To an avid saltwater angler, there’s nothing quite as spectacular as a billfish tournament. It’s very Hemingway-esque… big sportfishing boats, heavy tackle, chasing the ocean’s apex predators. The conservationist in me, though, laments killing these majestic fish and longs for a change in the way these tournaments are conducted.
One really forward-thinking tournament is the Mayor’s Cup in Miami. This tournament was the first to introduce live streaming and is a 100% catch-and-release tournament. This year, team Asian Pearl took top honors. Find out how they did it in this article from the Miami Herald.
The second day of the 2014 SeaVee/Mercury Mayor’s Cup Billfish Tournament ended with the Asian Pearl crew — consisting of Robert Voges, Christopher Galarraga, Brandon Mullar, Eric Johnson, Victor Paneda and Marie Diaz — earning a $44,000 bounty for releasing 10 sailfish in the two-day tournament held out of Monty’s Raw Bar in Coconut Grove.
The Pearl’s crew caught just enough to take the top position among the 29 boats in the tournament, three of which had nine releases.
Coming in second overall was Angler Management, which earned $3,000, and in third was Weez in the Keys with $5,700. The Weez earned more money for being entered into more categories of the tournament.
Finding his way to the leaderboard Saturday with just five releases was Chris Paige of the Relentless Too crew. His releases earned him $500.
The Kraken fishing team caught the heaviest fun fish in the tournament, a 30-pound wahoo, and the biggest kingfish (24 1/2 pounds) to earn $2,534. At the top of the other fun fish categories were the teams of Crook and Crook (22 1/4-pound tuna for $12,666), and Rockstar OG (12 1/4-pound dolphin for $500).
Photos: Mayors Cup Tournament