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Early Registration Prize

Coming off the heels of the dramatic three-peat World Cup Win, Bermuda continues to produce good numbers of fish with encounters of behemoth blue marlin occurring frequently.

The fifth annual Bermuda Big Game Classic started Wednesday night July 13 with the Final Registration, Kickoff Party, and Captains meeting held at the beautiful Fairmont Hamilton Princess Ballroom. The gala affair included delicious food, Bacardi spirits, great door prizes and plenty of expectation on what the week might bring.  By the end of the night the tournament recorded a record 46 entered boats with the competitors vying for over $350,000 in cash & prizes. Six sport fishing yacht manufacturers, Ocean, Bertram, Jarrett Bay, Hatteras, Merritt and Briggs Boat Works are competing in the Marlin Magazine Manufacturers Cup division.  A total of 13 boats are in this tournament division and will be competing for $9,000, recognition on the Perpetual Geoffrey Smith Trophy and a two page feature recognition in Marlin Magazine.  Special thanks to the Bermuda Department of tourism, the City of Hamilton and the sport fishing community of Bermuda for all the fantastic support.

The first day of the tournament had an unusual start.  One of the islands power plants caught fire early in the morning leaving the whole island without power. As the boats lined up for the traditional first day parade, tournament control scrambled for 12-volt batteries to power the radio while bewildered guests and residence woke and discovered the situation.  Boats decorated with flags lined up at 6:45 a.m. in front of the Princess behind Allen DeSilva's De Mako.  Tournament director Dan Jacobs announced the start of the parade and dubbed the first day as the Bermuda Big Game Classic Survivor addition. Guests, family and friends waved as the impressive fleet of boats idled by.  Thanks to the efforts of the Hotel staff, Government and municipaly workers most of the island got back normal by 9:00 p.m.

July 14
The boats started fishing at 8:00 a.m. this morning with the first release coming at 9:45 on Sea Toy. Angler Paul Spencer quickly released a blue marlin to get things started earning the team 500 points.  Teams Victory Lap, Bermuda Banger, Bigga Mac followed with blue marlin releases as the bite started to pick up in the late morning. At 10:51 Southern Exposure called in a double header of blues.  Angler Mark Frazier fought stand-up on 130 while Bob Gollahon settled into the chair.  Fighting a fish on 130 standup is no easy task but fortunately for Southern Exposure Mark was up to the task releasing the estimated 350-pound blue at 11:14.  Bob's fish was much bigger making several runs peeling off 600 yards of line during the fight. At 12:10 the call came from captain Rob Gollahon that they had boated the blue and were trying to get the whole fish in the boat. Once on board the crew radioed the measurements with the formula estimating it at 850 pounds. The Virginia based team on Southern Exposure has fished every year of the Classic. While all of this was going on for Southern Exposure two other teams were dealing with marlin including Offshore Lady and Bree.  Offshore Lady released a blue at 11:12 to get on the scoreboard while Bree and angler Robert Baker let go of a white at 11:13. Five minutes later Bree with Baker back in the chair had a blue on the string ultimately releasing the fish at 11:21.  A series of hookups and lost fish dominated for an hour until Stingray released a white at 12:46.  Local team New Nuts II scored a blue release while I Love My Wife called in a hook up. Then Jester got in the game with a hook up at 2:11.  Both I Love My Wife and Jester successfully released blues giving the tournament its 9th and 10th blue marlin photographed and released fish.  The fish continued to spread the wealth as Overproof and Rum Bum hooked up within minutes of each other. Overproof released a blue and Rum Bum let go of a white to score their first points.  The last hookups of the day came for Treasure Isle, Playmate and Blue Chip.  Treasure Isle let go of a blue, Playmate released a white while Blue Chip continued to fight a nice blue as the 4:00 lines out was called.  Blue Chip's fish was boated but didn't make the 500-pound minimum.

Back on the dock at Barrs Bay Park anglers returned to complimentary Bacardi spirits and a building crowd of spectators waiting to see Southern Exposure's fish.  Jennifer Dudas a seasoned tournament veteran checked the release photos.  Jennifer donates her time every year for the Classic after she finishes the BBC series.  Thanks Jen!

As Southern Exposure pulled up next to the dock spectators were amazed at the thickness and size of their fish.  As the blankets were taken off experienced anglers new the fish was bigger than the estimate of 850-pounds.  Weigh Master Raul Miranda, who also donates his time each year after completing the Bacardi and Bertram Hatteras Shootout, zeroed the scales.  Tournament director Dan Jacobs attached the weigh ropes and the crane began to slowly raise the fish.  Miranda called Jacobs to the scales to witness the weight.  Jacobs with great excitement belted out the weight to the crowd 1023-pounds, we have our first grander and new record in the Classic!  Cheers, screams, hugs, hi-fives and congratulations spilled across the park.  This was the tenth grander caught in Bermuda and the first for a visiting boat.  Bermuda is the most consistent large blue marlin fishery in the world and the Classic is just that, a classic event.  

The first day official standings are as follows:

Mackay Communications Early Registration winners Bree and Southern Exposure


Allied World Assurance First Place Team: Southern Exposure 1523

Pompanette Second Place Team:  Bree 700-points

Yaupon Embroidery Third Place Team: Sea Toy 500-points

Bacardi Biggest Blue Marlin: Current Leader is Southern Exposure 1023-pound blue.

Simrad Most Billfish Releases: Bree with two releases

Fairmont Hamilton Princess Biggest Game fish: Open



Bank Of Bermuda Day One Release Jackpot: Bree with 700 points, $13,000


Finest Kind Offshore Tackle Day one Marlin Jackpot: Southern Exposure 1023-pound blue $25,333.34

Gregory Poole, Pantropic Power, Ring Power, Ransom Engines Caterpillar Blue Marlin Jackpot: Current leader is Southern Exposure 1023-pound blue

MARLIN MAGAZINE MANUFACTURER''S CUP: Current leader is Jarrett Bay, team Southern Exposure with 1,523-points.


Victory Lap 500 points

Bigga Mac 500 points

Bermuda Banger 500 points

Offshore Lady 500 points

New Nuts II 500 points

I Love My Wife 500 points

Jester 500 points

Overproof 500 points

Treasure Isle 500 points

Rum Bum 200 points

Stingray200 points

Playmate 200 points

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