There was magic in the air for team "Magic Lady" as they worked their way into a winning position at the end of the 2 day Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association (TTGFA) 31st International Marlin Madness Bill Fish Tournament in Tobago.
Captain Nick Telfer along with team mates Francois Mouttet, Christian Hadeed, Keith Murray and Barry Williams enjoyed great fishing having released 3 Blue Marlins. The tournament which took place on March 27th and 28th in Tobago water did not enjoy a very good catch this year so every bill fish release counted. Angler, Francois Mouttet won best angler with the most bill fish releases (3 Blue Marlins).
Team "Double Dutch" captained by Dennis Wortman placed second with team "Mar Caribe" captained by Kent Costa placing third. The top three teams were all from Trinidad. Tobago's Stanley Dillon was the captain for "Super Cool" which placed fourth. Captain Gary Mac Lean along with team "Zingo" placed fifth overall. The other top spots were as follows : "Chalupa" - sixth, "Grand Slam" - seventh, "Southern Cross" - eighth, "Afunday" - ninth and "Iron Man" - tenth.
Best female angler was won by Jeanne Aleong of the team "Ega Beaver". There were no junior angler awards as none of the participants qualified with a catch.
This year's international bill fish tournaments in Tobago was revolutionary for our twin island state as the two major game fishing associations, the Trinidad and Tobago Game Fishing Association (TTGFA) and the Tobago International Game Fishing Tournament (TIGFT) teamed up to host a week of fishing and fun for the first time in their long history of hosting these tournaments in the sister Isle.
In previous years the two tournaments used to compete for the right time to host their tournaments which relies heavily on the moon phases and other factors that make it most suitable for fishing to be successful in our waters. The tournaments were held between March 26th and April 2nd 2011
The TTGFA's tournament has been around for 31 years and the TIGFT celebrated their 16th anniversary this year so both committees have substantial experience in hosting their respective tournaments and other events surrounding their tournaments such as the lay days and prize giving dinners.
The idea of having a one week Tobago bill fish Bonanza came about as both associations saw the need to give more value to their participants, many of whom are foreigners. It also was an opportunity to streamline the efforts of both organizations to continue to place Tobago as a premium destination for game fishing.
TTGFA'S President, Reginald Mac Lean said that he was extremely pleased with the turnout of anglers and boats but wished the fishing could have been a bit better. He however recognised that the sponsors got good coverage with the well attended lay day that was hosted at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park and also at the prize giving event which took place at Renmar's Restaurant also at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
The TTGFA's Marlin Madness tournament platinum sponsors were the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs (MSYA) and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA). The Gold sponsor was Carib and Silver sponsors were FT Farfan, Shell, Cargo Consolidators, Appleton Estate Rum, Evian Water, Sure Parts and Black Bart. Bronze sponsors were Gatorade, Casfab, Budget Marine, Digicel and Reel Tackle & Seafood Ltd.