Cayman fishermen have their eyes on an all-dolphin tournament.
The second annual Kirk Slam fishing competition is slated for this weekend, 14-15 April. Anglers are expected to troll Cayman’s waters 6am-4pm each day and weigh their catches at the Barcadere Marina in George Town at 4-6pm.
Among those gearing up for the competition is Brevon Elliott, 37. The Bodden Town resident states he will also look for kudos in Cayman’s biggest event on the fishing calendar.
“Yes, I have been competing and will continue to compete in the local fishing tournaments, such as the Kirk Slam this month and the annual Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament in May,” Elliott said.
Elliott, a leading fire officer with the Cayman Islands Fire Service, recently caught a 19 pound, 11 ounce pomfret. The catch figures to be a new world record, once it is approved by the International Game Fishing Association.
The Kirk Slam event focuses solely on dolphin catches. The heaviest fish earns $5,000 cash with $2,000 and $1,000 on offer for second and third heaviest dolphins.
Last year, the inaugural edition attracted 55 boats and 228 anglers. Four crews fished in Cayman Brac with 25 junior and 30 female anglers in the mix. Julian Lee and his High Maintenance Crew had the most props thanks to a 56 pound, one ounce dolphin and a combined weight of 129.7lbs from four fish.
The other big winners would be the crew of Jah Bless, featuring angler Cachas ‘Super C’ Stewart, for nabbing a 34.1lb catch and three fish weighing 74.9lbs. The Liquor Box crew, featuring lady angler Jenny Eldridge, had a 37.7lb dolphin and two fish with a combined weight of 67.30lbs.
The Kirk Slam comes after the Rooster Shootout tournament last month had roughly 34 teams and 136 anglers. Over $20,000 was on offer in cash prizes. Some big fish were reeled in at the Harbour House Marina dock in Prospect including a 38.2lb dolphin by Jordan Hartmann of Blue Diamond, a 47.6lb wahoo hooked by Chris Kirkconnell on Blue Diamond and a 72.8lb yellowfin tuna caught by Albert McLean on Too Lucky.
Another crew that did well was Strike Force, which featured captain Chris Briggs, wife Kim Briggs and fishing brothers Rob and Nicholas Jones. Nicholas states as he prepares for the Kirk Slam his thoughts are still on the Rooster event.
“I would like to congratulate fellow South Sound boat Blue Diamond for their first place wahoo, first place dolphin and Grand Slam wins,” Nicholas said. “They really stepped it up a notch this year and it would seem that South Sound is the district to beat.
“There was also a friendly bet between Des Ebanks of one of the West Bay boats and my brother that if either of them didn’t place in the tournament they would have to take a two-year break from fishing tournaments. As Des wasn’t at the prize giving to collect any awards, don’t expect to see him fishing any tournaments any time soon.”
Rob had a number of sizeable catches for the crew. He reeled in a 30.6lb dolphin and a 53.5lb tuna. Over three days the group hooked 10 tunas, six wahoo, two dolphins and produced three blue marlin releases. As a result they earned the Captain’s prize for the most fish weighed, the Jackpot prize for the most points and the District Cup.
Nicholas did not speculate on how well his crew can do this weekend but states it would be good to have more tournament weigh-ins at Harbour House Marina.
“Harbour House Marina is an excellent alternative to the Barcadere for the weigh station. They had everything tournament boats needed on hand from fuel to ice, bait and gear. I am hoping this venue will be considered in future for weigh-ins.
“I would also like to give a huge thank-you to Rooster, Harbour House Marina and the rest of the sponsors for making the event happen and for running it as smoothly as they did.”
The 2012 Kirk Slam is sanctioned by the Cayman Islands Angling Club and saw registration occur on Thursday at Royal Palms. Prize-giving takes place next Monday, 16 April, at Royal Palms from 7pm.