The Trini Tarpon Tournament featured a unique format providing 100 points for releases and 200 bonus release points for fish over four feet in length and ten points per pound for fish weighing 125-pounds or more. A total of 49 anglers including 7 junior anglers fishing 16 hours called in 180 hook-ups, released 125 tarpon of which 57 were over four feet in length and successfully weighed and released alive seven fish including a 136, 147,150,168,169,171 and 173.
Fishing took place in the Boca's and small islands on the western tip of Trinidad considered by many to be the most prolific tarpon fishing grounds in the world. Participants included anglers from Canada, United States, and Trinidad & Tobago. Capt. Bruce Ungar of the Bonefish Tarpon Trust was on hand and put 3 PSAT tags and two Spot satellite tags in fish including the 168 Travis Nemth caught on Play Hookie, and the 173, the largest fish of the tournament caught by Marc Telfer on Mapepire. DNA samples were also collected by the contestants and provided to the BTT. Interested parties can keep up with the results of the tagging on www.tarbone.org.
Many juniors fished the tournament and scored points including fifteen year old Winfield Aleong, the Top Junior Angler on Nick of Time scoring 2160-points including a 171-pound tarpon, the second largest fish caught in the tournament. Winfield was assisted greatly by his thirteen year old bother Adam who drove the boat and leadered the fish as well as eleven year old Isaah Aleong who also scored points for the junior angler team. They won $3,000 TT dollars, Sport Fishing Magazine Aftco Shirt and Guy Harvey limited edition Portraits of the Deep book.
Third Place Team Ramajay scored 5,000-points from 36 releases of which 11 were over four feet in length. Team Ramajay including anglers Blayne Farinha, Chad Chu Cheong, Christian Reece, Josh Lewis and Michael Ross won $2,000 TT dollars and many prizes including a Garmin F160 fish finder, Hand Held 50lb scale, Rapala fisherman's gloves, t-shirt and Gill cap provided by Budget Marine, custom tarpon photo, fuel treatment and trophies.
Second Place Team De Jep scored 5490-points from 30 releases of which 3 were over 4' and one weighed at 169-pounds for angler JP Agostini. Other anglers on De Jep included Adam Conyers, Gordon Daglish, Marcus Skinner and Ryan Farah. They won $4,000 TT dollars and many prizes including a Garmin F160 fish finder, Hand Held 50lb scale, Rapala fisherman's gloves, t-shirt and Gill cap provided by Budget Marine, fuel treatment, Go Pro Camera, custom tarpon photo and trophies.
First Place Team and champion boat Mapepire scored 8460-points from 31 releases of which 10 were over 4' and three weighed fish including 136, 147 and 173-pounds earned $8,000 TT Dollars.
Heaviest Tarpon caught by Marc "D Hulk" Telfer at 173-pounds won an additional $10,000 TT dollars. Champion Angler was also Marc Telfer on Mapepire with 3230 points earned another $15,000 TT dollars for a total winnings of $33,000 TT dollars. Teammates included Dean "D Dream" Facory, Miguel "D Winch" Navarro and Travis "T Junk" Ali. Prizes included a beautiful King Sailfish Mounts Tarpon Trophy, Pen Rod & Reel Combo, custom tarpon photo, fuel treatment. Budget Marine provided a Garmin F160 fish finder, Hand Held 50lb scale, Rapala fisherman's gloves, t-shirt and Gill cap. Team Maprpire also received an Invitation to the IGFA Offshore World Championship.
The kickoff party and awards banquet took place at Crews Inn and Yachting Centre located in Chaguaramas Trinidad. Teams received many gifts including cases of water, Gatorade, Ginseng Up and Carib beer. Teams also received tournament t-shirts, hats, Angostura rum and DNA sample kits. The event was produced by the Rotary Club of Diego Martin volunteers and Dan Jacobs and Lynda Wilson of Sport Fishing, Salt Water Sportsman and Marlin magazines.