Angling club reels in Gaff Life

As Cayman’s biggest fishing tournament nears, focus will be on another television crew that filmed here. 

Captain Jimmy Nelson, show host of Gaff Life TV, contacted Carey Chen in late 2012 to request Carey as a cohost on a Gaff Life show and gave Carey the privilege of picking the destination. 

Carey immediately contacted the Cayman Islands Angling Club to coordinate a show in Cayman. After multiple e-mails and a few conference calls, the dates were set and the plan evolved. 

Gracious sponsors of this initiative were Cayman Airways, who supplied the tickets for the film crew, Sunset House provided the rooms and transportation was supplied by CICO. Captain Jimmy and team arrived here on 25 February and were in Grand Cayman for one week.  

Their first two days were spent filming Cayman’s underwater beauty at dive sites along Seven Mile Beach and other land-based attractions such as the Cayman Turtle Farm.  

Fishing began on day three and produced some great action, throughout the day Carey and Captain Jimmy caught four Wahoo weighing 30 to 50 pounds, six yellowfin tunas at 40 to 60 pounds and they released one blue marlin. The action continued the following morning with blue marlin as the target species. This was another exciting day with the team spotting 12 blues, hooking four and releasing two. 

A bonus to the day was the release of a 5-foot Oceanic white tip shark. Camera men on Captain Jimmy’s team said they have never seen blue marlin action like what they witnessed that day. Unfortunately on day five, a front moved in and brought the fishing to a grinding halt, but the crew already had enough material to produce two shows.  

During their visit, local artist Luelan Bodden presented Captain Jimmy with a sculpture of a dolphin (mahi mahi) that was hand-crafted from local conch shells.  

Keep an eye out for the two shows as they air on NBC Sports starting January 2014. Captain Jimmy will also be participating in the 2013 Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament, giving locals an opportunity to swap fishing stories with him. 

Focus now shifts to the international fishing tournament, which kicks off next Tuesday, 23 April, with registration at the George Town Yacht Club between 6 and 9pm. This is the richest tournament on Cayman’s fishing calendar with more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. 

Anglers travel from around the world to compete in this tournament, which is a qualifying event for the World Offshore Championships. Fishing days are between 25 and 28 April with eligible species being wahoo, dolphin, tuna and marlin. 

The international fishing tournament comes after the third annual Kirk Slam all-dolphin competition took place last weekend, attracting a modest turnout of some 34 boats and roughly 136 anglers. Hog Heaven had the biggest catches in Grand Cayman at 33 and 32.5 pounds while Escapade had the biggest overall fish in Cayman Brac, weighing 38.4 pounds. 

This weekend sees the 2013 Cayman Swordfish Challenge on 19 and 20 April. 

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