More than 330 anglers competing on 43 teams experienced Bermuda’s famous marlin fishing, catching 55 blue and six white marlin.
A fleet of 43 teams put on an exciting show at the weigh-ins during the Bermuda Big Game Classic from July 13 – 17, 2019. Three days of competitive tournament fishing produced high numbers of blue marlin qualifying catches, with seven fish brought to the scales surpassing 500 pounds. A total of 61 billfish were caught, including 55 blue and six white marlin.
After lines out on day three, Team Flyer totaled five blue marlin releases, scoring 2,500 points across three days of fishing to win the 2019 Bermuda Big Game Classic, with winnings totaling $122,700. Team Overproof also scored big, landing a 697-pound blue marlin on day three, winning the Day Three Largest Marlin and Winner-Take-All Largest Marlin jackpots for $129,900 in total winnings.
As the competition intensified each day, more and more 500-plus-pound blue marlin moved onto the fishing grounds. The scales at Barr’s Bay Park in Hamilton, Bermuda, were especially busy on day two of fishing. Day one recorded a 594-pound blue marlin (Auspicious); day two saw a 518-pounder (Sea Angel), 525-pounder (Sweetums), 550-pounder (Blank Check), and 616-pounder (American Beauty); and day three produced a 608-pounder (Hot Spot) and 697-pound blue marlin (Overproof). Blue marlin must weigh at least 500 pounds to be eligible for points at the Bermuda Big Game Classic.
Team Mjolnir, captained by Dave Harris, took control of the leaderboard on day one of the Bermuda Big Game Classic. The team released two blue marlin, for a total of 1,000 points, to earn the Day One Daily Billfish Release Jackpot based on time. Angler Jim Smith caught both blue marlin.
Teams Reel Steel, the winners of the 2019 Bermuda Billfish Blast, was close behind. Reel Steel, captained by Jason Parker, also released two blue marlin for a total of 1,000 points, but they caught their fish later in the day. Anglers Mike and Marc Verzaleno caught the two blues.
Angler Joe Rahman hooked a large blue marlin aboard his boat Auspicious, captained by Edward “Cookie” Murray, on day one of the Bermuda Big Game Classic. After he fought the fish to the boat, the team recognized they had a fish that was eligible to weigh. Back at the docks, their fish weighed 594 pounds, winning the Day One Largest Marlin Jackpot and putting them in the lead for the Overall Largest Marlin Jackpot.
The top two release boats on day two were Flyer and Reel Captivating, with each team releasing two blue marlin for 1,000 points each. Reel Captivating, captained by Travis Ralph, utilized angler Wayne Jenkins to catch both fish. Flyer, captained by Bryce Garvey, won the Day Two Daily Billfish Release Jackpot based on time.
Four different teams caught a qualifying blue marlin on day two, including American Beauty, captained by Travis Rolan; Blank Check, captained by Danny Hearn; Sweetums, captained by James “Pete” Rae; and Sea Angel, captained by BC Angel. American Beauty’s Aaron Fenn caught a 616-pounder; Blank Check’s Dan Doyle Sr. caught a 550-pounder, Sweetums’ Colton Resor caught a 525-pounder, and Sea Angel’s Austin Angel caught a 518-pounder. Team American Beauty’s fish won the Day Two Largest Marlin Jackpot and shot them into the lead for the Overall Largest Marlin Jackpot.
After two days of fishing, Flyer and Reel Steel both had 1,500 points with three blue marlin releases. Close behind, American Beauty had 1,116 points, Blank Check totaled 1,050 points, and Sweetums scored 1,025 points.
On the final day of the 2019 Bermuda Big Game Classic teams knew there were still plenty of large blue marlin patrolling the banks off Bermuda. They knew this because they had seen the big fish come into their spreads, even if the fish didn’t commit to their lures.
Four different teams scored 1,000 points on day three of fishing. Never Enough, captained by Albert Miller; Flyer; Hit N Run, captained by Dave Fields; and Big Deal, captained by Brian Rabbit, each released two blue marlin. Team Never Enough won the Day Three Daily Billfish Release Jackpot based on time.
Teams Hot Spot and Overproof, both local Bermuda teams, boated big blue marlin relatively early in the day. Each team decided to continue fishing for the rest of day three in search of more points. Back at the docks, Hot Spot, captained by Ricky Sousa Jr, weighed a 608-pound blue marlin. Andy Periera was the angler. Overproof’s blue marlin topped out at 697 pounds, caught by angler Jason Friedman. Overproof, captained by Peter Rans, won the Day Three Largest Marlin Jackpot and the Overall Largest Marlin Jackpot. Last year, in 2018, Overproof caught a 930-pound blue marlin to win the Day Three Largest Marlin Jackpot and the Overall Largest Marlin Jackpot.
The 2019 Bermuda Big Game Classic tournament, presented by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, culminated in a highly popular Bacardi International cocktail reception, followed by the tournament awards banquet dinner in the Harbourview Ballroom at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel. Afterwards, participants celebrated with a DJ on the Princess Marina dock.
The Bermuda Big Game Classic is sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bacardi, Hamilton Princess, Lucas Marine Products, Foley CAT, Ring Power CAT, Gregory Poole CAT, Pantropic Power CAT, CAT Marine, GP Link, VanMark Jewelry Designers, Garmin, Fishing Tease, Miles Market, Marine Artist Steve Goione, Island Construction, ZF Marine, Quick, Pettit Paint, Northern Lights, Waterfront Residence, PW Marine, Butterfield & Vallis, YETI, Hawkins Island, Release Marine, King Sailfish Mounts, AFTCO, Global Rescue, American Custom Yachts, Spencer Yachts, Viking Yachts, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Jim Smith Tournament Boats, Merritt Boat & Engine Works, Airmar, Aqualuma, Exclusive Charter Services, Rego Sotheby's International Realty, Island Glass, Offshore Yachting & Maintenance, City of Hamilton, Costa Sunglasses, Rubis Energy Bermuda, One Communications, Bulluna, Soundview Millworks, Big T Lures, Grundens, Baitmasters, Marlin magazine, Salt Water Sportsman magazine and Sport Fishing magazine.