There were plenty of fishy stories in 2010. With a number of huge catches and tournament winnings local anglers had many tall tales to spin.
The stories started flowing in February with the staging of the annual Barcardere Classic. The Bare Assets crew and angler Lincoln Hurlstone had the heaviest dolphin at 26.8 pounds while Nicholas Jones and the Pura Vida crew had the heaviest yellowfin tuna at 67lbs (which doubled as the heaviest fish in the tournament).
April saw a pair of tournaments that had been postponed from March due to bad weather. The Rooster Shootout saw Samara Persaud nab US$4000 for her 85.06lb yellowfin tuna (the biggest catch in the event). At the Cayman Swordfish Challenge the biggest catch was 169.2lbs by angler Des Francis, who took home nearly CI$6,000 in winnings. Charles Ebanks had the second-biggest catch at 142.13lbs and claimed nearly CI$10,000.
In May Cayman’s biggest fishing event in the form of the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament took centre stage. Julia Hurlstone went home with US$10,000 for nabbing a 74.7lb tuna. Around the time of the tournament Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder came to Cayman.
By the end of the month Guy Harvey would earn props by being inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Known for his marine life art and conservation efforts, Harvey (accompanied by wife Gillian) also nabbed the honours thanks to his background in competitive swimming and water polo.
The Brac Jackpot also took place in May and saw Edward Kerr nab top honours. Originally from West Bay, Kerr took home US$5,500 for a 33.4lb wahoo he caught in Cayman Brac. By the end of the month the Brac saw another major competition in the form of the Brac Barracuda Bonanza, put on by the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac. All of the major prizes were won by children with Jason McCoy earning US$1,000 for a 22lb barracuda (the heaviest catch of the tournament).
In August the Bahari crew were the big winners at the annual Billfish catch-and-release tournament. The group, featuring the Strang fishing family, won US$3,000.
October saw three local fishermen nab a 173.4lb yellowfin tuna. The catch, by boat captain Eric Rivers, crew member Charles Ebanks and angler Nicholas Jones, was just 16 pounds off the Cayman record for heaviest tuna set in 1989.
In November the annual Rotary and Lions Club of Grand Cayman fishing tournament titled Fishing for Community Service took place. West Bay native Nedra Ebanks hooked the three heaviest tunas with weights of 86, 36.7 and 32.9 pounds and boasted the third-heaviest wahoo at 38.6lbs. For her efforts she claimed nearly CI$6,000 in prizes.
By the end of the month three Cayman fishing crews earned props at the 10th annual International Billfish Tournament in Panama. The Cayman fishermen placed first and third, hauling in 11 marlins and two sailfish.
Lastly in December Charles Ebanks capped off an epic year in fishing with another big catch, this time off the South Sound channel. Ebanks broke his own world record for the heaviest escolar catch by reeling in a fish weighing 160 pounds and 11 ounces.
Ultimately fishing can boast many catches and tournaments in 2010. With the sport gaining in appeal, chances are it will continue to hook the masses in the New Year.