First-place prize package valued at more than $200,000 will be the biggest yet for the annual Guardian General Insurance Jamaica (GGIJ)/Royal Jamaica Yacht Club (RJYC) Invitational Fishing Tournament, which takes place today and tomorrow.
It is anticipated that 23 boats will compete for a cache of attractive awards in the two-day event where there are no fishing boundaries. However, RJYC tournament coordinator, Andrew Wilkinson, explained that to encourage environmentally friendly practices only fish caught over 10 pounds will qualify.
The eligible pelagic fish will be marlin, wahoo, tuna, kingfish/ mackerel and dolphin, while eligible bottom fish are specific to the snapper and grouper family only.
There will be an optional weigh-in tomorrow at 5 p.m., but for Saturday's mandatory weigh-in, each entrant must pass the club's marker by 4 p.m. to qualify for points.
Scoring will be done based on one point per pound of pelagic species specified and two points per pound of bottom fish species specified.
This year's tournament will feature exciting new elements such as day prizes to encourage the smaller vessels below 30 feet to participate. The Kiddies Off The Wharf Fishing Tournament returns for this year's 12th staging, with exciting prizes for young fishing enthusiasts.
"We want to promote a family atmosphere and make it an event that all fishing enthusiasts can enjoy, so for this year's tournament we have incorporated a number of activities to bring families out to the clubhouse, while also encouraging a love for the sport in our Junior Anglers," noted Wilkinson.
Title sponsors GGIJ expressed satisfaction over their input.
"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," said Sheraley Bridgeman, GGIJ's assistant vice-president, business development. "Our involvement in the tournament gives 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."
This tournament, which qualifies for the annual Tony Myers Trophy for "most points all tournaments", will also offer other prizes for boat most points, heaviest wahoo, heaviest bill fish, heaviest dolphin, heaviest tuna, heaviest kingfish, heaviest barracuda, and Junior Angler Award.