Southern Exposure Takes Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament
The Southern Exposure team took first place in the 2006 Sea Horse Angler's Club Billfish Tournament.
There's a theme this year in Bermuda that started with the Bermuda Billfish Blast, continued through the Big Game Classic and is now repeated in the Sea Horse: record attendance and record purse. The Sea Horse registered a record 30 boats for this year's event and will award $117,500 to the winners. That puts the Bermuda Triple Crown series to over $775,000 being awarded in this year's championship. Add in all of the great prizes that are given away including electronics, tackle, jewelry, artwork, sculptors and clothing and you have the Bermuda Triple Crown Series awarding over $800,000 in cash and prizes.
The Sea Horse kicked off at Docksiders Pub. Teams registered and enjoyed some finger food and the great atmosphere of Docksiders' local fishing hangout. By the end of the evening the Sea Horse recorded an all time high 30 boats registered for its 33rd year event. All teams eligible for the Triple Crown would also try and increase their points in hopes of receiving the championship rings and prize package worth over $40,000.
SOUTHREN EXPOSURE released a blue marlin at 1:03 pm, which gave them
Another boat enjoying repeat success is Capt. Pete Olander and the team on QUEEN OF HEARTS. Their two blues released on the last day earned them
The bite on the final day was pretty good - there were 13 blue marlin successfully photographed and released and one blue marlin boated. The blue marlin boated was aboard visiting boat ANITA JEAN. The team knew it was going to be close to the 500 lb. minimum.They went for it anyway because the Day Two and Day Three dailies were open and the team was only 500 points adrift of the tournament lead. A qualifying blue of 501 pounds or more for them would be worth the whole tournament honor plus $44,000, but unfortunately the blue weighed-in at 495 lb - a real groaner!! However, ANITA JEAN did take a 68 lb wahoo to win the Gamefish award, worth $1,500. Doctor Peter Watson was given a sportsmanship award from Dan Jacobs including a Joseph Henry watch and Steve Goione print.
This all meant that the 532 lb blue taken on Day One of the SHAB by SMOOTH OPERATOR cleaned-up with all the daily money = $48,000, plus the high marlin jackpot ($26,000), plus the largest blue marlin base entry award ($4,500) = a $78,500 fish !!! The team on SMOOTH OPERATOR finished fifth in the 2006 Triple Crown standings, but they were top of the official cash winnings this year with a whopping $271,867 !!
SEA TOY won the Day Three daily on time (worth $8,333) with two blues.
Angler Lainey Jones on Last Stall was the high-point lady angler and received a Steve Goione print.
Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament Final Results 2006
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE 1500-points – First Place Team- $10,500, Top Angler Bob Gollahon 1500-points: $1,500. Total winnings: $12,000 and invitation to fish the ITOC in Cabo San Lucas.
QUEEN OF HEARTS 1,500-points – Second Place Team: $4,500, Triple Play: 1,400-points
SMOOTH OPERATOR 1032-points – Largest Marlin 532-pounds $4,500.
Jammer 1,000-points, Day one Release Jackpot Winner $8,333.34
Day one Release Jackpot Winner – JAMMER 1,000-points $8,333.34
Day two Release Jackpot Winner – BERMUDA BANGER 500-points on time $8,333,33
Day three Release Jackpot Winner – SEA TOY- 1,000-points on time $8,333.33
Day one, two and three Marlin Jackpot Winner – SMOOTH OPERATOR- 532-pound blue
Largest Marlin Jackpot Winner – SMOOTH OPERATOR- 532-pound blue $26,000
Largest Blue Marlin base entry winner – SMOOTH OPERATOR- $4,500
Largest Gamefish Winner – ANITA JEAN- 68.5-pound wahoo $1,500
High point angler Winner – Bob Gollahon- 1,500 points $1,500
It was a very exciting finish in the Triple Crown and Sea Horse but a bizarre incident aboard Capt. Alan Card's "Challenger" put things into perspective for many...
Around mid-morning on Saturday, "Challenger" hooked into an estimated 800 lb MONSTER blue marlin. The big fish jumped around a lot and then settled down, which enabled them to reverse and get near enough to see the top of the leader and lure in the water. The team knew they had a big fish on and after some discussion they decided to get the gaffs out to possibly take the blue later in the battle if they got a shot - this all occurred about ten minutes or so after hook-up. Capt. Alan knew that the big blue was green and not at all close to being ready to be taken - he probably expected the blue to get agitated and run off a few hundred yards of line on numerous occasions until she was ready.
This never happened because the blue stayed down 40-50 feet or so under the surface and appeared to remain fairly calm. But all of sudden, with zero warning, the blue bolted down out of sight and as Alan moved away from the fish it shot up like a cruise missile and jumped clean out of water over the starboard corner. The fish flew over angler Leslie Spanswick's legs and bent butt rod hitting Ian Card, who was standing on the port side of the boat near the flybridge ladder. Ian, who was serving as mate for his father, was on the port side fixing the second gaff to a cleat when he heard Leslie shout "Look Out!"
He raised himself just in time to catch the marlin's bill right through his shoulder under his collarbone. Capt. Allan Card will be haunted for a long time by the sight of his son, Ian, going overboard with his arms wrapped around the head of a furious 800 lb blue marlin.
At this point the story could well have ended horribly - Ian could easily have been dragged down to his death 80-100 feet of more in seconds or he could have died from a punctured lung or artery.
Capt. Alan quickly maneuvered the boat back to Ian, while the big marlin spun Leslie the angler around and tore off towards the bow. Capt. Alan quickly cut the line on the marlin and the team acted very fast to retrieve Ian. It took Leslie, Alan and Denis Benevides to lift Ian into the cockpit. Leslie a trained EMT applied pressure to the wound. Alan immediately radioed tournament control requesting an ambulance, immediate medical care and a ready staff at Robinson's marina. We could all hear in Alan's voice that something horrible had happened. Prayers from the whole fleet were offered.
Doctor Peter Watson on Anita Jean immediately reeled in his lines and raced in to the dock to offer any help he could. As with most families this group of fishermen did whatever they could to assist their fellow man. Somehow, Ian suffered no damage to vital organs (which would likely have been fatal 15 miles offshore), but the bill of an 800 lb marlin left a hole the size of a man's fist through his shoulder, and as many of you know a marlin's bill is like piece of 50-grit sandpaper loaded with bacteria.
The team did a fantastic job of ensuring that Ian did not lose much blood The doctors are hoping that the wound does not get infected but expecting that Ian will make a full recovery.
After hearing the story as it happened yesterday and without knowing what the outcome would be, the mood amongst the fleet was very sober. The incident was bizarre because most marlin fishing injuries occur when teams are leadering or gaffing a green fish, but this was not the case here - Capt. Alan and Ian have caught numerous granders and tons of huge marlin - they knew the fish was green and so they were not trying to take it at that stage at all - it was very unusual behavior by the fish and Capt. Alan summed it up best when he said, "If someone had told me that story I would never have believed them, I would have laughed at them".
Captain Alan wanted me to pass on the family's thanks for all the prayers and assistance they have received from their friends. We all thank God Ian is going to be Ok!!
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