Cayman is playing host to a fishing celebrity.
Tred Barta is visiting the Cayman Islands this week as a guest of the Cayman Islands Angling Club. Barta, 62, lives in Islamorada, Florida, and is a noted angler, writer, philanthropist and television personality. The University of Colorado alumnus is here until Monday and will promote local fishing and compose articles for media outlets like the Big Game Fishing Journal and Sports Illustrated.
The angling club will be coordinating a social evening for Barta on Oct. 26 at the George Town Yacht Club from 7:30 p.m. until roughly 9 p.m. Angling club president Franklin Thompson encourages residents to attend the session and learn from Barta.
“This is his second time on island; he stopped here last year on a cruise,” Thompson said. “He’ll be fishing and diving. This a chance to learn from one of the world’s top sports fishermen and hear what a legend has to say. People can learn fishing secrets and how he got around his disability can be an inspiration to others.”
More than five years ago, Barta contracted a rare blood cancer which left him in a wheelchair, paralyzed from his chest down for the rest of his life. However, he continues to fish, write and be on TV – recently shooting 20 episodes for “The Best and Worst of Tred Barta” show on NBC Sports. Barta has been on the channel 10 years and uses a custom 26-foot Andros Sportfisherman boat built specifically for his disability. He is also halfway through his second book, which is slated to be completed by the end of the year.
Barta’s arrival comes as the local fishing scene is winding down. The angling club is putting on the year’s final competition, the Cayman First Insurance All Tackle fishing tournament, on Nov. 22-23. Last year’s event featured an 86-pound yellowfin tuna caught by the Hog Heaven crew of Tansy Maki, celebrity angler Charles Ebanks and Tobias Marquardt.