For immediate release
August 22, 2010
CHACH TOP BOAT AFTER SECOND DAY OF FISHING IN THE 38TH ANNUAL
USVI OPEN/ATLANTIC BLUE MARLIN TOURNAMENT
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The marlin bite seemed equal opportunity on this second day of fishing in the 38th Annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT). Sixteen boats that went fishless yesterday bounded onto the scoreboard with from one to four releases, while yesterday’s top two boats, Click Through and Black Pearl, went fishless today.
Chach, a Monterey 58, was one of the few boats to score both days and their consistency paid off in a total of five released blue marlin to take over the Top Boat lead.
“We headed up to Anegada the first day, saw three marlin and caught all three,” says angler/owner, Damon Chouest, from Louisiana. “Today, we went to the North Drop with the rest of the fleet. We released two mid-morning and then it was slow….until the last five minutes of fishing. A marlin came right up to the teaser and took about 50 yards of line. It was perfect. Then, he shook his head, out popped the hook and that was it, we lost him. We were so disappointed. That would have given us our sixth release and put us more securely in the lead.”
Chouest continues, “Don’t get me wrong, we’re pleased to be where we are. This is one of the hardest tournaments in the world because of the level of talent here. That’s why our plan for tomorrow is to focus on our consistency, technical execution and catching fish.”
Lady Brianna, a Viking 50, not only jumped on the scoreboard today, the Puerto Rican-based boat rocketed into second place in the boat category by releasing four blue marlin – two of them a double-header scored in the last hour of fishing.
“We started out today off Anegada and saw one fish that pulled the hook,” says Capt. Edgardo Torres. “After that, we decided to run 18 miles further offshore until we saw blue water. That did the trick. We set out the baits and caught our first fish four minutes later.”
Lady Brianna anglers released one more blue marlin and then fishing slowed. It wasn’t for long though, as Torres soon saw a fish come up to the right long rigger and was shortly peeling off line. Seconds later, another marlin bit on the left long and a double-header fight ensued.
“Everything happened so fast,” says Marielle Brandon, an avid lady angler originally from Puerto Rico who has taught science at St. Thomas’ Ivanna Eudora Kean High School for many years. “We were nervous that we wouldn’t catch them and overjoyed when we did.”
As a bonus, the Lady Brianna anglers also reeled in a 30-pound plus wahoo, which they served for dinner to celebrate being high boat for the day.
Click Through, Keith English’s Wanchese 68 went fishless today, but hung onto third best boat for the tournament by being the first to release three blue marlin.
In angler standings, Damon Chouest on Chach is in first place with three releases, Bill Gettens on Black Pearl is second with two releases, and Mike Walsh on De-Bait-Able is third, also with two releases.
A total of 64 blue marlin have been released in two days of fishing by the forty-one boat fleet.
The angling action continues Monday and concludes Wednesday, with a layday for the full moon.
For the first time, viewers can get in on the fun from anywhere in the world by entering the boat pool on line for the chance to win prizes. Visit: www.abmt.vi/pages/boatpool.htm to learn more.
The public can catch the spirit of sport fishing by ‘doing the docks' or watching the big rigs come in around 6:30 p.m. and counting the number of marlin release flags flying from the outriggers. The more flags, the more marlin the boat released. Blue signals the catch was a blue marlin, while white flags denote a white marlin. Commemorative tournament T-shirts will be on sale each night of the event and there will be a cash bar and other festivities on the docks.
On Monday, enjoy Cheese Burgers in Paradise. The Boy Scouts invite visitors and locals alike to their cookout at Camp Wahoo, located by the tournament tent at the American Yacht Harbor Marina. The Caribbean Night Show starts at 8 p.m.
The ABMT’s final fishing action on Wednesday ends with the sport fishing
fleet's swift Jim Smith ‘Race from the Edge’ at 4:30 p.m. The best place to
watch this often photo finish is from the spit of land past the pool at the
Sapphire Beach Resort. The Awards Ceremony takes place later in the evening
along with the naming of the 2010 USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Top
Started by Chuck Senf back in 1972 – and nicknamed The Boy Scout Tournament since a portion of the proceeds have always benefited the VI Council of the Boy Scouts of America, one of Senf’s favorite charities – the ABMT has evolved into the competitive saltwater sports fishing events in the world. It’s one of legs of the prestigious Bermuda Triangle Series and Spanish Main Series. This year, Senf’s grandson, Blain Tomlinson, is traveling from California to present his grandfather’s famous fishing jacket, a true piece of Virgin Islands fishing history, at the Awards Ceremony.
The ABMT is fished under International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) rules, and is overseen by a professional Board of Captains and well-qualified observers.
The tournament benefits the Virgin Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
For more information, call: 1-888-2-FISHVI (1-888-234-7484), or 340-775-9500, or Fax: 340-779-8605, or visit www.abmt.vi