2019 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament – Day Two


Kona, Hawaii (Tuesday, JULY 30, 2019) – The leaderboard continued to move around on this second day of the 60th annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) as USA’s Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Firestein continues to hold the top spot with 1,200 points.

A bit of a rainy afternoon on Day Two brought out a few interesting fish.  Four boated ahi with a range of weights, and a mix of billfish including Pacific blue marlin, short nose spearfish, striped marlin, and the more unusual two sailfish were all tagged and released. The top teams are locked in a very tight race with only a 300 point tag and release separating them.

“Many HIBT teams have already posted points on the leaderboard and we’ve only completed two days of tournament fishing,” said HIBT Founder Peter Fithian. “With so much angler action, any team could pull ahead in the next three days of tournament fishing.”

The tag and release strategy captures valuable points for teams and boat captains. Through two days of HIBT fishing, all billfish have been tagged and released. With conservation in mind and no points awarded for fish boated under 300 pounds, quick action, estimations and measurements are made by captains, crew, and angler to garner the most points.

Twenty-eight minutes after today’s Tournament start, New Zealand’s Bay of Islands Swordfish Club-Team Endeavour captain and angler Jeff Douglas tagged and released an estimated 25-pound spearfish fishing aboard the 44-foot Waiopi. By the 10 am radio roundup, six billfish, including a sailfish had been tagged and released.

In the second half of the day, four additional Pacific blue marlin, two ahi, two strip marlin, and a sailfish added to the variety of valuable tournament points on the scoreboard. Fishing aboard the 41-foot Miss Mojo, Japan’s Mermaid Anglers Club tagged and released two striped marlin with a double hookup. Angler Kohichiro Saegusa successfully tagged an estimated 60-pounder in just 10 minutes.

Angler Sachiko Saegusa was right behind him and successfully tagged her estimated 85-pound striped marlin in 15 minutes.

Towards the end of the day, Australia’s Whitsunday Game Fishing Club – Team Sonni Daz Crew put points on the board with the second sailfish of the day. Fishing aboard the 53-ft Kila Kila, angler and team captain Sherman Wong successfully tagged and released the estimated 21-pound sailfish.

As of midweek approaches, teams, captains and crews are gearing up for another day of Kona Coast tournament fishing with hopes of landing the big one. The iconic five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, August 2, 2019.

For more information on the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, IGFA world-record rules and a look at last year’s tournament winners, log onto www.hibtfishing.com.

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is supported by the generosity of the Hawaii Tourism and community donors who contribute time and resources.

HIBT Day Two

TEAM STANDINGS POINTS (including bonus)

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Firestein                           1200

Lizard Island Game Fish Club                                       900

Houston Big Game Fishing Club-Team Filo Pamela Basco    700

Kona Gamefish Club-Blue Fin                                                  700

Mermaid Anglers Club                                                              650


Second Offense                     Kevin Hibbard                          1200

Foxy Lady                               Boyd DeCoito                           700

JR’s Hooker                             Scott Fuller                               700

EZ Pickens                              Chuck Wigzell                          650

Anxious                                   Neal Isaacs                             600

That Baja Guy-Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world record...