Thousands of dollars in prize money and fishing gear, and most importantly bragging rights, are on the line as the Marshalls Billfish Club’s 34th annual July fishing competition kicks off this Friday and continues Saturday.
This weekend, which starts with Friday’s national Fisherman’s Day holiday, will see plenty of fishing, thanks to MBC’s many anglers and the dozens of bottom fishermen who will compete in the Urok Club’s sixth annual tournament that coincides with MBC’s two-day extravaganza. Uliga Dock is expected to see hundreds of local residents on hand for the fish weigh-ins both afternoons, with food and drinks available dockside throughout Friday and Saturday.
Kyle Aliven is far in front of all anglers in President’s Cup competition, a title that rewards consistent fishing in MBC’s dozen or so tournaments throughout the year and culminates with this weekend’s tourney. Upsets are not unknown, but with Kyle accumulating 3,717 points going into this weekend’s fishing, it will take a Herculean effort by Damian Milne in second place with 2,113 points to overcome Kyle’s President’s Cup lead. Kyle’s older brother Bwiji is in third with 1,730 points, Ben Reimers is in fourth at 1,394, and John Murphy is fifth with 1,140.
Bottom fishermen will be competing for a grand prize 20hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard engine donated by MIDB and BOMI that goes to the team catching the biggest fish. The Virgil Alfred Memorial $500 prize for most total pounds caught over two days, prizes for highest total pounds and highest average pounds over six tournaments since last July, and three prizes each for total pounds, highest average and biggest fish caught this weekend, are among award opportunities awaiting the winning bottom fishermen in the Urok Club’s competition.
On the MBC angler side of the ledger, a $10,000 prize awaits anyone who can outdo Kyle’s all-time marlin catch of 719 pounds back in 2001. Numerous other prizes and trophies are on tap for MBC anglers, including:
• Atjang Paul Memorial trophy for sportsmanship throughout the fishing year.
• $500 for the largest marlin, a carry over prize from Miss Christa’s Memorial competition in January.
• $720 for the largest sailfish, a carry over prize from Biggest Qualifying Sailfish tourney in April.
• Majuro Mayor’s trophy and $1,000 for biggest billfish.
• Bank of Marshall Islands trophy for most billfish caught, including tag and release.
• MBC Biggest Tuna trophy for the fishing year, with Bwiji currently holding this fishing year’s biggest at 110 pounds.
Read more about this in the July 1, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.