2011 BBB Day 1
A fleet of 44 boats headed offshore of Bermuda today to fish Day One of the 7th Annual Bermuda Billfish Blast, with most also entered in the World Cup.
This is the 2nd largest fleet we have had in the Blast (behind only the 47 in 2006) and so very stiff competition for all, especially as the number of top-notch visiting boats continues to increase. This fleet was joined by numerous other mostly local boats entered only in the World Cup. In all, 53 boats fished the World Cup in Bermuda today, which is a new record.
Overproof got things going with a white marlin release at 8:49 am, and then Fish On took the lead with a blue marlin release at 9:22 am. By twelve noon, Sea’duce had also released a blue marlin, and Over Budget, Double B, Sea Toy, Click Through and Georgie Girl had scored white marlin releases.
The afternoon scoring started with Callie Girl releasing a blue marlin at 12:01. Also in the afternoon, Treasure Isle, Lights Out, Game On and El Cazador released blue marlin, and there were white marlin releases for Reel Addiction, Mako, Cookie Monster and Never Enough. At 4:06 pm, Reel Lax called in a hook-up and they were the only boat still battling at the 4:30 pm lines-out. A few minutes later they called to say they had the blue marlin on the leader and it was a borderline keeper that they were attempting to get measurements on. At 4:40 pm they reported a successful release – the blue had short length of 112 inches, which means it was likely right around the minimum 500 lb mark.
So, for the second consecutive year we have had the unusual circumstance of no on the dock blue marlin entries for Bermuda in the World Cup or the Billfish Blast. There were some very large fish hooked-up including a monster on Playmate and a real nice one on Que Mas but it was not in the cards for Bermuda this year.
In the Blast, Fish On wins the Day One Level One and Level Two Billfish Release Jackpots worth an aggregate of $36,417 – so congratulations to them! However, no team scored more than 500 points today – so this tournament is wide open. The $105,450 of the on the dock money now rolls into release points over the three days of fishing, with the top three eligible boats taking 50%, 30% and 20%, respectively. There’s also still over $158,000 of other cash winnings to be won. Overall, there’s still close to 90% of the cash awards to be won and all 44 boats are very much in the running. So put the gaffs away and polish up the camera lenses – we have two more days to determine where a ton of cash will be going and its mandatory release fishing. Good luck to all.