Competitive anglers in the Cayman Islands might be on break until the New Year but many are sure to be talking about George Poveromo.
The TV personality was in Cayman earlier this month to film an episode of ‘George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing.’ The show will appear on Versus sports channel (which will be called the NBC Sports Network next year). Poveromo was joined by cameramen Steve Miller and Kevin Tierney.
Poveromo, 53, states he is impressed with the local fishing scene here.
“We’re going fishing for two or three days with Chris Briggs,” Poveromo said. “We’re doing a 2012 TV show. We’re on course to pull off at least one show, if not two.
“The consistency of fish here is very good. There are a lot of big dolphin, wahoo and blue marlin. They’re all quality size. You don’t have to go far to get fish if you don’t want to. There are so many possibilities and you don’t have to go far (from the US) to fish.”
The South Florida native is no stranger to Cayman, having come here a number of occasions in the last 22 years. He ended up doing alright on Cayman waters, nabbing 18 wahoo, four yellowfin tunas and making a blue marlin release alongside marine artist and conservationist Carey Chen. Poveromo is quick to state he has had success fishing here.
“I’ve come to Cayman three times with the first time being in 1988. That was for a Mako manufacturers event focusing on 13 centre console Mako boats. I owned a Mako and I caught and released a blue marlin within 20 minutes of going out fishing. We were a mile offshore (for that catch) and then we went to the banks.
“I was born and raised in Miami and I live 40 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. I regularly fish in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I’ve been a writer and editor for a sports game fishing magazine (Salt Water Sportsman) and been on national TV for 12 years. I’ve been all over the world to fish. It’s a great sport.”
The Parkland resident also caught the awards ceremony for the All-Tackle fishing tournament at the Grand Pavilion courtyard. The last competition by the Cayman Islands Angling Club for 2011 saw Leon Dilbert emerge the big winner with a cool $3,000. Aboard Miss Nyha with captain Joel Francis, Dilbert had the heaviest wahoo at 38.6 pounds (good enough for the $2,000 first place prize) and the second heaviest dolphin at 26.2lbs (earning him the $1,000 second place prize).
Another winner was Shelly Ware of Run Things, who took home $2,000 and various awards for the heaviest dolphin (28.4lbs), being the top female angler and making the tournament’s lone billfish release. Vaughn Smith of Miss Nicole earned $1,000 for the second heaviest wahoo at 32.8lbs and Andrew Schirn of Deep Thought took home a rod and reel combo as the top junior angler with a 24lb dolphin.
Cayman’s next major fishing tournament is the Barcadere Classic in January 2012.
Poveromo is married to wife Edie Poveromo and has two daughters Lindsay Poveromo Joly, 25 and Megan Poveromo, 15. George states he was encouraged to come down and spend time away from his family on this occasion by angling club president Franklin Thompson.
“Franklin has been wanting us to come for awhile. We started having conversations about producing more sport fishing shows here. I was on ESPN for 10 years but they let me go about a year and a half ago after they shifted away from outdoor fishing. Then Versus got behind us and I’m proud of what turned out. We got a chance to come out here and it went good.”
Aside from his love for fishing here and internationally, Poveromo is an outspoken marine conservationist. He advocates catch and release fishing and is a member of the Coastal Conservation Association. The University of Miami graduate states fishing and conservation go hand in hand.
“True recreational sports anglers are great conservationists. They are the first to fight things like water pollution. If you look back at the history of game fishing, they made sure the regulations came first to keep sustainable levels of game fish.
“Their biggest trouble is large-scale commercial fishing. Their long lines are deadly and their commercial harvesting practices are what’s terrible.”
Interestingly, Poveromo weighed in on the ongoing Nassau Grouper controversy in Cayman. Currently there is a ban on the fish and there is debate as to whether the ban should be lifted or instilled permanently.
“Marine protection zones in the US are a fallacy. There is no need to let fishing stop. I’m not seeing any evidence to back them up. In my state of Florida the recreational sport fishermen will regulate themselves. Big commercial fishermen are the real threats.
“With the Nassau Grouper situation here, it’s good to have closure for a bit. It should open up again after the spawning is done.”