Fishing is, unsurprisingly, a very popular activity in Bermuda where many hours of the day are spent in water. There is even a Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship that takes place each year in July.
The Bermuda Billfish Blast is the first leg of the Triple Crown and will this year be held from July 3 to July 7. The headquarters of the competition will be on Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke. The weigh-in stations will be located at the Barr’s Bay Park Waterfront.
The first leg of the Triple Crown is also part of the Blue Marlin World Cup Championship. Along blue marlin (it’s a fish, if you’ve never heard of it!), the other eligible species for the Billfish Blast are white marlin, spearfish and sailfish.
The entry fee is $3,000 per team, for up to six anglers to participate to the tournament but also includes social activities and entertainment. Non-anglers can purchase $150 package-tickets.
Fishing days are on the 4th (Blue Marlin World Cup), 5th and 6th of July, and release is 100% mandatory on the last two days, while only blue marlin weighing over 500 pounds can be boated on the first day. Last years’ winner, ‘Que Mas’, released five blue marin to score the biggest catch ever registered in a single day on a Bermuda tournament. One of the marlin was around 700 pounds!
During the tournament, boats are allowed to receive help from other boats such as being towed back in case of mechanical failure but assistance to land or release fish is totally forbidden. A sportsmanship attitude is also expected from all participants at all time, whether at sea or in dock.
Teams score points for each fish they officially catch and release. These are verified by digital or still photographs or videos taken by the teams and following certain rules. The rules are:
- the photo or video must show the species
- it must show the time and date caught
- it must have a number code given by phone by tournament control at the time of the catch
- all of the above elements must be on a single photo and videos must be continuous
Every blue marlin released is worth 500 points, every white marlin 200 points, and every sailfish or spearfish 100 points. Teams also score points for one boated blue marlin but will lose points if the fish weight less than 500 pounds. The penalty is of 500 points plus two points per pound under the limit.
Fishing days start at 8.30am and lines must be out by 4.30pm. The first day of the tournament is dedicated to final registrations and the Captains’ meeting, as well as the by the kick-off party. On the last day, the Awards Banquet closes the tournament. Come along and watch, but don’t get reeled in!
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