SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, July 25, 2022 – Continuing their efforts to support education, conservation and community, the Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza will host their fourth annual tuna tournament and festivities August 2-7 at Spring Point Marina in South Portland. Activities include three days of fishing, a fundraising dinner and auction and a youth day.
The fishing tournament begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3 and continues until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, August 4; then resumes on August 7. The public is welcome to come down to Spring Point Marina where they can watch giant bluefin tuna being off-loaded and weighed. A team of researchers from the University of Maine’s Pelagic Fisheries Lab at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute will be present collecting biological samples and explaining the importance of their various research projects related to this valuable, sustainable artisan fishery.
The annual banquet will take place on Friday, August 5 from 5-9 p.m. The meal includes a Downeast lobster bake provided by Red Claw and local lobstermen and adult beverages from Baston River Brewing and Distilling, who teamed up with the Bluefin Bonanza to create a special Bluefin Brew. Proceeds from the sale of each beverage go toward supporting the Bonanza’s mission. There will also be live and silent auctions and raffles full of great items. This event is open to the public and tickets will be sold in advance or at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
Saturday, August 6 will be the second annual Youth Day hosted by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. This year’s event includes hands-on demonstrations by staff from GMRI, Gyotaku fish printing demonstrations by Nate Garrett of Big Fish Gyotaku, a green crab derby and other kids activities. This event if free of charge and open to the public. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should bring a personal flotation device if they wish to compete in the crab derby.
All proceeds from sponsors, donors and event activities will go toward scholarships at Maine’s seven community colleges, an endowment with the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges and to support interns and research at the University of Maine Pelagic Fisheries Lab at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Fish landed during the tournament provide a very convenient, important and cost-effective source of biological samples for researchers from the University of Maine, GMRI and the Southern Maine Community College marine sciences program, who are investigating migration patterns, breeding status and food habits of bluefin tuna.