The 37 boats participating in the 9th Annual Los Sueños Signature Billfish Series put up some huge numbers, releasing a total of 624 billfish in three days of fishing, including 11 marlin and 613 sailfish. With sailfish worth 100 points each and marlin worth 500 points, teams scrambled to find the marlin and make each bite count, and it was a close race all the way to the finish line.
Crush’em, a 48-foot Ocean Yacht with Capt. Josh Ruskey at the helm called in the first release on Day One. Bandolera, a 66-foot Paul Spencer captained by Ronnie Fields followed with the second release and by 10 a.m. the fleet had released 41 sailfish. Bandolera released the first and only marlin of the day and took the daily with 1,500 points. Crush’em sat in second with 1200 points, followed by Reel Screamer in third, also with 1,200 points. The fleet caught 211 billfish on the day.
Day Two started off with a lot of excitement when Rum Runner called in a marlin hook up just six minutes after lines in. In under half an hour two more marlin were caught and released. Predator released the 35th billfish of the day just after 10 a.m. bringing the twoâ€day fish count up to 249 billfish. As of 11:45 a.m. the count was 277 billfish. Tuna Bite had taken the lead with 2,100 points by noon and Southern Pride, a 64 Weaver started to move up the leader board. By 2:30 p.m. there were 333 billfish released, of which seven were marlin, six of which were caught on day two. Things got hot between Southern Pride, Clean Sweep and Predator as each released a single back to back, followed immediately by Muy Caliente with a double. At 3:30 p.m. Southern Pride released a marlin to put themselves in first place overall with 2,800 points. They ended the day 600 points ahead of Tuna Bite, who took second place on the day with 2,200 points, followed by Crush’em in third with 2,100 points. After two days of fishing, the tournament had released 370 billfish, including 362 sails and eight marlin.
The bite continued into day three and by 10:11 a.m. the fleet had 66 billfish releases to its credit. By noon Crush’em had scored an additional 400 points with four sailfish releases and was moving up. It wasn’t until they released a double at 3:26 p.m. (their last fish of the tournament) that they managed to bounce ahead of Bandolera by 200 points. Bandolera fought back, releasing a sail at 3:32 p.m., but in the end Crush’em finished with a mere 100 point lead ahead of Bandolera and placed second overall with 3,700 points after releasing 37 sails. Bandolera finished in third with 3,600 points after releasing 26 sails and 2 marlin. Southern Pride proudly took first with 4,100 points, with an incredible 36 sailfish releases and 1 marlin, releasing their last sail at 4 p.m. right at lines out.
All told, the participating boats managed to release an incredible 624 billfish over the three days, including 613 sails and 11 marlin.
With 36 sails and one marlin, Southern Pride’s team of Chris Garner, Ted Smith, Gerard Aliseo, Russel Petrano and mate Minerva Garner took home the top prize of $45,000. Crush’em caught 37 sails for second place and $27,000 and Bandolera took home $18,000 for releasing 26 sails and two marlin.
Three people tied for first place among individual anglers, each releasing 16 sails for 1,600 points, but it was Mark Woldinger of Reel Screamer who won the coveted title for the first leg of the 2012 Series. Mark released his last sail at 3:16 p.m., exactly 10 minutes before the runner up, John Siedzkowski of Crush’em released his last sail, and 41 minutes before second runner up Ted Smith of the winning team Southern Pride released his last fish.
For more information on the tournament visit www.LStournaments.com.