Locals pleased with Brac Jackpot

For most Cayman Brac natives
the recent Brac Jackpot fishing tournament was a solid success. A sizeable
number of anglers took part, many people won prizes and the mood is right for
more fishing.

As tournament organizer
Kenny Ryan states the competition went off well in spite of delays.

“We were delayed by a week
due to weather and we didn’t get as many boats as usual but I’m pleased with
the turnout,” Ryan said. “The last minute changes worked out well and our
expectations were met. It was a good tournament and the weather turned out
great, which is a blessing in itself.”

In spite of being the fourth
major fishing tournament delayed this year, some 17 boats and roughly 68
anglers took part in the Brac Jackpot. Nine boats competed in Cayman Brac while
eight crews hit the seas around Grand Cayman. A number of junior anglers took
part along with two lady anglers. Roughly US$16,250 was on offer in total prize
money.

In fact one junior angler
stood out among the rest in Ryan Barnett. The son of Royal Cayman Islands
Police Service Inspector Adrian Barnett won US$2,000 for a 31.5lb dolphin
aboard Taffy (he earned $1,500 for the top dolphin and an additional $500 for
the junior angler award). As Ryan states he is a good example for the youth.

“There was a lot more fish
caught than was weighed,” Ryan said. “About 50 fish were caught in total with
30 dolphins, three tunas and a couple wahoos. I was really impressed with Ryan
for winning the junior angler prize and heaviest dolphin prize. Something we
want to encourage is getting the youngsters to come in and join the angling
scene. It allows them to do something constructive instead of something
negative. Also it allows them to win some nice prizes.”

The Brac Jackpot saw decent
crowds at the Alexander hotel in Cayman Brac and Barcadere Marina in Grand
Cayman to see the catches. However Ryan states what makes the Brac Jackpot
stand out from other events is the family atmosphere it creates.

“It is a real family affair
that is very popular with locals,” Ryan said. “Brackers in Grand Cayman tend to
come over and Caymanians living overseas come over. It’s like a family
gathering with such a friendly atmosphere. Everyone may not have a  family relationship but there is good
fellowship that makes everyone feel at home. It’s that feeling that attracts
overseas anglers from places like Italy and Canada and celebrities like New
York Giants players years ago.

“I encourage everyone to
join the sport and have fun. It’s not all about winning prizes. Next year I
would like to see more lady anglers in the Jackpot. The next fishing event on
the Brac is the Cayman Brac Rotary Club Barracuda Bonanza on June 12 (over the
long holiday weekend). Anglers have to carry a junior angler and the top prize
is $1000 for the heaviest barracuda.”

Another Bracker pleased with
the event is Chevala Burke. The Marketing and Promotions Manager for the Sister
Islands Tourism Association stated the event showed great fellowship.

“I would say the tournament
went well,” Burke said. “Although it was postponed a week due to inclement
weather, there was still very good participation registered in Cayman Brac and
Grand Cayman.  What always stands out to
me is that even though it is a competition, the anglers always display great
camaraderie.”

Interestingly Burke has far
from a distant link to fishing. She took photos of the Jackpot action and the
Brac portion of the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament for the
Cayman Islands Angling Club. Her husband Joshua Burke took part in the
competition aboard his boat Nuff Badness. Burke thanked the sponsors for their
role in this year’s tournament.

“I express my gratitude to
the sponsors who helped make the tournament a success. Among them were Weststar
TV, Jude Scott, Ernst and Young, Kirk Freeport/Gerry Kirkconnell, Cayman Brac
Power and Light, Cayman National Bank, Caribbean Utilities Company, MLA Moses
Kirkconnell and Thom Guyton/Kirk Marine.”

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