KAILUA-KONA — At a svelte 428 pounds, the Pacific blue marlin weighed in by Port Vila Sport Fishing Club of Vanuatu (Team #14) at Wednesday’s Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament was a game changer earning enough points at press time to thrust this team into second place on HIBT’s leaderboard with 871 points.
Though scoreless Wednesday, Laguna Nigel Billfish Club #2 California (Team #5) held its lead with 900 points in the HIBT’s 54th edition.
Fishing aboard Kona Seafari in fishing area Juliet (between Keahole Point and Kailua Bay), both the team and the skipper are former HIBT champs. Hailing from the island nation of Vanuatu, located between Fiji and New Caledonia, Port Vila won this iconic tournament in 2011 and Kona’s Captain David Bertuleit was the top scoring charter boat captain in 2009. Angler Murray Parsons boated the fish using 50-pound test line, a smart move in scoreboard strategy since lighter lines earn larger points.
Angler Jim Ramsey boated Wednesday’s second, slightly larger Pacific blue marlin in fishing area Tango (between Kealakekua and Hookena) and tipped the scales on Kailua Pier at 457 pounds for veteran HIBT Team #19 the Pajaro Valley Gamefish Club California. This team has also won HIBT, not once, not twice, but three times, in 2003, 2001 and 1997.
But at press time, Papua New Guinea’s Lae Game Fishing Club (Team #11) aboard High Flyer was still fighting a Pacific blue marlin in fishing area Sierra (between Keauhou and Kealakekua).
Another eight Pacific blue marlin were tagged and released today by HIBT teams who added valuable points to their tallies.
“I’m delighted that HIBT is able to showcase all that Kona fishing has to offer — its excellent ocean conditions, perfect weather and a highly skilled fleet — to people from places all around the world,” said HIBT founder Peter Fithian. “The big game fish are out there and our HIBT Chief Judge Albert Threadingham is convinced that the smaller marlin are feasting on the ahi right now. He believes a grander might be on the way.”
The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday.
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.
For more tournament information, including IGFA world-records, rules, and entry information, log onto www.hibtfishing.com.
Editor’s note: Daily HIBT results are reported by Laura Aquino of Current Events.