The event was held at the Grenada Yacht Club – home of the tournament since it first started in 1964.
This year’s event registered 48 participating boats and 229 anglers from the U.S.A., Sweden, Martinique, Aruba, Barbados, St Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago and our homeland Grenada.
As is customary, Grenada’s tournament, which is the largest and longest running in the southern Caribbean, had significant turnout of 27 boats from Trinidad & Tobago and a new record of 11 boats from Grenada!
In keeping with the policies from The Billfish Foundation and international game fishing rules, the Budget Marine Spice Island Billfish Tournament observes stringent guidelines for the release of bill fish namely Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish.
“This tournament remains committed to conserving Grenada’s fish reserves so that our future generations will have this resource at their disposal. This year, we increased the minimum weights of all the billfish species to further reduce the number of fish brought to the scale.” commented Richard McIntyre, Chairman of the BMSIBT Committee.
The tournament commenced on January 21 with competing boats parading around the Carenage in all their splendour, before lining up just outside of Grenada’s natural harbour for the Bimini Start, and progressing on to the fishing grounds.
The tournament which ran for over 5 days included three fishing days and an awards ceremony and dinner.
A total of 38 fish were landed including 32 Dolphin, 2 Wahoo, and 4 Tuna.
The second day saw anglers managing to reel in 28 releases of 7 Blue Marlin, 1 White Marlin and 19 Sailfish. 21 fish were landed – 17 Dolphin, 1 Wahoo and 3 Tuna.
At the close of the second day’s fishing, Arabian Princess was leading the way with 2100 points followed by Abracadabra also with 2100 points, and Blue Fever 2 and Gud Tyme with 1500 points each.
Despite the clear abundance of fish no team was able to release the Grand Slam Trio (any 3 of the 4 billfish species) in a single day.
The final day of fishing saw 18 fishes being released (6 Blue Marlin, 2 White Marlin, 9 Sailfish and 1 Spearfish) and 20 landed.
Arabian Princess managed to retain its first place position by releasing a White Marlin and increasing their score by 300 points thus finishing with a final overall score of 2400 points.
Abracadabra remained in second place with 2100 points, however team Gud Tyme edged ahead of Blue Fever 2 to take third place with 1800 points.
At the prize-giving dinner, Marissa Zeller who fished on Grenadian boat ‘Wayward Wind’ was named this year’s Top Female Angler with 2 Sailfish releases.
Isiah Aleong, from Trinidad & Tobago, who fished on ‘Barracuda’ retained his title of Top Junior Angler for another year and Nicholas George, who fished on ‘Kaddmit’ was named Top Grenada Angler for releasing a Blue Marlin which earned his team 600 points.
The 3rd place angler position was awarded to Mathew Milne of Arabian Princess with 2 releases (1 Blue and 1 White Marlin), in second position was Laurance Worrell of Sweet Peace also with two releases (1Blue Marlin and 1 Sailfish) while Marc Telfer of Blue Fever 2, stayed ahead of his fellow anglers and placed first with 3 releases (2 Blue Marlin, and 1 Spearfish).
Of the fish brought to the scale, Anthony Norman Sabga of A Fun Day was awarded for the heaviest Dolphin at 29lbs, Ryan Farah of Lead us Knot for heaviest Wahoo 25lbs and Paul Decle of Fun Now for heaviest Tuna at 93lbs.
The boat GiGi II, which was unable to stay for the awards dinner, was named as the winner of the valued Guy Harvey print ‘Depth Charge’ which was raffled between early registered teams.
The Committee thanked the many sponsors for their continued support in hosting what is often dubbed the best billfish tournament in the Southern Caribbean.
Of particular note are: Budget Marine, Title Sponsor; Pearl Sponsors Republic Bank Grenada Ltd and Grenada Tourism Authority; Silver Sponsors Beacon Insurance and Independence Agencies Ltd.; Bronze Sponsors Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and Prickly Bay Marina.
Commenting on this year’s tournament and results, Richard McIntyre, Chairman of the BMSIBT Committee said. “Overall, we had another excellent tournament with fantastic support from our friends across the globe. We are already thinking ahead to 2016 for an even grander 47th tournament that all our anglers, followers and sponsors can look forward to.”