Bermuda – The Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship includes nine days of fishing during three major Bermuda-based billfish tournaments, including the Bermuda Billfish Blast, Bermuda Big Game Classic and Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament. The points earned at each event follow the boat, crew and anglers, with the winners receiving an incredible prize package. A total of 162 billfish, 93 blue marlin and 69 white marlin were caught during the series. The weighed fish included the 768-pound winning blue marlin caught by Queen of Hearts in theBlast and World Cup and the 619-pound largest blue winner caught by Wound Up in theSea Horse. Other qualifying marlin included 556 pounds on Paradise One in the Blast, 548 pounds onNever Enough and 527 pounds on Queen of Hearts in the Sea Horse. For the first time in tournament history there we no marlin boated during the Big Game Classic. The quality fleet of 40 boats in the 2012 BTC made for a very competitive down-to-the-wire finish, with team Fa-La-Me owners Frank and Mary Ellen Rodriguez, Capt. Rob Moore, mate Jon Meade and teammates Taylor and Tyler Beckford scoring four whites in the Blast, three blues and two whites in the Classic and two blues and one white in the Sea Horse for a total of five blues and seven whites, 3,900 points and $226,575 in cash winnings and $50,000 in prizes during the series. Team Fa-La-Me received a fantastic Bermuda Triple Crown prize package including custom Vanmark gold championship rings, Garmin chart plotter and GSD 26 sounder, Airmar transducer, custom Release Marine step box, Geoffrey Smith sculptures, King Sailfish Mount trophies, Costa sunglasses, ATL fuel bladder, Fin-Nor rod and Marquesa reel combos, Steve Goione Triple Crown artwork, Bacardi Rum, Bonze lures, Mold Craft lures, Fathom lures, Bubba Blade, AFTCO championship apparel, gloves, bucket harness, and gaff. Hard-charging teamBree scored 3,800 points for second, with Over Budget ending up in third overall with 3,100 points in the Triple Crown series.
The first BTC stop was the Bermuda Billfish Blast on July 3-7. The Blast first day of fishing coincides with the July 4th Blue Marlin World Cup. A total of 38 teams competed in the Blast for a cash purse of $258,600 and 15,000 in prizes. It was team Mattanza’s final-day heroics of catching three whites and a blue, with the last white coming with only six minutes left in the tournament, to take the win in Blast. Team Queen of Hearts’ 768-pound blue was the largest of the Blast and World Cup. Team Paradise One boated a 556-pound blue and released a blue and two whites for second place, with team Rum Bum placing third with two blues and two white releases. Team Fa-La-Me scored four white releases, earning their first 800 points in the BTC series.
The second and largest tournament in the Triple Crown is the Bermuda Big Game Classic on July 11-15. A total of 39 teams competed for $370,350 in cash and $25,000 in prizes. The blue marlin bite improved, with the whites keeping anglers guessing and adapting to the changing conditions. Team Fa-La-Me started off with a blank on the first day of fishing but made up for it with two blue and two white releases on the second day. With just over an hour to go on the final day, Fa-La-Me added another blue release, scoring a total of 1,900 points to win the Classic and put them in second in the BTCstanding heading into the final leg of the series. Team Bree scored 1,600 points in the Classic, placing second in the tournament and first in the BTC standings heading into the final tournament. Team Over Budget placed third in the Classic with 1,400 points, keeping them well within striking distance for the Crown.
The Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament on July 18-22 is the final leg of the Triple Crown. A total of 30 teams competed for $235,725 in cash and $5,000 in prizes. Team Over Budget remained very consistent as they did throughout the series, scoring a blue marlin release each day for a total of 1,500 points and first place in the Sea Horse. Team El Cazador caught two blues and a white to earn 1,200 points and third place in the Sea Horse. But it was team Fa-La-Me with Captain Rob Moore that had the hot hand, scoring two blues and a white to take second place in the Sea Horse and first place in the 2012 Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. Congratulations to team Fa-La-Me for winning the most prestigious billfish series in the world.