Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, June 6th, 2010 ĖThe International Billfish Shootout now at its new home in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, celebrated its 16th edition after having held the previous fifteen in La Guaira, Venezuela. Cap Cana rolled out the red carpet to its visitors with their awesome marina facilities and their tremendous hospitality during the event.
Participants from Aruba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, U.S.A., Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands gathered at this new elegant tropical location to compete for prizes, trophies, cash awards and prestige during this well known event, and they were not disappointed. Weather conditions were ideal throughout the week and the fishing was absolutely fabulous.
The ultimate winners fishing aboard Big Oh, from Jupiter, Florida with Captain Ronnie Fields jumped out to a narrow early lead on day one releasing five white marlin for a total of 1,050 points while Black Gold from Boca Raton, Florida, guided by Captain Keith Bokemhagen and Dominican Republicís Caramba, with Captain Victor Caldwell at the helm were right on their heals each with 930 points.
On day two, Big Oh immediately widened their lead earning extra points by releasing a blue marlin right after lines in, while Black Gold and Caramba responded with two white marlin each in the morning hours. However, in the afternoon Big Oh continued to widen the lead with an additional four whites including a double header, while Black Gold released another two whites and Caramba released one white marlin the latter two finishing the day with a larger deficit than the previous day.
After the lay-day came the third and final day with the stage set for a dramatic finish and thatís just what ensued. Black Gold started out strong releasing four white marlin by 10:25am and taking a 210 point lead over Big Oh on the scoreboard, but at 11:02am Big Oh responded with extra points as a result of a blue marlin release taking back the lead. In the meantime another battle for third place began to unfold between Caramba and Peje of San Juan, Puerto Rico, skippered by Captain Juan Carlos Garcia. Peje had started their move from 7th place at the start of the day with three whites in the morning hours, and Caramba came back with a white of their own a few minutes past mid day and another just before 1:00pm holding on to third place, but Peje released another three whites in the afternoon and was able to overtake their rivals by the end of the this final day. In the meantime, the battle for first place continued between Big Oh and Black Gold. Every time Black Gold would release a white, Big Oh would match by releasing one of their own to hold their lead. At the end of the day Big Oh ultimately triumphed with three whites to Black Goldís two that afternoon as the tournament ended.
Congratulations go to anglers Gray Ingram, Ben Horning, Jorge Muro and Dave Fields aboard Big Oh, anglers Harry Sargeant, Matt Melchiore and Mike McCarthy aboard Black Gold as well as anglers Carlos Garcia and Luis Infanzon aboard Peje.
In the individual angler category it was Pejeís Carlos Garcia who took top tournament angler honors with 1,890 points as a result of single handedly releasing 9 whites, followed by Jimmy Fields of Team Vintage with 1,420 points and Dominican, Enrique Ricart fishing aboard Caramba with 1,350 points.
When it was all said and done a total of 74 white marlin and 17 blue marlin had been released in the three days of the Shootout for an overall total of 91 billfish released.
A very special thanks go out to Cap Cana and their entire Marina, Promotions and Public Relations staffs without whom this fun filled event would not have been possible, along with sponsors Brugal Rum, Presidente Beer, Alaska spring water and ice, Villas Marina at Cap Cana, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), Scotia Bank, Mustad Latin America, Bluefin/Alutecnos, Shimano, Blue Water Botherhood and Mauii Jim Sunglasses.
Part of the proceeds from Shootout 2010 will be donated to Reel Life Adventures who are conducting important selfless charity work with underprivileged Dominican children. Last but not least, Shootout 2010 was the first of three legs of the famed Spanish Main Caribbean Series and coincidentally, the three top boats were competing in the series at the same time as they were doing so in the Shootout.
2011 dates are tentatively set for the first week of June 2011. Mark your calendars.