Categorized | Featured, Fishing, Sports

Kona Game Fishing Club – Kusatsu wins 51st HIBT

Out of the Blue's Ted Morikawa gives his fish, the tournament's biggest, a happy hug. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

Five days of world-class Kona fishing and it’s only fitting a team named for the tournament headquarters wins the 51st Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.

When the “Stop fishing” call rang out at exactly 4:30 p.m. Friday, it brought to a close one of the best fishing years in recent memory and the crowd at Kailua Pier waited to hear which of the captains, crews and highly competitive teams would scoop up honors for 2010.

This year’s HIBT Governor’s Trophy and first place goes to Kona Game Fishing Club – Kusatsu. Fishing Friday aboard Kila Kila, captained by long-time Kona skipper Teddy Hoogs, KGFC earned another 300 points.

HIBT 2010 winner's Kona Game Fishing Club - Kusatsu and Miss Billfish 2010 Sonja Ascino. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Kusatsu fished consistently all week putting points on the scoreboard every day. By 8:30 a.m. Friday, angler Hiroyuki Murakami had tagged an estimated 200-pound Pacific blue marlin.

Kona Game Fishing Club-Kusatsu finished this year’s tournament with 2,129 points.

Friday’s top honors, however, went to Ted Morikawa of Out of the Blue from Waianae, Oahu.

HIBT announcer Bob Herkes mans the mic. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Fishing aboard the Miss Mojo, captained by Tio Kearney, Morikawa boated the tournament’s biggest fish, a 779-pound Pacific blue marlin, earning his team second place with 1,479 points.

“I’ve been fishing in the HIBT for three years and I guess you could say three’s a charm,” Morikawa said. “Captain Kearney encouraged us to fish with live bait. We set up the bait, trolled for a bit and bingo!”

Morikawa credited the skipper and crew for doing the hard work. “I just reeled it in. It was jumping pretty good. It came in pretty quick.”

Third place went to Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #2, which won the tournament in 2008, with 1,300 points.

In the top 10 teams, five countries were represented.

Hugs for everyone onboard Miss Mojo. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Top Captain

Boyd DeCoito, captain of the 46-foot Foxy Lady, won the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament’s coveted Henry Chee Award. The perpetual Henry Chee Award was established in 1965 to honor the charter boat captain upon whose vessel the most number of billfish points have been scored at HIBT.

The award’s namesake, a pioneer marlin fisherman who set an unprecedented number of gamefish catch records, helped establish the Kona coast as a world-famous fishing destination.

DeCoito has won two Henry Chee awards as captain and one as crew.

“I have been fishing HIBT since I was about 12 years old,” DeCoito said. “So you could say I grew up with this tournament. This week I knew I wanted to fish south in an area called Uniform. It performed for us all week long. We had great teams fishing with us who relied on our experience and knowledge.”

Fishing as crew for DeCoito were Sam Choy, Jr. and Russ Nita.

“This is possibly the finest array of fishing boats we’ve ever seen in this tournament,” said Rick Gaffney, IGFA judge and long-time Kona fishing industry advocate. “And we had a large number of bites this year. These are captain who really know what they are doing.”

Gaffney pointed out Kevin Nakamaru, skipper of Northern Lights, has landed three types of marlin all weighing in at more than 1,000 lb. – Atlantic blue, Pacific blue and Pacific black. “That makes this tournament special,” Gaffney said.

“Mahalo to the entire Big Island community for extending such warmth and aloha to the international fishing community this week,” said HIBT founder Peter Fithian. “Twenty-eight teams out of 31 scored points and we are happy about that. It was certainly another great tournament.”

Randy Rohner and Miss Billfish 2010 Sonja Ascino. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Miss Billfish 2010 Sonja Ascino said she had a great week. She admits to not being much of a fishing enthusiast, although she did a lot of shore fishing as a kid.

“It’s been great fun. I learned a lot about fishing,” she said. “But really, meeting all these people all around the world was so exciting.”

Next year’s 52nd Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is scheduled for July 24–July 30, with fishing days from July 25-29. Anglers and teams are invited to apply early as a full tournament is anticipated.

DAILY CATCH (Day 5 – Friday)
8 Pacific blue marlin tagged & released
1 Pacific blue marlin weighed
2 Short nose spearfish tagged & released

38 Pacific blue marlin tagged & released
8 Pacific blue marlin weighed
3 Striped marlin tagged & released
13 Short nose spearfish tagged & released
1 Sailfish
2 Ahi boated

Place Team Points
1 Kona Game Fishing Club-Kusatsu, Japan 2,129
2 Out Of The Blue Fishing Club, Hawaii 1,479
3 Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #2, California 1,300
4 Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1,298
5 Hilton Grand Vacations Fishing Club, Japan 1,258
6 Game Fishing Club of South Australia 1,100
7 Bay of Islands Swordfish Club#1, New Zealand 989
8 Aussie Invaders, Australia 950
9 Malibu Marlin Club, California 890
10 Team KGFA-Korean Game Fishing Association 820

Place Captain Boat Points
1 Boyd DeCoito Foxy Lady 1700
2 Tio Kearney Miss Mojo 1629
3 Guy Terwilliger Malolo 1489
4 Matt LoSasso Last Chance 1429
5 Mike DeRego Maggie Joe 1050
6 Jason Holtz Marlin Magic 1008
7 Lance Gelman Long Ranger 1000
8 Chuck Wilson Fire Hatt 990
9 Kevin Hibbard JR’s Hooker 927
10 Kevin Nakamaru Northern Lights 920

*Note: in the event of point ties, place standings are determined by the time the fish is boated.

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Quite possibly one of the best moment's of Ted Morikawa's life ... (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

One Response to “Kona Game Fishing Club – Kusatsu wins 51st HIBT”

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