The Frenchie’s Offshore Open was hosted by the Belize Game Fish Association (BGFA) out of the Lazy Lizard in Caye Caulker over the Commonwealth Day weekend. A total of 17 boats hit the seas in a blasting south-east breeze early Saturday morning and it seems the Billfish were hungry! Princesa Del Mar captained by Shadany Bradley was the first boat on the board with a Sailfish release. Team Venator later reported landing a Blue Marlin just outside of Tres Cocos in San Pedro, which weighed in a 135lbs.
The second day started with a bang as Tournament Base started receiving reports of Billfish releases as early as 7am. Reef Shark II captained by Dominik Novelo was the first to report releasing a Sailfish just outside Caye Caulker. The San Pedro boat Fishizzle shortly after called in a White Marlin release East of San Pedro, which was followed by another White Marlin release by Placencia based Team Screaming Reels captained by Jermaine Cain. The last release of the day came from Team Princesa Del Mar who released another White Marlin for their second Billfish release of the Tournament.
The first place trophy as well as a check for $5,000 went to Team Venator out of Chetumal who recorded 1,370.5 points over the two days with a Blue Marlin, Wahoo and Tuna, which also won them the cash prize and trophy for the Heaviest Blue Marlin and the tournament’s Top Angler. Second place went to the San Pedro boys aboard Team Princesa Del Mar who accumulated 1,156.5 points by releasing a Sailfish, a White Marlin and weighing a Tuna. The third place cash prize also went to a San Pedro boat, Team Fishizzle who recorded 668 points with a White Marlin release and an 18lbs Dorado, which also won them the trophy and cash prize for Heaviest Dorado and Heaviest Non-Billfish.
First Place Team Venator also caught the Heaviest Blue Marlin
Second Place Team Princesa Del Mar at Frenchie's Offshore Open Fishing Tournament
Third Place Team Fishizzle at Frenchie's Offshore Open Fishing Tournament
The Belize Game Fishing Association has made great strides since 2012 to transition the fishing tournament in Caye Caulker to a catch and release event.
“We feel that we have made great strides in this effort as we have also seen fantastic statistics outside tournaments where our members have only killed one Blue Marlin out of more than 30 Billfish since we started this in 2012,” stated the release from the Belize Game Fishing Association. “Although Belize is not a Billfish mecca like other countries in the world and our impact on Billfish populations is quite small, we feel it is our responsibility to contribute to making sure Sports fishing remains sustainable throughout the entire Caribbean.”
“The BGFA thanks all those who participated in this fast growing competition, as well as all those who sponsored this tournament to make it a reality. We look forward to hosting next year’s competition and hope to make it an even bigger event!”
First White Marlin release went to Team Fishizzle
First Sailfish release and Heaviest Tuna went to Ivan aboard Princesa Del Mar
Heaviest Dorado went to TJ Bowman aboard Fishizzle
*The Blue Marlin that was killed (pictured above) in this weekend’s tournament is only the second of 20 Billfish to be killed during Frenchie’s Offshore Open since 2013 and it was only killed because the boat that caught it was unable to make it to our briefing and did not receive their release flag for Day One.