Fishermen reel in good times

Cayman waters can be as unpredictable as any other in the world.

One minute everything looks calm and ideal for fishing. The next minute things might get a little choppy or the fish could go closer in to shore.

For whatever reason, the fish were not biting at the annual billfish tournament a few weeks ago.

In spite of August being a historically good month to catch species of billfish anglers had a tough go of it.

The tournament saw 11 registered boats combing the waters around Grand Cayman in search of spearfish, sailfish, white marlin or blue marlin.

Only three would be able to catch any fish and reap the substantial rewards that went with reeling in a big one.

First place overall would go to the crew aboard the Baharia. Angling brothers Keith and Scott Strang produced two releases and made off with the CI$2000 cash prize.

Second place wnt to the crew of Yorkshire Rose. Reece Hester had a release the same day as the Strang brothers to nab the Penn International 50lb Rod and Reel combo.

Third place went to the Strike Force crew. Angler Curtis White was able to secure a release just hours before the end of the tournament. For his efforts White was awarded a Carey Chen print.

All of the fish caught by the different crews were Blue Marlins.

Local angling club member Len Layman was part of the tournament control team that ensured catches were recorded properly by the various crews.

The process behind recording a catch was a bit involved. Each boat had a set of numbers between zero and nine. When a hooked fish was identified as a type of billfish, the boat captain contacted tournament control and obtained a release number.

The team then took a photo of the billfish at boat-side with the fish and the release number. The assigned numbers were chosen randomly by tournament control.

From what Layman could gather the lack of catches was a shock to the competing anglers. Most of the fishermen stated they experienced good fishing conditions.

On the whole the understanding was it appeared to be a good occasion for boating but the fish were nowhere to be found.

At least the majority of crews had a good time on the water. Many submitted photos that showed they stayed upbeat in spite of the lack of catches.

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