As the afternoon of November 6 arrived, the serene setting in West End, Grand Bahama was jolted to life. The roar of screaming outboards filled the air as teams arrived at Blue Marlin Cove for the resort and marina’s inaugural wahoo tournament. As competitors checked-in one after the other, the docks quickly filled with chatter of a red-hot wahoo bite.
With everyone accounted for and relieved to finally be in paradise, the Tito’s Vodka Dock Party kicked off under the light of a full moon, giving anglers a chance to strategize for the day ahead while sizing up the competition. Even though the determined fishermen—most of whom crossed the ‘Stream to strut their stuff—would soon be testing their skills against one another, it was easy to see the camaraderie was genuine. With plenty of welcome cocktails down the tube and clarification of the rules and regulations behind them, most guys hit the sack with anticipation of the battle to come.
The ecstatic crew weighed a daily high of 10 wahoo for a tournament benchmark that will be hard to beat—an astonishing combined weight of 399.8 pounds!
As dawn broke and overcast skies loomed, captains were greeted with sloppy seas. Nevertheless, the brave anglers pushed on, knowing hunting packs of hungry wahoo awaited their arrival. With conditions improving throughout the day, several teams could even be seen working the ledge directly in front of the resort. This could only mean one thing…the bite was on!
The first team to bring the meat to the dock was Deal Maker. The guys set the pace with six wahoo and an impressive total weight of 194 pounds. La Boheme, a local boat from Freeport, quickly pushed them aside, weighing five qualifying fish for a combined weight of 219.9 pounds. Shortly after, Big Fuss tied up and wheeled six fish to the scale for a combined weight of 166 pounds—all three incredibly impressive wahoo hauls by anyone’s standards on any given day.
Fishin A Loan followed close behind, and as they offloaded their jaw-dropping catch it was clear they came to play. The ecstatic crew weighed a daily high of 10 wahoo for a tournament benchmark that will be hard to beat—an astonishing combined weight of 399.8 pounds! The boatload of striped torpedoes also earned the team the Daily 3 calcutta for their three heaviest fish.
Weighing a very respectable eight wahoo with a combined weight of 190.5 pounds, Tide Machine was next in line and made it clear to the crowd that they weren’t going down without a serious fight. Absolut Joy was the final boat to the scales on Day 1, weighing four fish for 90.6 pounds.
On the second and final day of competition, the fleet was greeted with improved sea conditions and quickly throttled off in different directions in search of winning fish. By late afternoon with no teams in sight, it was clear competitors were pushing their boats, teams, and tackle to the limits for a chance at the title.
The first boat back, Team Tito’s, only had a single 30 pounder, leaving everyone wondering if the hot bite had fizzled. Fishin A Loan tied up next and made it clear the wahoo fire was still burning at both ends for their team, weighing five fish for a Day 2 total of 218.6 pounds, including an 80.2-pound stud!
La Boheme arrived next with a combined weight of 63.4 pounds. Big Fuss weighed an excellent catch of 164.6 pounds, while Deal Maker added 59.7 pounds to their tally. Absolut Joy also had a pair of qualifying fish with a combined weight of 55.5 pounds, as did Tide Machine with 65.7 pounds. Clean Livin rounded out the action with a single 26.2-pound wahoo. The plug was finally pulled at the busy scale and committee members quickly went to work calculating, with the overall winner determined by the leading aggregate weight of any team’s top five wahoo.
In the end, Fishin A Loan took home top honors with an impressive 236.1 pounds and a check for $4,000. La Boheme was hot on their tail with 232.6 pounds, good enough for 2nd Place and $2,500. Big Fuss posted 207.1 pounds for 3rd Place and $1,000, while Deal Maker accumulated 183.0 pounds to take 4th. Tide Machine rounded out the top five with 148.0 pounds. The excitement wasn’t over just yet, as the Daily 3 for the heaviest three fish on the final day of the tournament, the Catch ‘Em Up calcutta for the most qualifying fish weighed during the two day fish-off, and the King Hoo award for the overall heaviest wahoo were yet to be announced.
As the crowd cheered for their fellow anglers, Fishin A Loan and Big Fuss were deemed a tie and agreed to split the Daily 3 prize, earning each team an additional $1,750. Unbelievably, the same two teams tied for the Catch ‘Em Up category, and again agreed to split the $6,000 calcutta.
When it came time to crown King Hoo for the largest fish of the event, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind which fish was the winning wahoo—the 80.2-pound beast that bloodied the deck on Fishin A Loan earned the team a well-deserved title and a $7,500 check.
While the numbers proved West End, Grand Bahama is home to a world-class wahoo fishery, competitors also battled for a worthy cause—The West End Eco-Fishing Kids Camp. When all was said and done, the organization was presented a check for $2,750 to assist in providing for those in need.
To learn more about Blue Marlin Cove Resort & Marina and compete in the most exciting tuna and wahoo tournaments to hit The Bahamas in years, visit bluemarlincove.com.