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June 29, 2010

Over Budget wins $24,404 at Bermuda Billfish Release Cup

Over Budget wins $24,404 at Bermuda Billfish Release Cup

DOCKYARD, Bermuda - Team Over Budget of Bermuda took first place in the 2nd annual Bermuda Billfish Release Cup, which occurred June 26-27, 2010 at the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda.

The event began Friday evening with clear blue skies as participating anglers, families and friends old and new gathered for registration and a kick-off dinner at the Bonefish Bar & Grill just minutes from Pier 41, which served as host marina for the tourney. The Bermuda Billfish Release Cup celebrates the beginning of the Bermuda billfish season, and anglers vied for over $55,000 in cash and prizes and a chance to go to the IGFA Offshore World Championship.

Day one of fishing on presented itself with picture-perfect seas as the fleet left Pier 41 and lines went in at 7 a.m., but the bite was slow. Mako, a 56-foot Carolina Sportfisherman captained Allen DeSilva of Bermuda, woke up the radio in a big way with a blue marlin hookup by Chuck McKenzie of Lakeland, Florida, earning them 500 points after its release at 8:48 a.m. - an early lead that stayed with Team Mako the entire day. An hour-and-a-half later, Overproof, a 41-foot Island Boatworks owned by Capt. Peter Rans of Bermuda boated a 56.9-pound yellowfin caught by Marcell Ladouceur. The tuna was only gamefish weighed during the tournament, making it the single qualifier for the tournament's new Team Game Fish Division and earning Team Overproof $5,400.

Off Piste, Bermudian Capt. Brian Lines' 47-foot Cabo, came onto the board at 3:15 p.m. with 200 points after Lines released a white marlin. Two minutes later, Ricky Sousa Sr., of Bermuda, owner of Over Budget, a 51-foot Bertram steered by Capt. Russell Young, also landed a white marlin. The fish put Team Over Budget on the leader board with 200 points and in third place behind Off Piste after the first day of the tournament and a difficult day of fishing.

Action picked up on day two, and several more fish were fought, released ... and lost offshore. At 8:20 a.m., Colin Barnes' 40-foot Bertram Profit Margin emerged with 200 points when Bermudian Tim Spicer released a white marlin. Over Budget added another 200 points to its score at 8:41 a.m., when Ricky Sousa Jr. released a white. Only 20 minutes later, Sousa Sr. hooked up a blue, keeping radio listeners in suspense. Meanwhile, Que Mas, a 70-foot American Custom Yacht captained by Travis Butters, had owner Wally Whitley of Islamorada, Florida, in the chair, also fighting a blue.

Whitley released the second blue of the tournament at 10:03 a.m., bringing Que Mas into second place behind Mako. But at 10:43 a.m., Sousa successfully released an estimated 600-pound blue marlin, hoisting Over Budget into the lead with 900 points. Challenger with angler Martin Estis and Capt. Allan Card of Bermuda released the tournament's third blue marlin at 11:53 a.m. But Team Challenger's 500 points were scored after Que Mas', which kept Challenger out of the winners' circle. In the afternoon, Off Piste fought for over an hour what would have been its first blue marlin of the tournament and a release worth second place. But the team lost what they estimated to be an 800-pound fish at the leader before a photo was taken.

Sunday evening, the awards banquet was also held at Bonefish Bar & Grill, which provided an endless spread of beef brisket, ribs, grilled fish and all the fixings to anglers, family and friends. Team Over Budget took top team honors, two Daily Billfish Release Jackpots, and first place Overall Billfish Release, winning the team $24,403.50 and an invitation to compete in the 2011 IGFA Offshore World Championship. Team Mako landed in second place, also won two Daily Billfish Release Jackpots, and won second place Overall Billfish Release Jackpot, earning them $18,486. Team Que Mas took third place team and third place Overall Release Jackpot, winning $3,350.50. The third annual Bermuda Billfish Release Cup will take place June 24-26, 2010.

For more information, contact Dan Jacobs, 407-405-0102 or email In Bermuda, call 441-500-0012.

Team Over Budget took top team honors, two Daily Billfish Release Jackpots and first place Overall Release Jackpot, winning the team $24,403.50 at the Bermuda Billfish Release Cup and an invitation to compete in the IGFA Offshore World Championship.

2010 Bermuda Billfish Release Cup
Final Results
June 25-27, 2010

Bermuda Department of Tourism Team Billfish Division Awards
First-place team: Over Budget
Second-place team: Mako
Third-place team: Que Mas

Ocean Blue Graphics
High-point billfish lady angler: None
High-point billfish junior angler: None

Bermuda Department of Tourism Team Game Fish Division Awards
First-place team: Overproof
Second-place team: None
Third-place team: None

King Sailfish Mounts Wahoo Division Award
Largest Wahoo: None
Lady angler largest wahoo: None
Junior Angler largest wahoo: None

Steve Goione Tuna Division Award
Largest Tuna: Overproof
Lady angler largest tuna: None
Junior angler largest tuna: None

Bonefish Bar & Grill Optional Daily Billfish Release Jackpots
Pier 41 Marina Level-One Daily Billfish-Release Jackpot
Day-one, level-one billfish-release jackpot: Mako
Day-two, level-one billfish-release jackpot: Over Budget
Old Harbor Outfitters Level-Two Daily Billfish-Release Jackpot
Day-one, level-two billfish release jackpot: Mako
Day-two, level-two billfish-release jackpot: Over Budget

West End Development Corporation Optional Overall Billfish Release Points Jackpot
First-place overall release points: Over Budget
Second-place overall release points: Mako
Third-place overall release points: Que Mas

Total Billfish Release Points
900 Over Budget
500 Mako
500 Que Mas
500 Challenger
200 Overproof
200 Off Piste