Team Persistence reel in Guardian General/RJYC fishing title
Team Persistence, led by Courtney Wilkinson, hauled in 478 pounds of fish amidst some heavy weekend rainfall to claim the 13th annual Guardian General Insurance Jamaica/Royal Jamaica Yacht Club Invitational Fishing Tournament.
The winners, who also claimed top spot in 2-13, reeled off a massive margin to finish well ahead of second-place Team Feeva - led by Matthew DeLeon - which netted 364 pounds of fish. Third went to Team No Problem with 247 pounds of fish.
The first-place prize package was valued at more than $200,000 and the rules encouraged environmentally friendly fishing practices, with only fish weighing over 10 pounds qualifying.
The eligible pelagic fish included marlin, wahoo, tuna, kingfish/mackerel and dolphin, while the eligible bottom fish were specific to the snapper and grouper family only.
The winner for the category 'Boats 30 feet and under' was newcomer Reel Music, led by Gregory Mair, while the Junior Angler award went to 14-year-old Richard Lechler, fishing on M/V Diana, who caught several species over the 10-pound minimum weight limit. Five junior anglers entered the tournament this year and all had fun catching fish.
Daily prizes were also awarded, with day one going to Team Integrity with 113 pounds and day two to Team Fair Prospect with 108 pounds of fish.
Team Odyssey tied with Team Persistence for the heaviest wahoo/kingfish haul, both having landed a 47-pound fish, with the winner decided by who was first across the marker at the marina.
Team Persistence won heaviest tuna, at 24 pounds, while Team Integrity placed second, with a 20-pound tuna.
Team Integrity won both heaviest and second heaviest dolphin, with a total 32 pounds in that category. Heaviest bottom fish went to Team Fair Prospect with 30 pounds of grouper and the heaviest barracuda went to Team Feeva, with 29 pounds.
"We continue to promote a family atmosphere and make it an event that all fishing devotees can enjoy, so this tournament will always incorporate activities to bring families and friends out to the clubhouse," said tournament director Andrew Wilkinson.
He added: "Despite the rain, the Kiddies Off The Wharf fishing tournament went ahead, having several upcoming anglers registered. Overall, the tournament had a good turnout with fair weather and so we got the fishing done."
Wilkinson further expressed gratitude to the partners who made the tournament possible.
"Through the support of our sponsors, this event has grown from strength to strength, garnering a reputation for being a top-level sporting activity. I must thank Guardian General Insurance Jamaica for their crucial support," he stated.
Title sponsors Guardian General Insurance Jamaica (GGIJ) expressed pleasure at being a driving force behind the event.
"As the leading provider of marine insurance for pleasure crafts, it seems to be a match made in heaven to partner with a prestigious tournament such as this one. Our involvement in the tournament gave us the opportunity to give back to the fishing industry and to offer support in the same way that they have supported us through the years," said Sheraley Bridgeman, assistant vice-president, business development, GGIJ.