Barcadere Classic will offer plenty of large catches

Local competitive angling is officially getting its 2014 season going. 

The Barcadere Classic takes place March 1-2 at the Barcadere Marina in George Town. Put on by the Cayman Islands Angling Club, this weekend’s event marks the first fishing tournament of the year. Angling club president Franklin Thompson said a lot of fish are ready to be caught. 

“This is the first tournament of the year and given recent catches, we expect a lot of wahoo to be caught in the tournament,” Thompson said. “We also expect good catches of yellowfin tuna and dolphin. I’d like to encourage every resident interested in sport fishing to come out and participate this weekend, if only as a spectator.” 

Last year’s competition featured Bruce Bush and the Cut N Rum team landing a 79.4-pound wahoo off Pickle Bank – the biggest fish of the tournament. Samara Persaud on Miss Nicole landed the second heaviest wahoo, at 59.6 pounds and Stephen Ebanks on Who’s Ur Daddy was third with a 49.9-pound catch. Vaughan Smith weighed many fish but his 60.1-pound tuna proved to be the heaviest. The second heaviest tuna, weighing 55.8 pounds, belonged to Desle Francis of Ms Nyah. Andrew Ward of Outrageous had the tournament’s only dolphin catch at 16.4 pounds.  

For 2014, TV personality Capt. Jimmy Nelson is coming to film the competition. Nelson has featured Cayman on NBC Sports’ “Extreme Fishing Adventures” TV show, Gaff magazine and Gaff Life TV in recent months.  

Thompson said Nelson’s return provides a welcome boost.  

“We are excited to have Capt. Jimmy back on island as he will submit photos and articles written on his trip to a variety of fishing magazines in Florida when he returns home. This will help spread the news of the great sport fishing that Cayman has to offer.” 

The awards ceremony is March 4 at the George Town Yacht Club from 7 p.m. The heaviest tuna and dolphin each claim $2,000, the second heaviest fish in each class earns $1,000 and the third heaviest nabs $500 in both segments. The biggest wahoo lands $5,000, the second heaviest gets $3,000 and the third biggest takes home $1,000. 

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Andrew Ward got lucky with his little dolphin catch last year. – PHOTO: MATTHEW YATES