billfish prizes were awarded based on released fish. This year's Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament hosted 72 boats and 464 anglers, competing for a total prize purse of $612,000. The teams released 520 billfish: 277 sailfish, 203 white marlin and 40 blue marlin.

2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Rigged Up Charles Haywood second place team
Rigged Up released 16 sailfish to bring home a check for second place.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Bullwinkle third place team Daniel Spencer
Capt. Daniel Spencer and the Bullwinkle team landed in third place.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Viking demo boat Ryan Higgins
The Viking factory demo boat heads in with their release flags up.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament sailfish release flags
Many of the boats found good numbers of sailfish offshore.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Steve Goione
Artist Steve Goione chats with a participant in the tournament pavilion.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament bait rigging
The preferred technique is dead-bait fishing, which means rigging plenty of ballyhoo.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament fleet at night
The fleet lights up the night.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament Legacy returns to Pirates Cove
Legacy returns to Pirate's Cove with plenty of laundry flying off the rigger.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament fleet
Just part of the Pirate's Cove tournament fleet. This year's event hosted 72 top teams.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament million dollar row
The boats line Million Dollar Row at Pirate's Cove marina.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament heather maxwell signing checks
Tournament director Heather Maxwell signs the presentation checks.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament brown gaddy first fish
Brown Gaddy, fishing with his father Fin on Qualifier, took home a daily prize.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament blue marlin release
Everyone's happy with a blue marlin release.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament yellowfin tuna
There were some nice yellowfin tuna landed during the week like this one.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear
2016 Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament bartender staff
The hard-working bar staff kept everyone happy during tournament week at the pavilion.Courtesy Capt. Dave Lear