June 2009 Tournament Results Newsletter
Published by comefishLa.com, Inc.

The 5th annual Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic is now in the record books. A total of 48 sportfishing yachts, ranging in length from 31’ to 80’, fished for a total purse of $438,000.00 and fished in ideal conditions of 1’-2’ seas combined with rising barometric pressure---the fishing was ON……..

Tuesday, May 26, the festivities started with our Dock Party, hosted by the good people at Venice Marina. Everyone enjoyed the seafood boil and open bar featuring Tommy Bahama Rum, Jack Daniels, Absolut Vodka, Southern Comfort, Tequila Herradura, Dewars Scotch, and Beefeater Gin; yes, a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, May 27, was our Official Registration Day along with our Captain’s Meeting and Kick-Off Party-again sponsored by our good friends at LeBeouf Brothers Towing and Southern Recycling. We can’t say enough by those Acme Oyster House people serving up Rib-eye steaks and their world-famous bread pudding, and of course our traditional Oyster Bar was also a hit.

Thursday, May 28, was off to somewhat of a slow start after our Kick-Off Party, but everyone enjoyed our Hangover Clinic featuring TABASCO Bloody Mary Mix and Absolut Vodka, along with some strong coffee. Father Jerry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Port Sulphur continued a fine Louisiana tradition with our “Blessing of the Fleet” at both Venice Marina and Cypress Cove Marina. Our fleet left the docks at 4:00 pm Thursday afternoon—let the games begin.

Friday, May 29, with fishing starting at 12:01 am, the Swordfish bite was on, especially for the Pass It On, a 50’ Viking from Port O’Connor, Texas with owner Mike Hopkins, releasing 4 Swordfish, along with Never Better releasing 2, Junkyard Dog, releasing 1, and the Bushwhacker releasing 1. The Blue Marlin bite started early with numerous boats reporting hook-ups and releases before 8:00 am. At 9:15 am, the C-Ya, a 69’ Blackwell with owner/angler Joel Broussard, fishing out of Grand Isle, La, reported a 102” fish in the boat and on their way to the dock, but 130 miles from the pass. Our first Blue Marlin on the dock weighed in at 426.8 lbs. Shortly thereafter, the Chasin Tail, a 61’ Garlington, again fishing out of Grand Isle, with angler Todd Waguespack, calling to report a 110” fish in the boat and heading to the scales, weighing in at 566.2 lbs. Yes, the bite was on, with Lady Lab, a brand new 64’ Viking reporting 2 Blue releases the first day, along with Pass It On continuing to be hot with 2 Blue Marlin releases on Friday, with numerous boats reporting single releases.

Saturday, May 30, the bite continued, with Pass It On releasing 2 more Swordfish along with numerous boats with single Swordfish releases. Saturday morning, Pass It On proved to be on fire with 2 Blue Marlin releases before 8:30 am. As the radio chatter grew, more and more boats came to fish the rip, which was only about 25 miles from the pass; obviously holding fish! As we approached lines out of the water, the Patriot, an 80’ Monterey, fishing out of Port Fourchon, La, reported a Blue Marlin hook up at 3:30 pm, then calling back to report a 114” Blue in the boat and headed to the dock. Angler Lee Bouziga was mighty proud of his 476.1 lb Blue Marlin, pushing them into 2nd place. The Patriot had also released their 2nd Blue Marlin of the tournament on Saturday morning.

As boats started coming to the dock, it was obvious some nice fish had been caught by all. Our Tuna division was won by Angler Paul Ippolito, fishing on the 54’ Bertram, Nautical Nut, weighing in nice 163.7 lb Yellowfin tuna, followed by the Delta Cat, a 58’ Custom, with Pete Lockhart weighing in a 132.8 lb. Yellowfin and Russell Lockhart weighing in a 130.1 lb. Yellowfin.

Our Dolphin division saw some gorgeous fish for May, with Brad Rocaforte, fishing on the 50’ Hatteras, Surprise weighing in a 59.2 lb Bull taking 1st Place, followed by angler/owner Roger Bagwell, fishing on his 60’ Viking, MoJo, weighing in a 55.9 lb. Bull for 2nd Place, with angler Kyle Strander, fishing on the 46’ Bertram, Faux Pas taking 3rd Place with a still nice 50.2 lb. dolphin.

Our Wahoo division was won by angler Blane Wilson, fishing on the 48’ Viking, Pipe Dream, fishing out of Grand Isle, La with a 55.3 lb. Wahoo, followed closely by angler/owner Bob Harvey, fishing on his 65’ Hatteras, Four Reel, weighing in at 51.6 lbs, with Robert Yarbrough, fishing on the 57’ G & S, Sophie Louise, weighing in at 48.6 lbs.

Saturday evening, Acme Oyster House did it again, serving up Red Beans and rice, Shrimp grits, Natchitoches meat pies, fried catfish, even more bread pudding and of course their Oyster Bar. Combine this with our open bar; surely a good time was had by all.

Pass It On swept the Tag/Release Division with 6 Swordfish releases and 4 Blue Marlin releases - a new tournament record.

Needless to say, team Pass It On, the 50’ Viking from Port O’Connor, Texas swept the Tag/Release division with 6 Swordfish releases and 4 Blue Marlin releases for a total of 3600 points, a new tournament record. Followed by a tie for 2nd Place with the Lady Lab, a 64’ Viking taking 2nd Place on time, followed by the Patriot, an 80’ Monterey taking 3rd Place. Our Tag/Release winners were all awarded custom-inlayed Release Marine teak step boxes as prizes. Team Pass It On also took home the C. R. Bob Potter Memorial Trophy for Top Billfish Boat, along with an invitation to the I.G.F.A. Offshore World Championship.

Our Top Youth Angler prizes went to 14 year old James Fisackerly, fishing on the 55’ Hatteras, Never Better, weighing in a 42.9 lb Yellowin tuna along with a 28.7 lb. Dolphin. James’ prize package included a Sony Playstation portable, numerous games, a Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificate and a custom trophy.

Our Top Female Angler prize went to Sherry Polk, fishing on yet another brand new 60’ Viking, Share-E. Mrs. Polk weighed in a two Yellowfin tuna at 50.0 lbs and 40.9 lbs, along with a 25.0 Dolphin. Mrs. Polk was awarded a custom trophy along with a TABASCO gift bag from our friends on Avery Island, and a Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificate.

Continuing our tradition of “taking care of the working Captains”, our winning Captains were awarded gift bags with Maui Jim Sunglasses gift certificates, along with numerous gifts from comefishLa.com, including Columbia fleece jackets, along with a TABASCO gift bucket.

When all was said and done, we ended up with 18 Blue Marlin releases, 12 Swordfish releases, and 2 White Marlin releases, along with the 3 Blue Marlin weighed in, giving us a 91% release ratio. We have to take this opportunity to thank ALL our participants and especially our loyal sponsors, the Best of the Best; please support them as they truly offer the finest products and services available. In closing, we hope to see all of you again next year the weekend after Memorial Day. Come help us grow our tournament by bringing a friend. THANKS!

See you next year,

Steve Thomas
Tournament Director
Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic


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