The Bermuda Big Game Classic is the biggest fishing sport event in Bermuda and the second of three legs of the Triple Crown Billfish Championship.
It takes place a week after the Billfish Blast, and this year the eleventh event will be held from July 13 to July 17.
It is also a qualifying event for the International Game Fish Association Offshore World Championship for which an invitation will be given to the winning team.
The event includes three days of fishing, after a day dedicated to final registrations and the captains’ meeting, as well as the Before Awards Banquet. The first day of fishing starts with the traditional boat parade from Hamilton Princess dock to Two Rock Passage. Boats are decorated with banners and flags and line-up from 6.30am. Other traditions include the blessing of the fleet and a mid-week barbecue.
Every day, fishing hours are from 8am to 4pm when lines must be taken out of the water. Like the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Billfish Blast, blue marlin, white marlin spearfish and sailfish are amongst eligible species, but tuna, wahoo and dolphin are added in this competition.
The entry fee for a team up to six anglers is $3,000 and covers attendance to all social events and entertainments activities. Non-anglers can also participate to the event for a fee of $200 or only to the Awards Cocktail and Dinner Banquet for $100.
The rules regarding assistance in the water are the same as Bermuda Billfish Blast: towing is allowed in case of mechanical failure, but no help can be received in landing or releasing fish, and a courteous attitude in and out of the water is expected from all.
The challenge for this 11th edition will be to try to match the success of last year. For its 10th anniversary, the Big Game Classic was exceptional and the best so far. Indeed, in 2010, the fleet of 49 boats caught 86 marlin, 66 blue and 20 white, with the blue marlin mainly over 350 pounds.
Only four blue marlin were not released and boated, one just undersized (488 lb) and three weighing 537 lb, 560 lb, and an impressive 691 lb. A new Big Game Classic record was also registered last year by winner ‘Weez in the Keys’, a 58 foot Merritt, with a tally of 7 marlin releases (four blue and three white). After a second place at the Blast, the team was tipped for winning the Bermuda Triple Crown, but a last place at the third leg saw them finishing fourth. No doubt they will be back this year to defend their Big Game title and fight for the Triple Crown.
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