[Dunnellon, FL.–] Mac Stone is kicking across the Rainbow River against the strong current as fast as he can, and even though he is carrying a bulky underwater camera with two protruding …
"Fish Tales" Wins Bahamas Billfish Championship 2012 Opener at Great Guana Cay, Abaco
Alex Vazquez led team Fish Tales to an impressive victory at the Bahamas Billfish Championship’s first tournament of the 2012 season at Great Guana Cay, Abaco. Vazquez and teammate Joey Souto caught and released four blue marlin and a white marlin to earn 2,600 points for the win.
The BBC’s new format allows teams to fish three out of four days with a required ‘captain’s choice’ lay-day. Like most of the twenty-one boat fleet, Fish Tales took day one as their lay-day. Shortly after noon on day two, Vazquez released the team’s first blue marlin and Souto solidified the tournament lead by releasing the team’s second blue of the day shortly before three o’clock.
Fish Tales added to their lead on day three with another released blue marlin. However, on day three, all eyes were on Give It Away. BBC newcomers John and Anne Aramendia of Garden Ridge, Texas brought Give It Away within 300 points of the leader when Anne released a sailfish, white marlin and a blue marlin for a ‘grand slam.’ John added another blue and, at the end of day three, Give it Away had accrued 1,500 points to Fish Tales’ 1,800.
More importantly, in BBC tournaments, 700 ‘grand slam bonus’ points are awarded to a team catching a sailfish, white marlin (or spearfish) and blue marlin in one day during the tournament. At the conclusion of the tournament, the Grand Slam Bonus points are added to the team’s overall score for that tournament. This meant that the Hatteras 60, Fish Tales, needed more points on day four to avoid losing the lead.
But on day four, Barry Weshnak’s Miss Annie grabbed the spotlight releasing three blue marlin and edging Frank Rodriguez and Fa-La-Me out of third place because Miss Annie was the first to achieve 1,800 points. Meanwhile, Fish Talesadded another blue and a white to finish with 2,600 points. Anne Aramendia released a sailfish adding another 100 points to Give It Away’s total.
The Guana Cay Championship win earned Alex Vazquez and team Fish Talesa Randy Rich designed trophy presented by tournament sponsors MarineMax and Hatteras Yachts. In addition, the Miami, Florida based Fish Tales received a $500 gift certificate from Treasure Coast Propellers and a custom set of teasers from Reel Tease and Chum Buoy. Capt. Chris Zielinski and the Fish Tales crew each received a Randy Rich designed trophy sponsored by Steve Lewis of the Lewis Marine Group.