Categorized | Featured, Fishing, Sports

HIBT 2016: Malibu Marlin Club goes wire-to-wire for victory

Miss Billfish Tina Fear and Malibu Marlin Club anglers including (from left) Team Captain Steve Spina, Buzz Colton and Stephen Chow. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)

Miss Billfish Tina Fear and Malibu Marlin Club anglers including (from left) Team Captain Steve Spina, Buzz Colton and Stephen Chow. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7)

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Malibu Marlin Club wins the 2016 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, a decade after its first HIBT win in 2006.

Malibu Marlin Club, put points on the scoreboard Monday and, while other teams were close, they sealed the win when the reel sounded Friday just 35 minutes after start fishing.

On this last day of the 2016 HIBT, Malibu Marlin Club fished aboard the Northern Lights captained by Oskie Rice.

Veteran angler Buzz Colton fought an estimated 150-pound Pacific blue marlin in just 15 minutes before tagging and releasing the fish.

This tag gave Malibu Marlin Club an additional 300 points, securing the 57th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Governor’s Trophy for first place.

“It’s a lot of fun to come to Kona and fish this tournament. I have longstanding ties to Hawaii, and have been coming to Kona to fish since I was a youngster. My father first fished the first tournament in 1959 with Peter Fithian, and it’s a testament to this great man who has been running this tournament so well for 57 years,” said Buzz Colton of Malibu Marlin Club. “To catch a fish here in Kona is everyone’s dream, to win the HIBT is such an honor and we are all very excited.”

Australia’s Redcliffe Peninsula Game Fishing Club moved up the leaderboard to hook a second place finish with 902.6 points.

Third place was settled by count back or first to get to the points, and went to Old South Marlin Club – International with 900 points.

“For 57 years this great community has given gracious hospitality and aloha to the teams who travel from all around the world to come to Kona to fish. From all of us at HIBT we send a sincere thank you to everyone who helped make it happen. As the anglers travel home, each has a fishing tale that will long be remembered,” HIBT founder Peter Fithian said.

“To the talented and hardworking captains and crews of Kona’s fishing fleet who work with us to showcase Kona’s fishing, thank you for being an integral part of the success of this tournament,” he said.

Capt. Oskie Rice of the Northern Lights will be added to the coveted list of Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Henry Chee Award recipients earning 1300 points.

The perpetual Henry Chee Award was established in 1965 to honor the charter boat captain upon whose vessel the most number of billfish points have been scored at HIBT.

The award’s namesake, a pioneer fishing captain who set an unprecedented number of gamefish catch records, helped establish the Kona coast as a world-famous fishing destination.

This is a first Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Henry Chee Award win for Rice although this captain comes from a long line of Kona fisherman including his grandfather Freddie Rice and father McGrew Rice.

Silky’s Captain John Bagwell took second by count back earning 900 points and Northern Lights II Captain Kevin Nakamaru earning 900 points took third.

The 58th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is scheduled Sept. 9-17, 2017.

2016 HIBT FINAL SCOREBOARD

TEAM STANDINGS

Malibu Marlin Club – 1200
Redcliffe Peninsula Game Fishing Club – 902.6
Old South Marlin Club International – 900
Ahipara Game Fishing Club – 900
New Britain Game Fishing Club – 850
Team Fantasia (JIBT Champion 2015) – 801.4
Mermaid Anglers Club Kalaoa Garden – 800
Perth Game Fishing Club – 700

TOP BOATS / CAPTAIN

Northern Lights I / Oskie Rice – 1300
Silky / John Bagwell – 900
Northern Lights II / Kevin Nakamaru – 900
Maverick / Trevor Child – 850
Bite Me 6 / Deneen Wargo – 801.4
EZ Pickens / Chuck Wigzell – 700
Sapo / Chris Choy – 600
Rod Bender / Kerwin Masunaga – 600
Ihu Nui / McGrew Rice – 600
Foxy Lady / Boyd DeCoito – 600

Too close to call leading into final day

Highly competitive anglers from around the world gathered this week at the 57th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament to fish Kona’s famed waters alongside some of the most experienced fleet of charter boat captains.

So it’s no surprise that the battle for the top of the scoreboard is anybody’s game leading into the final day of this iconic five-day tournament.

The fight for first place, a three-way tie at the end of Day Four, is extremely close. Just 300 points, or one tag and release, separate the top eight teams on the leaderboard.

California’s Malibu Marlin Club has held on to their lead since Monday. Old South Marlin Club – International, with its full team of anglers, nudged up the scoreboard on Day Three to share the top spot.

New Zealand’s Ahipara Game Fishing Club scored enough points on an estimated 175-pound Pacific blue marlin tag to join the leaders.

Team captain and angler Robbie Matthews, fishing aboard Northern Lights captained by Oskie Rice, was able to tag and release his fish in 25 minutes.

Other Day Four action included angler Peter Davis from New Zealand’s Tatapouri Game Fishing Club boating a 101.2-pound ahi aboard the Maverick, captained by Trevor Child.

Tag and release points were earned by China’s Tsinghua University Team, USA’s Pajaro Valley Gamefish Club, Japan’s Kona Game Fishing Club­ – Osaka and Papua New Guinea’s New Britain Game Fishing Club.

“While we do have a three-way tie, it’s important to note that 21 of our 28-team roster have points on the board. I can assure you that every HIBT team knows exactly how close the standings are and what it will take to win this tournament tomorrow,” said HIBT Founder Peter Fithian. “Every boat captain and angler will tackle tomorrow’s final day of fishing with everything they’ve got.” HIBT fishing wraps on Friday at 4 p.m.

Old South Marlin Club International, Malibu Marlin Club top the scoreboard

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament saw plenty of action as Day Three of this five-day fishing marathon came to a close, a sharp contrast to Day Two results.

With two teams tied for first midweek, just one fish separates the top five teams and top four charter boat rankings.

Although frontrunners Malibu Marlin Club (tied for first) and Mermaid Anglers Club – Kalaoa Garden (third place) did not put points on the board, the battle for positioning remains very tight.

Old South Marlin Club – International scored enough points to place them in a two-way tie for the top spot. Fishing aboard Bite Me 6 skippered by Deneen Wargo (this year’s sole female charter boat captain), angler Dan Briggs fought an estimated 150-pound Pacific blue marlin in just seven minutes before tagging and releasing the fish.

Rounding out the top four places, Australia’s Perth Game Fishing Club also scored points. Fishing aboard Sapo, captained by Chris Choy, angler Phil Volich tagged and released an estimated 120-pound Pacific blue marlin in an impressive four minutes.

Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby Game Fishing Club shot up the scoreboard to a fourth place tie with the two tags. Fishing aboard Rod Bender, captained by Kerwin Masunaga, team captain and angler Joanne Crosby tagged and released an estimated 250-pound Pacific blue marlin.

Almost an hour later, angler Anthony Trueman-Farrell tagged and released his first Pacifc blue marlin of the tournament in just three minutes.

These valuable tags put Port Moresby Game Fishing Club in a three-way tie with Australia’s Geraldton & Districts Offshore Fishing Club and New Zealand’s Ahipara Game Fishing Club.

HIBT ties are settled by count back, meaning place is given on time or more simply, the team and or captain and crew that scores first will have the higher place.

But with two full days of tournament fishing to go, there could be many changes still to come.

The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Malibu Marlin Club holds onto lead

Day Two of the 57th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament was relatively quiet. Four Pacific blue marlin were tagged and released Tuesday as teams continued their battle for valuable scoreboard points.

Tuesday’s tournament action keeps Malibu Marlin Club in the top spot.

Mermaid Anglers Club–Kaloa Garden, a husband and wife team from Japan, scored with two tags.

Fishing aboard Maverick, captained by Trevor Child, team captain and angler Sachiko Saegusa fought an estimated 200-pound Pacific blue marlin for 11 minutes before tagging and releasing to put the first points on the scoreboard for HIBT Day Two.

Just over an hour later, Kohichiro Saegusa tagged and released a Pacific blue marlin estimated at 275 pounds, his second fish of this tournament.

Mermaid Anglers Club–Kaloa Garden jumped into second place by day’s end, just 100 points behind the leaders.

New Zealand’s Ahipara Game Fish Club also scored. Fishing aboard Foxy Lady, captained by Boyd DeCoito, angler Lynda Matthews tagged and released an estimated 120-pound Pacific blue marlin in 18 minutes.

The fourth fish of the day went to Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #1. Fishing aboard Bomboy’s Toy, captained by Bomboy Llanes, this veteran HIBT father and son team has fished this tournament many times and know how valuable tag and release points can be.

In an impressive 9 minutes, team captain and father, Martin Firestein tagged and released an estimated 150-pound Pacific blue marlin, the last of the day.

Strikes, hook-ups, tagged and weighed fish for the first two days of tournament action include 60 strikes, 45 hook-ups, 21 tagged and 1 weighed fish.

As the Wednesday mid-week approaches, HIBT teams, boat captains and crews are gearing up for another great day of Kona fishing.

The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Malibu Marlin Club tops Day One scoreboard

Twenty-eight teams representing some of the world’s most competitive big game anglers hit the starting line on Kailua Bay as Day One of the 57th Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) got underway this morning.

“Start fishing, start fishing, start fishing!” rang out from tournament control following a traditional Hawaiian blessing.

Teams from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and the USA dropped their lines into Kona’s famous fishing grounds and the first points were on the scoreboard within an hour and a half.

The first points awarded in 2016 were posted by angler Bobby Jenkins of Old South Marlin Club – International who tagged and released an estimated 120-pound Pacific blue marlin in just 21 minutes fishing aboard the Northern Lights II.

The pace quickened just after the noon hour with six Pacific blue marlin (tag and release), three Short nose spearfish (tag and release) and the first Pacific blue marlin boated.

The 302-pound Pacific blue marlin was caught aboard the Waiopai, captained by Kai Hoover. Australia’s Redcliffe Peninsula Game Fishing Club team captain and angler David Trask fought the fish in an impressive 37 minutes, putting valuable points on the scoreboard.

But it was USA’s Malibu Marlin Club and their three tag and release Pacific blue marlin that set this long-standing HIBT team on top of the Day One scoreboard.

Fishing aboard Silky, captained by John Bagwell, Malibu Marlin Club team captain and angler Steve Spina scored with two Pacific blue marlin.

Teammate Buzz Colton brought the three-pack home with his fast and furious 11-minute battle with a Pacific blue marlin estimated at 125 pounds.

A bit of perspective. The worldwide average of tournament teams who actually hook up is about 30 percent for an entire tournament. At HIBT Day One, already 11 of 28 teams have points on the board.

“As the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament welcomes anglers from around the world, we are reminded how great the fishing is here and how Kona’s reputation is well known around the world,” tournament founder Peter Fithian said.

Note: To preserve the thrill of big game fishing for future generations, HIBT teams do not receive points for any Pacific blue marlin under 300 pounds that are boated. Teams are awarded points for these billfish that are tagged and released.

The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

— Find out more:
www.hibtfishing.com

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