TBF Tag-and-Release Winners

Each year since 1990 The Billfish Foundation (TBF) has awarded anglers, captains and mates who helped the global billfish conservation effort by tagging fish and recording their catch data. The valuable data recovered from the TBF tagging program is critical to learning the migratory habits of billfish and growth information.

TBF’s Overall Tagging Winners for all species (blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish) included Gray Ingram, Overall Male Angler; Betsy Crudele, Overall Lady Angler; and Chris Sheeder, of Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, as the Overall Captain.

Ingram received double honors winning TBF’s Release Category of the competition as the Overall Male Angler for all species. Carol Speicher won the Overall Lady Angler honors and Brad Philipps, of Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, took home the Overall Captain award.

Gray Ingram’s grandson, Bo Ingram, was the Overall Award Youth Tag winner, and Robbie Angus was named the Overall Award Youth Release winner.

TBF members from more than 70 countries participated in the annual competition that ran from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2010, generating “tagging data reports” and “release notification cards” from the temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Peter Chaibongsai, TBF’s Director of Science and Policy, said the economy and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill played a negative role in the program, leading to reduced tag-and-release numbers. “Closures to areas in the Gulf because of oil also affected major billfishing tournaments,” he said.

“And it wasn’t just the Gulf. While we had about a 30 percent increase of sailfish release reports, we also had a sharp decrease, about 80 percent, in the number of striped marlin compared to last year due to the lack of a striped marlin bite in the Los Cabos area. We had more releases of striped marlin last year than the total of releases of all billfish this year.”

According to Chaibongsai, participants tagged about 3,100 billfish and completed 2,000 release records during the competition period, a 25 percent decrease on tag efforts and 66 percent decrease of release efforts.

After the October 31 deadline TBF received a large number of late returns. Together they accounted for 4,500 tag and 3,500 release reports from the competition period.

Tag & Release Award Winners of 2010

Tag Category

Top Tagging Anglers Atlantic
Sam Jennings, Juno Beach, Fla., Blue Marlin
Betsy Crudele, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sailfish
Victoria Roberts, Stevensville, Md., White Marlin

Top Tagging Captains Atlantic
Mike Lemon, Miami, Fla., Blue Marlin
Ray Peterson, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sailfish
Jimmie Roberts, Stevensville, Md., Spearfish
Sean O’Connor, Key Largo, Fla., Swordfish
Jimmie Roberts, Stevensville, Md., White Marlin

Top Tagging Anglers Pacific
John Richardson, Bellville, Texas, Black Marlin
Kanako Terai, Hiroshima, Japan, Blue Marlin
Steve Fanscy, Harrow, Ontario, Canada, Sailfish
Suzanne Gustavson, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Spearfish
Dennis Poulton, Bakersfield, Calif., Striped Marlin

Top Tagging Captains Pacific
Gavilan Cordoba, Piñas Bay, Panama, Black Marlin
Kevin Nakamura, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Blue Marlin
Chris Sheeder, Pto. Quetzal, Guatemala, Sailfish
Gene VanderHoek, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Spearfish
Brett Walker, Lake Forest, Calif., Striped Marlin

Top Tagging Anglers Indian
Mike Russon, Capetown, South Africa, Black Marlin
Henry Riggs-Miller, Miami, Fla., Sailfish

Top Tagging Captains Indian
Bernard Vale, Coral Bay, Western Australia, Black Marlin
John Pearce, Phuket, Thailand, Blue Marlin
Ross Newton, Broome, Western Australia, Sailfish
Simon Hemphill, Ukunda, Kenya, Striped Marlin

Youth Tagging
Bo Ingram, Greensboro, N.C., 9-10 Winner
Tyler Sudbrink, Greensboro, N.C., 13-15 Winner
Jacquie Rushford, Broome, Western Australia, Runner-Up
Ricardo Sola, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 16-17 Winner
Clay Meister, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Runner-Up

Overall Tagging Winners
Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., Overall Men’s Angler
Chris Sheeder, Pto. Quetzal, Guatemala, Overall Captain
Betsy Crudele, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Overall Lady Angler
Bo Ingram, Greensboro, N.C., Overall Youth Angler

Release Category

Top Release Anglers Atlantic
Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., Blue Marlin
Carole Speicher, Leole, Pa., White Marlin

Top Release Captains Atlantic
Martin Bates, New Zealand, Blue Marlin
Bertrand Bouchard, Port Gentil, Gabon, Sailfish
Barry Daniels, Oregon Inlet, N.C., White Marlin

Top Release Anglers Pacific
Robbie Angus, Kerikeri, New Zealand, Black Marlin
Gary Carter, Duluth, Ga., Blue Marlin
Jim Turner, Miami, Fla., Sailfish
Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., Striped Marlin

Top Release Captains Pacific
Wade Richardson, Bellville, Texas, Black Marlin
Yoan Alcala, Venezuela, Blue Marlin
Brad Philipps, Pto. Quetzal, Guatemala, Sailfish
Julio Castro, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Striped Marlin
John Gregory, Kerikeri, New Zealand, Swordfish

Top Release Captains Indian
Perry Rosalie, Seychelles, Sailfish

Youth Anglers Release
Robbie Angus, Kerikeri, New Zealand, 16-17 Winner

Overall Release Winners for all species
Gray Ingram, Jupiter, Fla., Overall Men’s Angler
Brad Philipps, Pto. Quetzal, Guatemala, Overall Captain
Carol Speicher, Leola, Pa., Overall Lady Angler

Robbie Angus, Kerikeri, New Zealand, Overall Youth

For more information on TBF’s tagging program, visit The Billfish Foundation.