​Cayman to host fishing event with major prizes

Carey Chen, tournament ambassador, marine artist and angler
Carey Chen, tournament ambassador, marine artist and angler

The inaugural Cayman Billfish Rundown, a multi-day fishing tournament, has been announced for May 14-17, 2019.

The tournament for overseas and local participants will have US$270,000 in guaranteed prizes – one of the largest guaranteed hauls of the region’s competitive fishing circuit, according to a press release.

Potential prize winnings will rise to US$520,000, which includes US$250,000 for breaking the local Cayman Islands blue marlin record of 584 pounds. The tournament also offers 21 added entry categories, to include billfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dolphin.

Unique to this event is the US$10,000 award to the captain of the boat with the most billfish release points.

Hurley’s’ Media, Dart and The Residences at Seafire have teamed up to host the tournament.

Randy Merren, managing director of Hurley’s Media, said this tournament has been over a year in the making.

“Cayman is a very attractive destination and we view this as an opportunity to attract visitors who spend their time off going on fishing trips and may not have had Cayman on the radar. We have scheduled this tournament at a time of year when the fishing is plentiful, when there is a break with other tournaments and to coincide with CayMAS carnival taking place the day after the award ceremony, as we want to showcase all Cayman has to offer, including our incredible entertainment,” Merren said.

Cayman Billfish Rundown also teamed up with renowned marine artist and angler Carey Chen to provide his expertise and ensure this event is executed to a high standard.

“Cayman has some of the best fishing in one of the most beautiful and successful islands in the Caribbean. I am honored to be part of this tournament and am looking forward to this being an unforgettable event,” Chen said.

“I fish tournaments throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and Central America and always enjoy the fishing in Cayman as well as the hospitality while visiting. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with Mr. Merren on the event and encourage boats to sign up.”

Eligible species for the tournament includes billfish (blue, sail, white and swordfish), tuna, dolphin and wahoo.

Tournament headquarters and the weigh station will be at Camana Bay Harbour. Festivities will take place on the Crescent each evening starting at 4 p.m. with the return of the boats to Camana Bay.

Cayman Billfish Rundown has designated the Alex Panton Foundation as the beneficiary charity. Their mission is to improve the mental health of children and young adults in the Cayman Islands through advocacy, awareness and support while raising awareness of mental illnesses with a particular focus on anxiety and depression. Participants will have the option during registration to donate a percentage of their winnings to the foundation. For more information, visit www.alexpantonfoundation.ky.

Registration for the Cayman Billfish Rundown is now open. Early registration before March 1, 2019 is US$2,500 and after March 1 is US$3,000. For more information about this event, visit www.caymanbillfishrundown.com.

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