At the end of Registration on Tuesday 19th January 2016, fifty (50) of the best sport fishing boats from the region and beyond, were berthed at the Grenada Yacht Club and at Port Louis Marina to participate in the Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament.
The boats came from Tobago, Trinidad, Barbados, St Lucia, St. Vincent (Bequia), Martinique, Antigua, Canada, USA and of course, Grenada (even Carriacou), and there were teams from USA and the UK fishing on other charter boats. 245 anglers were registered to participate.
From the beginning of the Bimini start which was 7:30 am there was a hint of great things to come as within minutes of lines down, many boats began to report strikes. This continued throughout the day and at the end of the day one, the boat GUD TYME from Trinidad was in the lead based on the number of releases. A total of 30 releases of billfish were reported to 'fish control' that day. Fourteen fish were brought to the scale to be weighed, the species being yellow fin tuna, wahoo and Dorado.
On Day two Thursday's(21st) fishing was even better, and our “fish control” radio office was kept busy throughout the entire day trying to keep up, with the need to record the release of many billfish. At the end of the day a total of 60 fish were released which was by far the most releases we have had in a day. A small contribution to the efforts of the committee's goal of conservation. Only two Wahoo’s were brought to the scale.
On Friday22nd the committee's efforts were widely applauded for their 'lay-day' spread to ensure all of the anglers and sponsors were fed. Dishes such as oil down, chicken, pork, mutton, baked fish and fish-k-bobs together with all supporting vegetables, salad and rice were served to well over 300 persons.
On Day three Saturday'sfishing can well be described as even better than the 2nd day, as a total of 57 fish were released, but lines up was in fact an hour and a half earlier! In all a total of 147 billfish were released, and NOT ONE was killed. The BMSIBT committee is extremely proud of this year’s event, given its efforts to ensure the Conservation of the Species. One wahoo and seven yellow fin tunas were brought to the scale.
A Gala Awards Function was held on the premises of the Public Workers Union property where over 300 anglers and a number of the main sponsors were served a lovely meal prepared by Island Catering.
The boat EXILE which was registered as a USA boat, came away proud winners of the Grand Slam Prize of an AB Dinghy and Tohatsu outboard engine sponsored by Budget Marine, along with a number of beautiful prizes awarded for winning the overall event with the most released fish of 19!
Results: Top Female Anger: Miranda Armstrong, Challenge II (Barbados) 600 points, 2 releases; Top Junior Angler: Justin Steele, Crazy Horse Again (Grenada) 600 points, 1 release; Senior Angers: 3rd Place: Anthony Lambert, Smooth Ice (Grenada) 2100 points, 6 releases; 2nd Place: Jean Paul Debs, Kala Girl (Trinidad & Tobago) 2100 points 6 releases; 1st Place: Christopher Van Grieken, Exile (US) 2700 points 8 releases; Top Grenada Boat: Smooth Ice, 2400 points, 6 releases; Grand Slam Boat: Exile (US) – all three species caught on Jan 23, 2016; 10th place boat: London Pride, Trinidad & Tobago, 1800 points, 4 releases; 9th place boat: Silver Lining, Barbados, 1800 points, 4 releases; 8th place boat: Irish Cream 2, Grenada, 1800 points, 4 releases; 7th place boat: Cocobel, Trinidad & Tobago, 1800 points, 4 releases; 6th place boat: Smooth Ice, Grenada, 2400 points, 6 releases; 5th place boat: Gud Tyme, Trinidad & Tobago, 3000 points, 7 releases; 4th place boat: Blue Fever II, Trinidad & Tobago, 3000 points, 7 releases; 3rd place boat: Houdini, Trinidad & Tobago, 3000 points, 7 releases; 2nd place boat: Kala Girl, Trinidad & Tobago, 4200 points, 12 releases; 1st place boat: Exile, USA, 6600 points, 19 releases. (Can also be found on our website: www.sibt.gd)
It is always a pleasure to host this event, and we enjoy having our friends from across the waters join us for this challenge. We couldn’t accomplish it without the help of the sponsors. Budget Marine, the principal sponsor, is the largest chandlery chain in the Caribbean with 13 locations in the region. With a newly expanded chandlery in Grenada they offer Grenadian boaters and visitors a wide range of marine products. We want to express our heartfelt “thank you” to Budget Marine as well as our other sponsors. We look forward to working with all of them again, and seeing all our friends again in 2017.