The International Billfish Tournament, the longest consecutively held international billfish tournament in the world


August 12, 2010

International Billfish Tournament of Club NÁutico de San Juan to be held August 15-22 with nine competing countries Availability of fishing "hot spots" metrics

The 57th International Billfish Tournament of Club Náutico de San Juan, to be held August 15-22, will have nine participating countries, 45 boats and over 200 deep-sea fishing anglers that make San Juan their favorite fishing destination at this time of year.

"We are the capital of deep sea fishing in this part of the world, with true sportsmanship and camaraderie. Last year we had 300 strikes among 46 competing battlewagons. Virtually all boats had action," said Frankie Mirandes, chairman of the 57th edition of the longest consecutively held, big game fishing tournament in the world.

  "In most places you have to sail out to sea for hours to reach the fishing area, but here in San Juan you arrive in 10 minutes," said Mirandes. He explained that in less than two miles offshore you can raise for the Big Blue in this June-September season.

Blue marlin, as its name suggests, prefers the clear blue waters of the open ocean and are known as one of the largest billfish in the Atlantic Ocean. They weigh about a ton when they are fully grown, and spent most of its life behind the warm ocean currents (ranging from 75ºF - 84ºF) and migrate thousands of miles, since they are migratory in nature.

Mirandés alongside Ricky Jaen and other members of the Organizing Committee, will provide fishing "hot spots" metrics after a careful data collection daily procedure to pin point water temperature, water quality (clear, free of algae), currents and tides to identify areas most prone to good bite. Such metrics include areas rich in nutrients and will be provided to participants each night before fishing days.

"With available technology and an adequate assessment you can provide participants with critical information to maximize the thrill in the quest for the Big Blue. No other fishing area has the many virtues that San Juan is able to offer," said Mirandes.

Atlantic vs. Pacific

Central and South American anglers, who will participate in this edition and who fish in the Pacific Ocean fish, will find "new" species for them such as the Atlantic white marlin. On the other hand, when anglers who fish the Atlantic travel to the Pacific Ocean they also "discover" stripe marlin and black marlin, which are never to be seen in the Atlantic.

  Mirandes recently traveled to the Galapagos Islands and brought his own bait. "We showed them conservation practices, how to release, and return to the sea. It was a unique experience to fish with people from other places with their own vision and practices," said Mirandes.

  Of the nine competing countries in 2010, three are from the Pacific: Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador. United States will also participate, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, France and Puerto Rico.

Colonial Period

The group "Regimiento Fijo," which recreates the history of Puerto Rico in the late 18th century and dress themselves in a historic way, will “shoot” a historic cannon shot to official inaugurate the Tournament, during Flag Ceremony Tuesday August 17 at 6:00 p.m. They will shoot two "guns", one from a moving boat on the San Antonio Channel and another from the ground. They will also participate in the famous "Shootout" from historic San Felipe del Morro castle on the first day of competition.

First fishing date of this 57th edition will be on Wednesday August 18 until Sunday August 22, with a day off on Friday, August 20. Registration and activities begin on Sunday 15 August.

  Blue marlin along Puerto Rico typically weight 300 pounds and reach 10 feet long, although plenty of 600 plus marlin have being hooked, as well as 700 and 800 pounders.

The Tournament follows the "All-Release" format, and the tag and release practice is not encouraged to protect the species for future generations. In fact, the Organizing Committee encourages anglers to quickly return their catches to the water and to fish with 50# test line for greater competitiveness. Participants receive 400 points for each release. Female anglers also fish.

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Virginia de los Reyes
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