The 2011 Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic is now in the record books. A total of 39 sportfishing yachts, ranging in length from 30′ to 64′, fished for a total purse of $405,450.00.
Tuesday, May 31, the festivities started with our Dock Party, hosted by Rene Cross and the good people at Cypress Cove Marina & Lodge. Everyone enjoyed the boiled crayfish and boiled shrimp and open bar featuring Absolut Vodka, Bacardi Rum, Dewars Scotch, and Beefeater Gin; yes, a good time was had by all.
Wednesday, June 1, was our Official Registration Day along with our Captain’s Meeting and Kick-Off Party-again sponsored by our good friends at LeBeouf Brothers Towing. We can’t say enough about those Acme Oyster House people serving up Jambalaya, fried catfish, and their world-famous bread pudding, and of course our traditional Osyter Bar was also a hit.
Thursday, June 2, was off to somewhat of a slow start after our Kick-Off Party, but everyone enjoyed our Hangover Clinic featuring TABASCO Bloody Mary Mix and Absolut Vodka, along with some strong coffee. Father Jerry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Port Sulphur continued a fine Louisiana tradition with our “Blessing of the Fleet” at Cypress Cove Marina. Our fleet left the docks at 4:00 pm Thursday afternoon-let the games begin.
Friday, June 3, we received numerous reports of both Blue Marlin and White Marlin releases, with Team Reel Worthless calling in two Blue Marlin releases and 1 White Marlin release. Also calling in two White Marlin releases was Team Conundrum and Team Over Ride, with Team High Interest and Team Pier Pressure both calling in Blue Marlin releases to make the
Saturday, June 4, the bite continued, with Team Bushwhacker, Team TIA II and Team Conundrum calling in Blue Marlin releases. Team Reel Worthless would hang on to their lead with two Blue Marlin and a White Marlin to take 1st Place in our Tag/Release division winning $53,820.00; Team Conundrum would take 2nd Place with one Blue Marlin release with Team High Interest taking 3rd Place on time with one Blue Marlin release. All our Tag/Release winners were awarded gorgeous inlaid teak step boxes from our Tag/Release Sponsor Release Marine. Team Reel Worthless was also awarded the C.R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy for Top Billfish Boat, along with an invitation to fish the I.G.F.A. Offshore World Championship in 2012.
As boats started coming to the dock, it was obvious some nice fish had been caught by all. Our Tuna division was won by Angler/owner Michael LaSalle, fishing on the 45′ Cabo, Bushwhacker, weighing in a nice 157.1 lb Yellowfin tuna, followed by the Gandy Dancer, a 65′ Monterrey, with Oscar Tomasich weighing in a 139.3 lb. Yellowfin with LA Lady angler Kyle Braniff weighing in a 94.5 lb Big Eye tuna for 3rd Place. Team Bushwhacker won $13,725.00 with their 1st Place Tuna.
Our Dolphin division also saw some nice fish, with Travis Gill, fishing on the 64′ Viking, Reel Worthless weighing in a 49.6 lb Bull took 1st Place, followed by angler Avery Vincent, fishing on the Bushwhacker, weighing in a 36.1 lb. Bull for 2nd Place, with angler Russell Bailey, fishing on the 60′ Spencer, Pipe Dream taking 3rd Place with a 29.9 lb. dolphin. Team Reel Worthless won$32,850.00 with their 1st Place Dolphin.
Our Wahoo division was won by angler JJ Tabor, fishing on the31′ Contender Double J, fishing out of Grand Isle, La with whopping 101.7 lb. Wahoo, followed by angler Warren McCaleb, fishing on the 42′ Tiara Fin Addiction weighing in at 89.9 lbs, with Bobby Knesal, fishing on the 35′ Cabo Ms Calculation weighing in at 83.2 lbs. Team Double J won $56,025.00 with their 1st Place Wahoo, including their optional winnings.
Our Top Youth Angler prizes went to 16 year old Tommy Keating, fishing on the 60′ Viking, Mojo, releasing one White Marlin. James’ prize package included a waterproof video camera and , a Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificate along with a custom trophy.
Our Top Female Angler prize went to Taylor Harvey, fishing on the 65′ Hatteras Four Reel releasing one White Marlin. Taylor was awarded a custom trophy along with a TABASCO gift bucket from our friends on Avery Island, and a Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificate.
Continuing our tradition of “taking care of the working Captains”, our winning Captains were awarded gift bags with Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificates, along with numerous gifts from comefishLa.com, including Columbia fleece jackets, along with a TABASCO gift bucket.
Saturday evening, Acme Oyster House did it again, serving up Seafood Pasta and Natchitoches meat pies, and, even more bread pudding. Combine this with our open bar; and a good time was had by all.
When all was said and done, we ended up with 8 Blue Marlin releases, and 7 White Marlin releases, along with the 1 Sailfish, giving us a 100% release ratio. We want to take this opportunity to thank ALL our participants and especially our loyal sponsors, the Best of the Best; please support them as they truly offer the finest products and services available. In closing, we hope to see all of you again next year the weekend after Memorial Day. THANKS!