Port Antonio for marlin hook up

Local anglers may have to wait
until November for angling action in these waters. But for those who prefer not
to wait there is another option abroad.

The 47th annual Port Antonio International
Marlin Tournament is slated to take place 9-16 October. Tournament organizers
are looking for interested Cayman anglers to head out to Jamaica and try their
luck.

Serving as the liaison for the
organisers is Horace Duquesnay. The owner of Corner Pocket bar has a solid link
to local sports as he is the President of the Cayman Islands Dominos
Association with his business being a primary venue for darts. In addition he
served as President of the Cayman Islands Angling Club years ago.

Horace is the cousin of Ron
Duquesnay. who is the president of the Sir Henry Morgan Anglers Association of
Jamaica (their fishing association). The Jamaican national, who has been in
Cayman since May 1970 and has Cayman status, gave details about the Jamaican
tournament. “It’s being held on the north-east coast of Jamaica and has been an
international tournament for the last 40 years,” Duquesnay, who is in his 60s,
said. “It’s the second oldest tournament this side of the hemisphere, with only
the Ernest Hemingway tournament in Cuba being around longer. It’s a marlin
event that’s completely catch and release. Two marinas in that area host fishing
in the Errol Flynn and Port Antonio Harbour. The Port Antonio marina will host
the tournament and was recently leased to the fishing club up there. It has new
facilities, it’s totally revampted and just re-opened a few weeks ago.

“Over 40 boats register each year,
most are from Jamaica and some are registered off-shore in Cayman for tax
purposes. I used to fish there in the 1960s with Ornan Whittaker and there were
teams there from Haiti and Barbados. The current tournament record is for a
marlin weighing over 500lbs caught by Mark Myers on his boat Bypass. Interestingly
he is the owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Jamaica and his boat
is registered in Cayman.

“Two boats have committed from
Cayman in Adrian Briggs’ 60ft hackus called Cayman Time and Bryce Merren’s 38ft
centre console called Naut Workin. We would like to see more anglers up there.”

News of the Port Antonio tournament
comes in between a pair of Cayman competitions. Last month saw the annual
billfish catch-and-release tournament while November sees the second annual
Lions and Rotary Club Fishing for Community Service tournament. Duquesnay
states the Jamaica competition can have a steady slot on the Cayman fishing
calendar.

“It really fits in with the
international tournament that Cayman has in May. I’m hoping to have more
participation both ways. But with the current economy it puts a serious dent in
people’s pockets. Mind you it’s about 202 miles from here to Montego Bay. Put
in another 80 miles to get to Port Antonio and that’s a lot of money needed for
gas. While you’re there it’s four solid days of fishing so at the end of the
day it’s not exactly cheap. If the economy gets more of a boost I think we
would see more Caymanians wanting to go.”

Between his business and the
dominos association, Duquesnay readily admits he doesn’t fish as frequently as
he used to. In fact he hasn’t been out to sea in Cayman’s waters for years.
Nevertheless from his experience in Jamaica and from the reports he has heard
about the Port Antonio tournament, he states October should be an interesting
time for fishermen.

“One year we had 14 boats come from
Cayman. It’s a very popular tournament in a very protected harbour. It’s very
deep and the ships pick up a lot of marlins. Fishing in Jamaica is tremendous
and the camaraderie is real and 100 percent authentic. Port Antonio is the home
of blue marlin. Imagine 103 blue marlins were caught in one year, a quarter of
a mile outside of the Port Antonio Harbour channel about six years ago. That is
a lot of fish.”

* For more information log on to www.fishcayman.com.

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