63 teams from 30 countries vie for fishing’s prestigious offshore championship title
By Pete Johnson, Johnson Communications, IGFA-PR counsel
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico â€“ After a day one record eight marlin releases for 2400 points, Mexicoâ€™s Copa del Gobernador San Jose del Cabo team turned in a big fat zero Tuesday falling to second place among 63 world class teams at the eighth annual International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Offshore Championship Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Jumping from second to first with 2745.6 points after adding three marlin releases is an east coast Florida, U.S.A., team that qualified by winning a bid at the Master Angler Billfish Tournament in Balboa, California last year. Halfway through the championship the team of Burt Moss and Tim Hamilton of Pompano Beach, along with George and Stuart Disbury, Deerfield Beach have nine marlin releases and a 45.6 lb yellowfin tuna as a weight fish.
Oscar Daccarett of Copa del Gobernador said they saw at least 50 billfish, hooking one but losing it. The other team members from the San Jose del Cabo area are Jaime Pino, Modesto Mirando, and Antonio Castro.
Alone in third place with 2100 points for a two-day total of seven marlin releases is the YCSS-IMD Fishing Tournament team from Rome, Italy. They released four fish on Tuesday.
Making the biggest jump of the day was the Caicos (Turks and Caicos) Classic Release Tournament team who after having a scoreless day on Monday released six marlin for 1800 points. They are tied for fourth at 1800 points with teams from Bermuda, Brazil and the U.S.
IGFA tournament director Mike Myatt said 86 marlin were released with many of the teams reporting the sightings of hundreds of billfish.
For some like Iain Nicolson an Englishman on the (Luanda) Angola Billfish Tournament team the â€œbite was offâ€ quipping, â€œThere should be a fine for the amount of bait we killed.â€
Each catch-and-release of a marlin (blue, black and striped) or a swordfish equals 300 points. The catches are scored and released alive at the boat in accordance with the IGFA tournament rules with all anglers using 30 lb. Momoi fishing line.
Though no tuna, wahoo or dorado were caught on Tuesday, the teams can also receive â€œweightâ€ points (per pound) over 25 lbs. Local charities receive the donations of all fish weighed at the Cabo docks.
The prestigious four-day tournament is believed to host the single largest contingent of international anglers and teams (30 countries represented) to compete in a fishing competition.
The United States has 19 teams competing. More than 40 teams are representing tournaments in the countries and territories of Angola, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Kingdom of Tonga, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, St. Lucia, Senegal, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Vanuatu and Venezuela. Additionally the countries of Holland, Singapore, the Canary Islands and Ireland are represented by anglers on several of the teams.
The tournament has attracted many of the worldâ€™s best angling teams who won one of 132 IGFA sanctioned qualifying offshore events held in 40 countries across the globe during 2006.
The team with the most points at the end of the four days of competition will receive engraved watches and trophies. Eighteen other prizes will be presented to the three top male and female anglers, top three captains and top three places for the heaviest tuna, wahoo and dorado.
Sponsors and partners for the IGFA Offshore World Championship are Secretaria de Turismo de Baja California Sur, Costa Del Mar, Hotel Finisterra, Momoi, Guy Harvey, Inc., Mold Craft Products, Picante Sport Fishing and Yacht Sales, Cabo Yachts, Outdoor Channel, K D & G Sea Life Masterpieces, Shimano, Hook & Tackle, Murray Products, AFTCO Bluewater, Bodo Muche, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Stidd Systems, Corona and Modelo S.A. de C.V. Mexico, Trans Cabo Group, API Dock, Daiichi, Minervaâ€™s Baja Tackle, Pisces Fleet Sportfishing and UltraJewels.
Founded in 1939 the IGFA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the conservation of game fish and promotion of responsible, ethical angling practices through science, education, rule making and record keeping. IGFA members are located in over 125 countries and territories. The IGFA welcomes visitors to its 60,000-square-foot interactive Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.
For more information on the total daily scoring of the 63 teams please go to the IGFA web site at www.igfa.org.