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September 04, 2012

Peje Wins Boy Scout Tournament

A total of 94 blue marlin were released by the 26-boat fleet in four days of fishing

The 47-foot Cabo Yacht, Peje, released one blue marlin on the final day of fishing out of St. Thomas in the 40th Annual USVI Open Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT) to take the top honors for the year. The Peje team released a total of seven fish over four days of fishing. The ABMT is nicknamed the “Boy Scout Tournament” for the event’s chief beneficiary.

There was a five-way tie for top boat going into the  final day of fishing in the but Puerto Rico’s Carlos Garcia led his team to the victory. “It was a long day,”  Garcia said. “We didn’t hook that final fish up until close to noon. It ate the bait and jumped out of the water completely, a nice healthy fish of around 450 pounds that we released in about 40 minutes.”

The Peje team began the tournament in first place on the first day after they released three blue marlin but they then fell to second behind the 58-foot Revenge on the second and third days, while still releasing one and two fish, respectively, on each of these days. Sam Jenning’s Revenge team finished second with six blue marlin, while Brooks Smith’s 68-foot Bayliss Uno Mas finished third by catching six blues.

Puerto Rico’s Jose Valdes, Jr, fishing aboard the 57-foot Bertram, Lady Abi, won the Top Angler award and $10,000 in cash by releasing five blue marlin. “Consistency is what did it,” says Valdes. “I released one blue marlin the first day, three the second and one the third. That last one was big and the fight was about an hour and 25 minutes.” Valdes and the Lady Lou fishing team have won the ABMT four times.

The Best Junior Angler award went to 17-year-old Mason Domel, from Austin, Texas, fishing with his family aboard the Cabo 48, Deguello. Domel went from the agony of defeat when he lost a blue marlin after a four-hour-plus fight on the tournament’s first day, to the joy of victory when his total of two blue marlin releases earned him the spectacular and newly-created junior angler trophy sponsored by Jim Lambert, on the Reel Tight. “I was a little concerned this morning, but then I ended up releasing a 300-pound blue marlin after a 20 minute fight in the early afternoon,” Domel said. “It’s pretty exciting to win.”

A total of 94 blue marlin were released by the 26-boat fleet in four days of fishing.