Allan Bir is a firm believer in teamwork. “Just like in business,” says the Palm Beach, Florida-based angler, “sports’ fishing isn’t a single person effort. It takes teamwork, people working together and sharing their thoughts collectively to catch fish.”
Born and raised in Albany, Indiana, Bir moved with his family to Ft. Lauderdale at age 13. Nowadays, he splits his time between Florida and Indiana due to business interests. He owns Hogan Industries, Inc., a leader in the production of tungsten-related parts used in industries such as aerospace, medicine and homeland security. Hence, the name of this Tribute 74 sports fishing vessel is Perfect Parts.
“I’ve always been involved with out-of-doors activities like scuba diving and golf,” says Bir.
It was about 12 years ago when a health issue caused Bir to give up golf and start sports fishing.
“I got serious about 7 or 8 years ago,” he says. “That’s when I hired a full time captain and crew and started fishing all the tournaments in South Florida and the Bahamas.
Bir fancied blue marlin right from the start.
“I figured if I was really going to ‘go for it’, I was going to go for the right fish and that meant marlin,” he says.
Bir caught his first blue marlin off Cat Island in the Bahamas.
He explains, “We always had family, friends and business acquaintances aboard fishing. I enjoy watching other people catch fish as much as I do myself and realized I had passed up several opportunities to catch a marlin of my own. So, during the Hawks Nest Billfish Blast a few years ago, I not only caught my first marlin but we won the tournament too. It was just the right size – 600 points.”
One of Bir’s best fish stories came out of the Bahamas Billfish Championship (BBC). “It was either the first or second tournament in the series, Abaco or Marsh Harbour. I hooked up a big fish that went straight down. It took me over two hours to wind the line back on the reel. Boy, that was a tough job I’ll never forget.”
Bir has experienced his share of good luck in the BBC as well. In fact, his team aboard, Perfect Parts, won the series in 2005. This victory came with some nail biting moments. “We were in the lead after the third tournament in the series, but a blown transmission in the fourth tournament slipped us into second and we were determined to come back and win for the fifth and last event of the series. So, we took the boat back home to South Florida, got in at 1 a.m. and by 6 ‘o’clock the next morning the mechanics were at work on the transmission.”
Back running, back in the Bahamas and back in the game, Perfect Parts rallied for the first fish and last fish caught on the BBC’s final leg’s first day. Day two, the opposition caught up for a tie on points. The next day, both boats went fishless.
“We listened to the radio all day,” says Bir.
Ultimately, Perfect Parts won on time.
Last year, 2007, was a particularly lucky year for Bir and his team.
Next up was Bermuda where Team Perfect Parts found that their first time tournament participation proved a charm. Bir and his team – Capt. Steve ‘Snag’ Holmes, mate Joel McLeod, and fellow angler Skip Giordano – won the 2007 Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship with a record 5,400 points accumulated by the release of 10 blue marlin and two white marlin.
Through the years, Bir has fished in Florida, the Bahamas, Bermuda and St. Thomas.
“I really like the Boy Scout Tournament (USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament),” Bir says. “The fishing is great and so are the people.”
He adds, “The people I’ve met fishing are some of the most genuine, honest, good people I’ve ever met. You can’t say that about a lot of sports. There’s a true community of sports fishermen, a community of friends. Our boat fits right into that because we fish as a team and as a family at the same time. That’s why we enjoy it so much.”
Bir has also chartered a boat and fished in Hawaii and Australia. His Australian trip came compliments of a prize he won fishing the BBC.
“Like the North Drop off of St. Thomas, there are five or six hot spots and when someone hooks up all the boats gather there,” Bir says, describing his experience angling along the Great Barrier Reef. “I released a couple of black marlin and had a lot of fun. Next, I’d like to go to Madeira.”
What Bir likes best about sports fishing, he says, is being in control. “It’s your fish. The captain and mate are your friends. You’ve got to be a team. It’s not about me, me, me. Everything has to be right and that takes team work.”
In the future, Bir says, “We’ll see more all-release tournaments. We won both in Bermuda and the Bahamas and we never killed a fish. It was all about points.”
Note: Allen is considered a founding member of the Friends of the Marine Vocational Program (MVP). Much of our success in getting this important youth development program off the ground was due to Allan's unsolicited kindness.