NORTH CAROLINA’S OLD SOUTH MARLIN CLUB TEAM 4 WINS 53rd HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
JASON HOLTZ, MARLIN MAGIC TOP SKIPPER
KONA, HAWAII (FINAL)—“Stop fishing, stop fishing, stop fishing,” rang out from tournament control at exactly 4:30pm for the fifth and final time this week, and that broadcast closed the 53rd running of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. It’s been an eventful week of fishing and the final day of this venerable five-day tournament kept anglers, captains and crews trolling for valuable points right up to the last stroke of the clock.
With two teams hooked up during the last 45 minutes of tournament fishing, Old South Marlin Club Team 4 sweated out the top spot on the leaderboard and managed to tag and release yet another Pacific blue marlin today. On Wednesday, their impressive four- marlin score positioned this team for victory at the 2012 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. At the tournament’s Friday finish, the team won with a cumulative total of 3,150 points, the highest winning HIBT score since 2008. In fact, the Old South Marlin Club Team 4 score is the third highest since 1959 when the tournament began.
“It’s been such a great week of HIBT fishing for our team! First Day we were fishing on Northern Lights and tagged two fish, Second Day we were on Ihu Nui tagged a fish, third day was our banner day, three tagged fish and a boated a 638-pound Pacific blue marlin fishing on Marlin Magic. And today fishing on Top Shape we tagged our final fish,” said Sue Vermillion, team captain and well-known Kona veteran angler. Vermillion has a close relationship with HIBT having served as prior tournament director. “I love this tournament and think it’s a fabulous event.”
“HIBT extends heartfelt thanks to the entire Big Island community for such gracious hospitality and aloha bestowed on our guests. HIBT teams come to Kona from near and far to fish these famous waters,” said HIBT founder Peter Fithian. “It was a very busy tournament with nearly all 40 teams scoring points. The teams enjoyed themselves and will return to their hometowns all around the world with fishing stories from Kona.”
Jason Holtz, captain of the Marlin Magic, 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 fishing captain who set an unprecedented number of gamefish catch records, helped establish the Kona coast as a world-famous fishing destination. Holtz is born and raised on the Big Island and is a fourth generation marlin fisherman, raised in a sport fishing family. He has chased marlin in over 10 countries, and for 4 years, Jason saw the world from a 48-foot game boat, fishing in locales such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Madeira, Bom Bom, Ascension Island, and much of Central America. This is his first Henry Chee Award.
Next year’s 54th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is scheduled from August 3 through August 10, with fishing days starting on Monday, August 5 through Friday, August 9, 2013. Anglers and teams are invited to apply for entry as a full tournament is anticipated.
For more information on HIBT, including team listings, IGFA world-record rules and a daily video recap of tournament standings, log onto www.hibtfishing.com <http://www.hibtfishing.com> or friend us on Facebook.
Place Team Points
1 Old South Marlin Club #4 3,150
2 Kona Game Fishing Club-Taiyo Japan 2,418
3 Bay of Islands Swordfish Club-Endeavour New Zealand 1,904
TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS
Skipper Boat Points
Jason Holtz Marlin Magic 2,650
Teddy Hoogs Bwana 2,004
Kerwin Masunaga Rod Bender 1,863
Doug Pattengill Holo Holo 1,767
Mark Schubert Miss Mojo 1,700
A total of 93 Blue Marlin were released and 11 weighed with a total of 135 Billfish caught for the Tournament.