Nedra sports a good angle

Nedra Ebanks grew up around fishing
but when she got older she chased other pursuits. Ebanks may not have been out
to sea for years but based on her latest efforts clearly she still knows how to
fish.

The West Bay native made a
triumphant return to the sport this month. Ebanks had a dazzling display at the
2010 Lions and Rotary fishing tournament, reeling in four fish and nearly
CI$6000.

Ebanks had the three heaviest tunas
with weights of 86, 36.7 and 32.9 pounds and boasted the third-heaviest wahoo
at 38.6lbs. She netted CI$3500 for her tuna catches and CI$500 for the wahoo.
In addition she claimed the CI$1,500 prize as the event’s top female angler
plus an additional $300 for the sale of the fish to local restaurants.

The competition, titled Fishing for
Community Service, took place both in Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman over the
course of two days. Put on by the Rotary Club and Lions Club of Grand Cayman,
catches made in the tournament were weighed at the Camana Bay dock.

Ebanks, a senior policy and
development officer at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, states that she
is ecstatic to have done so well in the tournament.

“I’ve been on hiatus for awhile but
this is my big comeback,” Ebanks said. “I feel excited, I can’t wait to get out
there and get some more fish. I have no plans yet for the money I took home.
I’m sitting on it for a bit and I’ll probably put it towards next year’s tournament.”

Ebanks, who turned 28 last month,
made her catches out in 60 mile bank (miles off shore from Grand Cayman). She
was part of the Strikeforce crew which featured captain Chris Briggs, Al
Parsons, Rob Jones, Cayman Islands Angling Club member James Ebanks (who was
only on the boat for one day) and first mate Joni Hydes. Briggs is no stranger
to big winnings as he has often hit the waters alongside established West Bay
fisherman Charles Ebanks. In fact Briggs donated one of Nedra’s tunas and her
wahoo to the Pines retirement home.

Ebanks states that the story behind
her four catches is a lucky one as she didn’t have to do much to reel in the
fish.

“To head out to 60 mile bank we
left at three in the morning. I took naps as I was tired from getting up that
time. However the fish kept biting on my line, it was one after the other. It
was a consistent period from start to finish. I caught the wahoos all at one
time at first and then came the tunas, again all at one time.

“In all the crew caught about seven
to 10 tunas on the boat that weekend. Most weren’t prize winners.”

Jones, 29, is the brother of angler
Nicholas Jones. He states it was the first time he had taken Ebanks out to sea.

“This is the first time I’ve ever
fished with Nedra but we knew her and her cousin Jodi could handle it,” Jones
said. “They are from West Bay. We were really impressed with the way in which
Nedra handled herself and the fish but there was a little screaming, moaning
and groaning. I guess that is understandable when under so much pressure but
all in all she handled it like a pro.”

The Lions and Rotary fishing
tournament was backed for the second consecutive year by Camana Bay and the
local angling club. Money earned from tournament registration goes towards
funding projects for both community organizations. The competition serves as
the final event on the local fishing calendar and comes after the last angling
event in August.

The daughter of Thomas D. Ebanks
states she is looking forward to hunting for more fish in the future.

“I’ve been fishing since I was a
toddler and did shore-fishing with my dad since I was five. We went deep-sea
fishing at age nine. I’ve always loved fishing. I used to play football (as a
junior) and flag football (which I’ve been out of for two years) but fishing is
my sport of choice. I’m a fisherman’s daughter and I grew up with it. Before
this the guys never asked me to go out fishing with them. They thought I
couldn’t handle it and I guess they were intimidated. All I can say is more
power to Chris and Rob for taking me out!

“My next catch is definitely going
to be a marlin. I’m Strikeforce all the way now and they can’t get rid of me. I
might even catch some bigger tunas, hopefully in the international tournament
next year, which is the next event I have my eyes on. I’ve been reassured by my
crew that I’m already entered in that. Personally I’m just looking forward to
more fishing, even outside of tournament time. My dad got himself another boat
and I’ll be doing recreational fishing with him.”

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