After a year-long delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the inaugural Chub Cay Invitational Billfish Tournament in the Bahamas concluded earlier this month on a high note. FREEBIRD took top honors with two blue marlin and three sailfish tallied in the all-release format, good for 1,300 points. The 64 Paul Mann is owned by David Blackbird out of Port Aransas.
Thirty boats competed in the sold-out event, hosted by the popular Chub Cay Resort & Marina Club, located at the southern tip of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. In fact, the entire marina and resort was completely booked, which brought a lot of new boats to the resort. This was very good news for the Bahamas, since tourism is a major source of revenue.
A total of seven blue marlin were released by the fleet, along with one white marlin and 36 sailfish. Krazy Salts was the second-place boat with one blue and six sails (1,100 points based on time). Capt. Keith Greenberg runs the 80-foot Viking out of Palm Beach. Teuseas was third with two blues and a sail to its credit. Capt. Jeremy Truillo is the skipper of the 74 Viking.
Krazy Salts also boated a 38.5-pound dolphin to take top honors in that game fish category. Social Distancing scored the heaviest wahoo at 39 pounds, while Special Situation topped the tuna leaderboard with a 28-pound yellowfin.
“Nothing says The Bahamas like marlin fishing. Blue marlin are so rich in tradition that you can find it on the national Coat of Arms,” says Chub Cay General Manager David Renaud. “Many thought billfishing tournaments may never return to our waters. I am here to say we are back.
“I would like to thank Prime Minister Minnis for developing a set of heath and safety protocols that created a safe and fun environment for not only our anglers but our staff. Without his leadership, a tournament like this would not have been possible,” Renaud explains.
“I offer a special congratulations to FREEBIRD for taking the top prize. They will find their name on the new perpetual trophy that will proudly be displayed in our iconic clubhouse.
“While the fishing was competitive during the day, my favorite part was the casual strolls up and down the marina each night. Here I saw many old friends reconnect after an extended period of time. Just as exciting were all the new friendships that were made. These friendships will last a lifetime. The relationships, old and new, are the heart and spirit of the tournament.
“Speaking of competition, I would put our staff against any of the very best in the Bahamas,” Renaud concluded. “Without their friendly smiles and attentive service, we are just a small rock in the Atlantic Ocean. Much thanks and gratitude is owed to each and every team member that makes a special experience for our guests.”
“It was so nice to be able to start returning to normal,” adds Tournament Director Robert “Fly” Navarro. “We still had health and safety protocols to comply with, but it was great to be back in the Bahamas to enjoy all the beautiful resources and people we get to experience there. Now that the first one was such a success, we’re looking forward to a long tradition of fantastic fishing and fun in the years to come.”
Another new tournament is scheduled for March 17-19, 2022 at the Chub Cay Resort and Marina Club. The 2nd Annual Chub Cay Invitational will be held April 7-9, 2022. For additional information about the resort and its amenities, please visit: www.chubcay.com