Mustache Man reels in Shootout honours

The recent Rooster Shootout was a time for all of Cayman’s top anglers to hook up. When it was all said and done one fishing crew stood tall above the rest.

Captain Danny Ebanks and his crew of Mustache Man claimed top honours at the ninth annual Kirk Group/Rooster Shoot-Out. Also claiming top honours was the district of George Town for bringing home this year’s District Cup. George Town saw three crews, Keepin it Reel, Run Things and Mustache Man, give it bragging rights as Cayman’s number one fishing district. The District Cup was introduced for the first time at this years’ Shoot-out but it is planned to be a perpetual trophy. In the future teams representing all of the districts in the Cayman Islands will have the opportunity to compete to determine which area has the right to be called Cayman’s best.

In all 37 boats and 144 anglers competed in this year’s Kirk Group/Rooster Shootout. The competitors were given an extra twist in the competition format as for the first time there was an Outer Banks restriction. This means Caymans’ usually abundant fishing grounds were off limits, with fishing only permitted within Caymans’ territorial waters.

Rooster CEO and tournament organizer Randy Merren spoke about the reasoning behind that move.

“We wanted to create an equal opportunity for smaller vessels to compete in this year’s event, while increasing the degree of difficulty, in order to promote more competitive spirit among anglers,” Merren said. “The Outer Banks restriction meant that fishing ability and luck would be the deciding factor not a team’s ability to go to fishing grounds not accessible to some of the boats.”

Other winners include: the 2010 Lady Angler Katrina Ebanks fishing on Outcast who claimed top billing with this year’s heaviest wahoo at 39lbs. Justin Ebanks of Blue Moon took the second place spot with his 29lb 2oz wahoo.

In the tuna division, Roger Wood of Mustache Man claimed first place with his 49lb 2oz yellowfin tuna with Katrina Ebanks narrowly missing the top spot and coming in second with her 48lb 5oz catch. Interestingly last year’s winner Samara Persaud did not place in the top three with her tuna catch this time around.

In the dolphin division, Johann Wood fishing on Mustache Man took the first place honours with his 37lb 5oz catch. Johann, 15, also claimed the 2011 rookie of the tournament award. John Sperandeo, another young gun, took second place with a 27lb 1oz dolphin fishing on board Reel Crazy II. In third was Melissa Rewalt of Reel Crazy II with a 24lb 5oz catch.

Other winners on the weekend included Captain Charles Ebanks on Run Things who took the Bimini start award with his 48lb 2oz Tuna. The 2011 Lady Angler award went to visiting angler Amber Campisi and the sportsmanship award was claimed by Captain Chris Briggs on Strikeforce for his rescue of a vessel after it experienced some trouble.

The Brown Bag Jackpot went to Stephanie Arch on board Keepin it Reel who recorded the first Blue Marlin release on Sunday. In addition to other fish caught, she earned her 315 points and a grand prize of CI$2,100 in cash.

This year’s event was sponsored by Kirk Marine, Kirk Freeport, Kirk Supermarket, Kirk Beverages, Cayman Screen Print, Burger King, Cayman Imports, Britcay and Hyde Agencies.