Fa-La-Me continues its epic season by winning the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship!
The Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship includes nine days of fishing during three major Bermuda-based billfish tournaments, including the Bermuda Billfish Blast, Bermuda Big Game Classic and Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament. The points earned at each event follow the boat, crew and anglers, with the winners receiving an incredible prize package. A total of 162 billfish, 93 blue marlin and 69 white marlin were caught during the series. The weighed fish included the 768-pound winning blue marlin caught by Queen of Hearts in theBlast and World Cup and the 619-pound largest blue winner caught by Wound Up in theSea Horse. Other qualifying marlin included 556 pounds on Paradise One in the Blast, 548 pounds on Never Enough and 527 pounds on Queen of Hearts in the Sea Horse. For the first time in tournament history there we no marlin boated during the Big Game Classic. The quality fleet of 40 boats in the 2012 BTC made for a very competitive down-to-the-wire finish, with team Fa-La-Me owners Frank and Mary Ellen Rodriguez, Capt. Rob Moore, mate Jon Meade and teammates Taylor and Tyler Beckford scoring four whites in the Blast, three blues and two whites in the Classic and two blues and one white in the Sea Horse for a total of five blues and seven whites, 3,900 points and $226,575 in cash winnings and $50,000 in prizes during the series. Team Fa-La-Me received a fantastic Bermuda Triple Crown prize package including custom Vanmark gold championship rings, Garmin chart plotter and GSD 26 sounder, Airmar transducer, custom Release Marine step box, Geoffrey Smith sculptures, King Sailfish Mount trophies, Costa sunglasses, ATL fuel bladder, Fin-Nor rod and Marquesa reel combos, Steve Goione Triple Crown artwork, Bacardi Rum, Bonze lures, Mold Craft lures, Fathom lures, Bubba Blade, AFTCO championship apparel, gloves, bucket harness, and gaff. Hard-charging team Bree scored 3,800 points for second, with Over Budget ending up in third overall with 3,100 points in the Triple Crown series.
The first BTC stop was the Bermuda Billfish Blast on July 3-7. The Blast first day of fishing coincides with the July 4th Blue Marlin World Cup. A total of 38 teams competed in the Blast for a cash purse of $258,600 and 15,000 in prizes. It was team Mattanza’s final-day heroics of catching three whites and a blue, with the last white coming with only six minutes left in the tournament, to take the win in Blast. Team Queen of Hearts’ 768-pound blue was the largest of the Blast and World Cup. Team Paradise One boated a 556-pound blue and released a blue and two whites for second place, with team Rum Bum placing third with two blues and two white releases. Team Fa-La-Me scored four white releases, earning their first 800 points in the BTC series.
The second and largest tournament in the Triple Crown is the Bermuda Big Game Classic on July 11-15. A total of 39 teams competed for $370,350 in cash and $25,000 in prizes. The blue marlin bite improved, with the whites keeping anglers guessing and adapting to the changing conditions. Team Fa-La-Me started off with a blank on the first day of fishing but made up for it with two blue and two white releases on the second day. With just over an hour to go on the final day, Fa-La-Me added another blue release, scoring a total of 1,900 points to win the Classic and put them in second in the BTCstanding heading into the final leg of the series. Team Bree scored 1,600 points in the Classic, placing second in the tournament and first in the BTC standings heading into the final tournament. Team Over Budget placed third in the Classic with 1,400 points, keeping them well within striking distance for the Crown.
The Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament on July 18-22 is the final leg of the Triple Crown. A total of 30 teams competed for $235,725 in cash and $5,000 in prizes. Team Over Budget remained very consistent as they did throughout the series, scoring a blue marlin release each day for a total of 1,500 points and first place in the Sea Horse. Team El Cazador caught two blues and a white to earn 1,200 points and third place in the Sea Horse. But it was team Fa-La-Me with Captain Rob Moore that had the hot hand, scoring two blues and a white to take second place in the Sea Horse and first place in the 2012 Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. Congratulations to team Fa-La-Me for winning the most prestigious billfish series in the world.
Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship Standings
Team Fa-La-Me Takes 2012 Bermuda Big Game Classic
Team Fa-La-Me is the one to watch as they continue their hot streak wining Bermuda’s largest tournament, the Bermuda Big Game Classic!
Fa-La-Me, a beautiful 70’ Viking with Capt. Robbie Moore, owner Frank Rodriguez, mate Jon Meade and teammates Tyler and Taylor Beckford are having quiet a season adding the Classic to their list of wins.
Fishing this year was a bit tough for the Classic, with 55 billfish released and none coming to the scales. The best fishing day was the second — especially for team Fa-La-Me with Rodriguez catching two blues in the morning hours and Tyler and Taylor Beckford each catching a white in the afternoon, earning them the daily jackpots, second-place position and 1,400 points heading into the final day of fishing.
As the leaders struggled to score on that last day, other teams got on the leaderboard with blue and white releases. With only an hour and a half to go in the contest, team Fa-La-Me called in a hookup that was crucial to their success. Angler Taylor Beckford brought the blue alongside with the team having to make a decision to take the fish and go for the triple daily and overall largest marlin jackpots or release her and go for the most billfish release points jackpot. The fish looked to be well over the 500-pound minimum, but team Fa-La-Me decided not to take a chance and released the fish. Either way, Team Fa-La-Me was looking at about the same winnings so it worked out perfectly.
Total winnings for Team Fa-La-Me was $213,300 including First Place Team, Day Two Marlin Jackpots, Most Overall Billfish Release Points Jackpot, Marlin Magazine Manufacturers Cup for Viking Yachts, and Garmin Grand. They also received King Sailfish Mounts trophies, Geoffrey Smith bronze sculptures, Vanmark Jewelry money clips, Fin-Nor combos, Steve Goione artwork, and lures from Scent Blazer, Mold Craft and Bonze.
The first day of fishing belonged to team Bree, a 72’ Merritt with Capt. Kyle Laine, owner Randy Ringhaver, mate Justin Laine and teammates Kenneth Mills, Greg Simmons, Brent Huffman, Debbie Miller and Cathie Chapman. Mills got things going with a blue release at 9:30 a.m. and followed up later in the day with another blue at 2:30 p.m. A few minutes after the second blue, Simmons caught a white to give Bree 1,200 points, Day One Marlin Jackpots and the lead in the tournament. On day two, Bree scored two more white releases and was sitting in the lead with 1, 600 points. Bree did not score on the final day and ended up in Second Place Overall. Total winnings for Bree were $87,480.
Another hot team this season is Over Budget with the father-son duo of owner and angler Ricky Sousa Sr., Capt. Ricky Sousa Jr. and mate Lee Kerbel. On day one, Sousa Sr. caught a blue and a white. On day two, he added another blue and with only 30 minutes to lines out, and added a white on the final day to slip into Third Place Overall and earn the Top Angler Award for Ricky Sousa Sr. Total winnings for Over Budget was $29,520.
On the final day, the first blue was released at 8:19 a.m. on Off Piste by owner-angler Brian Lines and teammates Dano Lee, Pete Lewis and Graham Bonze. The fish held up to take the Day Three Marlin Jackpot and net Off Piste a cool $43,200. Sometimes all it takes in one fish in a marlin tournament.
In the Game Fish Division, angler Darren Vickers’ 46.2-pound dolphin caught on
Paradise One took the trophy and a check for $5,850.
The Top Lady Angler went to Charlotte Bosch de Noya on Reel Hot with her husband Nick New at the helm. Charlotte caught two blue marlin, earning her 1,000 points. Charlotte received a beautiful King Sailfish Mounts trophy, Steve Goione artwork, Vanmak Jewelry earrings, Keanon Sunglasses, and lures from Scent Blazer and Mold Craft.
The Top Junior Angler went to Marcus Dias with one white marlin release on his father’s boat Triple Play. This is the second time Marcus has won the Junior Angler Award in the Bermuda Triple Crown Series.
Bree 2nd place
Over Budget 3rd place
Gamefish Winners Paradise One
Mattanza edges out Paradise One in closest finish in Billfish Blast history
It was fitting that the 8th Annual Billfish Blast kicked off on July 4th because the scoreboard was lit up like a fireworks show with a finale that promised to get the crowd cheering. To really spark up the first day’s events, coinciding with the Billfish Blast was the World Cup Blue Marlin Championship and as lines went in the water at 8:30 AM on July 4th, the radio crackled with one hookup after another, starting with at the 8:49 AM mark when the crew of the Que Mas got throttled by a blue that took them on an 8 minute battle. A few white releases filled the gaps until 9:23 AM when the Rum Bum released the next blue. Explosive fishing continued all through the early afternoon as blue marlin releases were tallied up by the crews of the Waste Knot, El Cazador, Triple Play and a double header of blues for Bree. One of Bree’s fish was around 500-pounds and was caught after a 156-minute battle by angler Paula Ringhaver. Bree’s two blues and one white marlin release was enough to take the Daily Billfish Release Jackpots worth $31,800. At 12:36 PM Captain Allan Bean and the crew of the Paradise One electrified the fleet with a solid hook up and 83 minutes later, they boated a contender that put them in the lead across the globe and scored the first boated blue for the Bermuda Billfish Blast tournament. That impressive marlin weighed in at 556-pounds and was one of two boated fisn in the World Cup and Billfish Blast. Then came the call from Captain Peter Olander of the Queen of Hearts with a hook up at 1:38 PM that had everybody on the edge of their seat when a comment from a near by boat came across the vhf, “that sure was a big splash”. Queen of Hearts has a history of catching the big ones - including a previous World Cup winner in 2007. After a 93-minute battle, angler Glen Astwood finally brought the gladiator to boat side, securing their 768-pound blue that would take the daily marlin jackpots worth $89,100 in the Billfish Blast and win the World Cup for the second time in five years for Queen of Hearts! This is the seventh time for Bermuda to win the World Cup honors.
Day Two was Rum Bum’s day to shine as the past Bermuda Billfish Champions registered 1400 points on the board releasing two whites and two blues, with angler Luis Bacardi putting in some work and besting each fish between an impressive 3 to 6 minutes of fight time. This launched Rum Bum into the lead and secured the second day Billfish Release Jackpots for $31,800, Third place team worth $11,400 and top angler honors for Luis. Team Rum Bum also tagged each fish with Billfish Foundation tags. Total winnings for Rum Bum $43,200.
Day Three’s fishing promised to be one for the record books. In the closest standings race in the history of the Billfish Blast it truly came down to the wire on the final day of fishing to determine who was to take the title. Paradise One hooked into a blue marlin that was released at 3:01 PM, vaulting them to first place on the leader board at 1456 points, but Mattanza had a big run releasing three whites and a blue on the day with the final release coming at 4:24 PM, that earned them an extra 200 points and put Mattanza and captain Brooks Rans over the top for a score of 1500 points when the “lines out” call cracked the airwaves at 4:30 PM. Six minutes and 44 points separated the winners and second place! Team Mattanza with first time tournament anglers and drag racing family Elliot, Evan, Ed & Eric Thompson final day earned them the Daily Billfish Release Jackpots worth $31,800 and first Place Team and another $39,900 or a total of $71,700.
In all, 24 blue marlin and 40 white marlin were caught with two blues being weighed in, a remarkable 97% release ratio
The ladies were reelin’ em in as Top Female Angler awards were taken by Elaine Jones 700 points from a blue and a white on the Mama Who, second went to Paula Ringhaver on the Bree with 500 points and third was claimed by Jessica Street on the Margin Call with 200 points
Top Angler in the series was far and away Luis Bacardi with 1400 points on the Rum Bum, Glen Astwood took second place honors with 968 points on the Queen of Hearts and Mark Outerbridge on the Paradise One came in at third with a respectable 900 points.
The final standings for the Billfish Blast and Bermuda tournament Series going into the Big Game Classic stands at :
Steve Goione Top Junior Angler – Jessica Street on Margin Call
Ocean Blue Graphics Top Lady Angler - Elaine Jones 700-points on Mama Who Capt. Ronnie Burbage, Mate Blue Morgan, teammates Robbie Davies, and Joe Wegman
ARGO GROUP OPTIONAL DAILY RELEASE JACKPOTS
King Sailfish Day one Level One, Garmin Day one Level 2 Release Jackpots Winner Bree $31,800. two blues and a white. Randy Ringhaver, Paula Ringhaver, Capt. Kyle Laine, Justin Laine, Brent Huffman, Scott Miller and Ian Fletcher.
CAT Engines Winner Take All blue marlin Jackpots level one and two 768- blue caught by Glen Astwood, Captain Peter Olander, Walter Cross, Lovintz Cann, Kevin Walsh $89,100. World Cup Winner, Queen of Hearts.
PW Marina Third Place Team with 1400-points $11,400,
Day two level 1&2 Release Jackpots $31,800 total winnings or Rum Bum
$42, 300. Bacardi High Point Angler with 1400-points from two blues and two whites is Luis Bacardi. Luis tagged all of his fish for the TBF. Captain Baxter Still, Shawn Albury, Andre Pepin, Jennifer Bacardi, Tommy Demas
Miles Market Second Place Team with 1456 points from one weighed blue, 556, released blue and two whites $22,800 Paradise One. Captain Allan Bean, mate Delvin Bean anglers John Layfield, Keith Pearman, Comell Bean, Kenneth Ford, Keith Smith and Mark Outerbridge.
Bermuda Department of Tourism First Place Team with 1500-points from 5 whites and a blue marlin releases, Mattanza. On the last day they caught three whites and a blue with the last white coming with only 6-minutes left in the tournament in Travis’s spot. Captain Brooks Rans, Mate Taylor Walsh, first time tournament anglers and drag racing family Elliot, Evan, Ed & Eric Thompson..
First Place $39,900,
Day three levels 1&2 Release Jackpot $31,800,
Garmin Grand $1,000.
Vanmark Marlin Pendants.
Total Winnings $71,700.
Invitation to the Offshore World Championship