Prizes had them hooked

Having over US$100,000 on offer in
prize money is enough to push anyone into a sporting event. For local anglers it
is just another reason why the biggest fishing contest here is so grand.

Last weekend saw the end of the
2010 Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament. Over the course of three
days 56 boats and 193 anglers took to Cayman’s waters.

The competitors were an interesting
mix of locals and visitors with anglers came from such locales as Honduras, the Republic
of Congo and Canada. The
tournament saw an amazing 20 female anglers. The ladies were far from the
weaker sex as many scooped up the prizes.

When it was all said and done Julia
Hurlstone emerged as the richest woman. She won US$5000 for the heaviest
Yellowfin Tuna in the boats 26 and over category, US$2000 for the heaviest fish
during the Bimini start, US$2000 for the Lady Angler with the heaviest eligible
fish and US$1000 for the Rookie Angler with the heaviest eligible fish.

Almost all of that US$10,000 came
from nabbing the heaviest fish in the tournament. On the first day of the
competition last Wednesday Hurlstone hooked a 74.7lb tuna aboard Black Magic.

In fact the competitors in
Hurlstone’s Yellowfin Tuna category for boats 26 feet and over had the three
biggest fish. After Hurlstone came Desle Francis and his 65.7lb catch aboard
Tub Too and Thom Guyton and his 63.9lb catch aboard More Time.

Other notable anglers were Clarke
Smith of Taffy who had the heaviest Dolphin at 47.8lbs in the boats 26 feet and
under section. For boats 26 feet and over Carl H. Ebanks of Miss Nicole had the
biggest Dolphin at 51.3lbs.

Donal Burns of Black Label had the
biggest Wahoo in the boats 26 feet and under section at 27.2lbs. Among the bigger
boats Basil Hamaty of Black Magic hooked a Dolphin weighing 50.8lbs.

Robert Whorms of Party Heat was the
only angler to hook a Yellowfin Tuna in the small boat section. The fish
weighed 57lbs.

Aside from money a number of
competitors took away nice mementos from the awards ceremony held on Tuesday at
the Ramada Grand Caymanian resort. Most of which were artwork donated by noted
marine artists Carey Chen and Guy Harvey.

Others were trophies and fishing
gear. For example Keith Strang took home the hefty Bill Rewalt memorial trophy
for the most Blue Marlin releases (he had four on Bahari).

As one might expect a number of
notable faces were at the awards ceremony. From a pro football player to
Premier McKeeva Bush the anglers had a touch a glitz and glamour.

Premier Bush gave his support for
angling in Cayman and said only the stress of his job keeps him away from a rod
and reel.

“The turnout for this tournament is
proof that fishing is still a premier sport in these islands,” Premier Bush
said. “I wish I had time to do some fishing but I can only think of the budget
these days.”