Categorized | Featured, Fishing, Sports

HIBT 2013 Day 2

(Photo courtesy of HIBT)

(Photo courtesy of HIBT)


Veteran anglers from Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #2 – California (Team #5) knew they needed to post valuable points on Tuesday’s Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament leaderboard to break away from a crowded four-way tie for second place and capture the lead.

Fishing aboard Strong Persuader, angler Chuck Salinger seized his opportunity.

“As soon as the marlin hit, I knew this tag and release would be an important one for our team,” Salinger said.

It took Salinger just three minutes to tag and release the estimated 150-pound Pacific blue marlin. But was it enough to propel this team into the lead as the second day of the 54th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament came to a close?

Game Fishing Club of South Australia (Team #24) held a slim 15-point lead going in to HIBT Day Two and knew the stakes were high. The team managed to tag a short nose spearfish in the final hour of HIBT Day Two fishing to hoist their two-day total to 715 points, dropping them to second place.

That 150-pound Pacific blue marlin tag netted Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #2 (Team 5) 300 points for a solid Day Two lead with 900 cumulative points. Laguna Nigel is a club to be reckoned with having won three past HIBT championships (2008, 1986, 1985).

Singapore’s Le Anglers Club (Team #26) holds third place, just 15 points behind Game Fishing Club of South Australia with 700 points.

“You’ve got to use strategy to win this tournament and a key factor is the HIBT tag and release rule,” said Tournament Director Robbie Engelhard. “Boat a fish under 300 pounds, no HIBT points. Tag a fish under 300 pounds and release it back into the ocean, and you earn valuable HIBT points.”

HIBT Tournament Founder Peter Fithian explained, “Captains, crews and teams must be able to quickly estimate the weight of the fish, often during a heated battle reeling in the fish. This is where experience and knowledge come into play. Most Kona captains will tell you that estimating the weight of a fish is done very rapidly as the fish nears the back of a boat.”

Many gauge weight by what is called the short measure where the 300-pound threshold is likely if the length of the fish exceeds 99 inches. HIBT teams rely on the extensive knowledge of Kona’s highly experienced fleet of captains and crews to help estimate weight.\

Two women anglers have already posted points on the HIBT scoreboard. Bay of Island Swordfish Club (Team #1) angler Sue Woolston, fishing aboard Lightspeed, tagged an estimated 125-pound Pacific blue marlin in just nine minutes. Veteran angler Sally Kurz with Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #1 (Team #4), fishing aboard Rod Bender, boated an ahi.

“The pulse quickens as each day of this five-day tournament passes. Every HIBT angler, every captain and every crew member are calculating the points needed for a win,” said Fithian. “The best thing about Kona’s waters is that you can never be certain what is coming next.”

The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, Aug. 9.

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is underwritten by the generosity of the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The tournament is further supported in part by KWXX Radio and numerous corporate and community donors.

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