SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – Expanding its mission of supporting Education, Conservation and Community, the fourth annual Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza tuna tournament will take place this year from August 2-7.
The Bonanza kicks off with a Captains Meeting on Tuesday, August 2 under the tournament tent at Spring Point Marina in South Portland. After a short presentation on rules and procedures and the blessing of the fleet, Captains will receive their tournament packages. Light refreshments will be served.
Fishing begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3 and continues until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, August 4. There are no limitations on fishing area, except that all fish must be landed at Spring Point Marina during open scale hours (8 a.m. Wednesday – 10 p.m. Thursday).
The annual fundraising dinner will take place on Friday, August 5 from 5-9 p.m. and include a Downeast lobster bake provided by Red Claw, adult beverages from Baston River Brewing and Distilling, live and silent auctions and raffles.
All proceeds from the event 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.
Saturday, August 6 will be the second annual Youth Day hosted by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. This year’s event will include 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.
Fishing resumes on Sunday, August 7 at 12:01 a.m. and continues until 4:00 p.m. Tournament scales close at 6:00 p.m. Over 25,000 in prize money will be handed out at the awards dinner Sunday evening, with a top prize of $12,500 and the Casco Cup for the largest fish.