Tournament fishing requires serious dedication and attention to every detail, but a healthy dose of good luck sure doesn’t hurt. Capt. Fin Gaddy had never won a major tournament but he had a good feeling going into the 14th annual Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. He had an experienced charter party aboard his 57-foot Paul Mann, Qualifier, when the fish of a lifetime struck on the second day of the tournament. After a remarkably short fight, the blue marlin was secured on deck; back at the scales, it weighed an impressive 801 pounds. Combined with two sailfish releases, it was enough to lift Qualifier into first place, earning the team over $237,000.
Capt. Harvey Shiflet and the Anticipation team are having another great season this year. They placed second in the tournament with 12 white marlin and one spearfish, all released, for 910 points. Anticipation is a 61 Spencer. Day Maker, a 58-foot B&D captained by Bobby Krivohlavek, finished third with nine white marlin. Another Spencer boat, the 70-foot Plane Simple, landed in fourth with nine white marlin, falling just short of the top three on time. Obsession, Jeff Ross’ 55 Sheldon Midgett, rounded out the top five with eight sailfish releases.
In this year’s tournament there were 75 participating teams and 541 anglers, fishing for a cash purse of $525,500. There were 263 billfish released: 12 blue marlin, 218 white marlin, 21 sailfish and 12 spearfish. Qualifier‘s blue marlin was the only billfish weighed.