The 4th Annual Frenchie’s Offshore Open took place this past weekend, Saturday May 19 and Sunday, May 20, 2018, out of the split on Caye Caulker. A total of Fifteen boats participated in this fishing tournament, competing to win $15,000 in cash and prizes! Over 60 anglers were out at sea on Saturday, May 19, including five junior anglers, under the age of sixteen, and four female anglers. It was a beautiful day for fishing!
Day one of the tournament was off to a great start, by 8:30 am, Team Boca Del Toro called in a billfish hook up and by 9 am, they raced to the tournament base with the release video of the white marlin they brought to the boat! This earned them an automatic $500 for being the first boat to bring in a release video of a billfish! The excitement did not stop there as boats called in regularly with anglers who had caught dorados. By midday, Team Stir It Up called in a blue marlin release putting them in the first place position early on in the tournament, but there was still plenty time left and plenty of fish in the sea!
The dock was covered in beautiful dorados waiting to be weighed at the end of day one. The junior and female anglers were obviously hard at work on board their respective boats, they brought over 20 fish to the scale. Competition in these two categories was hot!!!
The boats all arrived at the split by 5 pm on day two, marking the end of the tournament. Brieanne C called in saying that they caught a monster dorado to bring to the scales and they didn’t disappoint! They weighed a 34.5 pound bull dorado securing largest dorado prize of $1000! While no more billfish were released, the Frenchie’s Offshore open was still a raging success.
Dorado proved to be the most popular species of the event with a final count of 48 fish totaling over 400 pounds. Final count for other fish in the tournament came to: 1 blue marlin release, 1 white marlin release, 1 wahoo and 1 tuna. There are always plenty of fishing stories to be told on that final day at the weigh station where anglers, families, and friends enjoyed drinks and the famous sunset views from the split in Caye Caulker.
Prize giving included a dinner at the Lazy Lizard for all anglers to refuel and refresh after the two days at sea. The prizes were given out at follows:
1st Place- $7,000 + Trophy - Team Stir It Up
2nd Place -$3,000 + Trophy - Team Boca Del Toro
3rd Place - $1,500 + Trophy - Team Reef Shark III
4th Place - $600 + Trophy - Team Out On Bail
5th Place - $400 + Trophy – Team Jolly Mon
Top Angler - $500 + Trophy – Brad Bowman – Stir It Up
Top Female Angler - $250 + Trophy – Whitney Osario –Reef Shark III
Top Junior Angler - $250 + Trophy – Horrace Bladden Jr. – Team Precipice
Heaviest Dorado - $250 + Trophy – Victor Turcios -34.5 lbs- Brieanne C
Heaviest Wahoo - $1000 + Trophy - Witney Osario -15.5 lbs -Reef Shark III
First Release Video - $500 + Trophy - Haywood Curry – White Marlin – Boca Del Toro
Sponsorship and participation are key to the success of all our tournaments. The BGFA would like to thank Frenchie’s Dive Shop for making this tournament a reality, as well as, the Lazy Lizard, for being gracious hosts to all our fishermen and shore guests. Other sponsors, notably Belize Tourism Board, and various local businesses really encourage the sportfishing industry in Belize as well as the initiatives of The Belize Game Fishing Association and we couldn’t be more grateful – THANK YOU! BFGA looks forward to the next tournament in San Pedro at Grand Caribe Resort currently estimating a total purse of over $50,000!
1st Place - Team Stir it Up
2nd Place - Team Boca del Toro
3rd Place - Team Reef Shark III
4th Place - Team Out on Bail
5th Place - Team Jolly Mon
Top Junior Angler - Horrace Bladden Jr
Heaviest Dorado - Victor Turcios - Team Brienne C