Douglas Ebanks and his Blue Moon crew are formidable foes in Cayman fishing.
They proved that recently with a strong showing at the 2012 Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament. Ebanks served as boat captain while crime fighter Edward Azan reeled in a 44.6 pound dolphin.
Ebanks, who is from North Side, states the catch was a last-minute miracle.
“We waited an hour and a half before the end of the tournament to do our thing,” Ebanks said. “It was kind of a hope and a prayer to do something on the last day. We had previous wahoo and yellowfin tuna catches on the previous days. We stuck to dolphin the whole day and it paid off.
“We used a naked ballyhoo on a 50lb Penn reel. We were in Bodden Town, about two miles offshore. We caught it after giving our assistance to another boat by tolling it in. It had engine problems and we took the crew to shore.”
Azan’s catch was good enough to earn US$5,000. It was the heaviest dolphin in the 26 feet and under boat category (the prize was US$2,000 and a dolphin structure sponsored by Pro Yacht) and the second heaviest dolphin in the entire tournament (which fetched US$3,000 from Queensgate).
For helping the Bodden Town boat, Blue Moon received the Orman Whittaker Memorial Sportsmanship award. It was later revealed that the Bird Chaser crew received assistance after having problems with their high-performance diesel engines.
While Azan and Ebanks are a regular pair, the duo had a new crew member in Keiron Ebanks (Douglas’ son). Usually Justin Ebanks would be in the mix. Douglas made light of Justin’s absence.
“Due to things out of his control, Justin could not fish with us. I had to use my more junior angler to replace him.”
Like the other categories, the dolphin segment was heavily contested. The third heaviest overall dolphin went to Chris Kirkconnell of Blue Diamond with a 39.4lb catch (which earned electronics from Harbour House Marina and Carey Chen artwork) and Gary Rutty’s Still Chasin boat earned US$7,000 thanks to a 44.6lb catch by Adrian Ebanks. In spite of identical weights, Still Chasin edged out Blue Moon as Rutty’s crew nabbed their dolphin first.
Other big fish included Arthlee Evans’ 68.8lb tuna on Brasserie and Perla Hatch’s 42.2lb wahoo on Down The Hatch, captained by Brian Phelps.
The large dolphins are encouraging after dozens of anglers chased after the species in the recent Kirk Slam tournament. The biggest catch in that event was 39.2lbs by Al Parsons and his Raga Muffin crew of Jeff Parsons and Garfield Ewers.
From here, anglers shift their focus to the Cayman Brac Jackpot next week on 18-20 May. Ebanks states he intends to compete there.
“The international tournament was great and it was handled great. It had a lot of boats, anglers and excitement.
“We’re definitely going to do the Brac too. We’re the reigning champions for Grand Cayman. We had the third biggest wahoo, the biggest tuna catch overall and we had the grand slam title. So we’re going to defend the title for most fish caught in Grand Cayman.”