As a fishing crew they are not
lacking in facial hair. After their showing at a prominent fishing tournament,
the men of the Mustache Man now have no lack of funds.
Captain Roger Wood, his 15 year-old
son Johann Wood, Albert McLean, angler Robert Whorms and boat owner Danny
Ebanks were big winners in last month’s Rooster Shootout event. The group
walked away with roughly US$10,000 in prize money for sporting the heaviest
dolphin at 37.5 pounds (US$4,000), the heaviest yellowfin tuna at 49.2lbs
(US$4,000) and winning the grand slam award for the most pounds of fish caught
by one crew (US$2,000).
For the record the tuna catch was
named the heaviest last week after Arlon Powery’s 52.9lb tuna was disputed and
eventually disqualified. The Mustache Man crew also nabbed some nonmonetary
prizes; including a brand-new watch as the captain’s prize for the boat captain
producing the most pounds of fish.
Of the group Robert Whorms, 31,
stands out as a noteworthy fisherman. His presence on the Mustache Man marks
the second time this year he has made headlines in fishing. Back in January he
nearly set a new black tuna record with a gutted 57.8lb Atlantic albacore. The
Savannah native states the tournament and the crew’s winnings were great.
“I thought it was very good and
well-organized,” Whorms said. “It was good participation considering that there
was a lot of conflict before, especially with the new ban on fishing the outer
banks. There was still a good turnout of 36 registered boats.
“We’re happy we got the money and
the grand slam. It was nice to do good in the tournament. It felt better
because of the restriction for going to the banks. It’s truly a good feeling to
come out on top ahead of so many great anglers.”
Indeed a number of esteemed anglers
took part in the competition. Edward Kerr was part of the Morning Spirit crew
that featured Arlon Powery and the disqualified 52.9lb tuna. North Side star
fisherman Justin Ebanks had the second-heaviest wahoo at 29.2lbs aboard Blue
Moon. Last year’s top angler Samara Persaud also took part though this time
around she would fail to reel in a massive tuna.
Whorms states in the face of such
stiff competition there quickly emerged a game plan to excel in the tournament.
“We went for the prizes first and
then made our plans from there. By the second day we knew we were in the
running for the grand slam. It made us want to get more fish to stay ahead of
the competition. Mind you it is a tournament and there are some brains to it.
It isn’t merely putting your line out and seeing what happens.
“On the first day fishing for
dolphin was poor. So on the second day we switched to tuna and landed two of
those plus we got a wahoo. On the third day we went fishing specifically for
tuna and wahoo so that we got more fish and in turn more weight for the grand
slam and captain’s prizes.”
Like with many catches made in
tournaments, the crew were able to sell their fish. As usual a number of
restaurants had representatives at the Rooster Shootout’s Grand Harbour weigh
station. For example chef Ron Hargrave of Tukka restaurant was present to
purchase a tuna; something Hargrave, an Aussie who has been here 11 years, did
last year while employed at Deckers restaurant. Whorms says the crew’s fish
went to a West Bay outfit for roughly $6 per pound.
“We sold two tunas to Calypso Grill
restaurant and another to a lady from Cayman Brac. We consumed the smallest
one. As for the money we made we tracked our expenses and covered that. From
there Roger, Albert and I agreed to put aside something for the next tournament
to sort out things like entrance fees and fishing gear.”
Aside from the unique name of their
boat and their success at the Rooster Shootout, Whorms and company have another
claim to fame. All, with the exception of Johann, are employees at Caribbean
Utilities Company. In particular Whorms is the Manager of Electrical
Maintenance and Roger Wood is a supervisor. With company president Richard Hew
coming out to show support during the tournament, Whorms is quick to state that
there is a long-term relationship between the company and fishing.
“We all work at CUC though it’s the
first time Danny has been with us. Albert, Roger and I fish the most often
though a big group of CUC guys fish. We organize two tournaments every year for
CUC employees and we might have a CUC-sponsored team for the next major local
tournament. Hopefully we also have Giovanni McLean, a CUC employee who is the
Manager of System Operations, sponsor us again. He is a young Caymanian fishing
lover with a fishing apparel line called Tight-Hand Fishing Gear. He gave us
team shirts and refreshments for the Rooster tournament.”