This year’s July Marshalls Billfish Club tournament featured six marlin caught over the two days of fishing. But not one broke the 200 pound mark, with MEC’s Brits Too taking the marlin title with a 180 pounder.
This is the second smallest winning marlin in the 40-year history of MBC July tournaments. The smallest winner was caught in the 1989 tourney by Rudy Aliven at 156 pounds. Altogether, 2022 was the fifth year out of 40 July tournaments to see a winning billfish under 200 pounds.
Another unusual development for this year’s competition was the postponement of fishing on the first day due to poor weather conditions, which started last Wednesday and continued into the weekend. MBC’s board made the call late Thursday to postpone the opening day of fishing to Saturday and the two-day event proceeded after the 24-hour delay. The tournament was also delayed in 2015 when a big westerly storm bashed Majuro causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of shoreline damage from Rita to Delap.
Captain Ronnie Reimers on Kirtake was able to catch only a 68-pound yellowfin tuna during the two days of fishing, so even though he wasn’t fishing in the tourney, angler Wally Milne was able to maintain his modest pre-July tournament President’s Cup lead to win his third Cup.
In the marlin category, following Brits Too captained by Mattan Mook was Captain Erbiland Mandira, who landed a 165 pound marlin. Third place when to Team Jacqueline captained by Laszie Boy with a 150 pound fish.
In the tuna category, Captain Sonny Milne and Team Te’a Lilly pulled in a 138 pound yellowfin on the first day of fishing that was the largest tuna caught by far. Second place went to Ronnie Reimers at 68 pounds, and third place tuna weighing 51 pounds was caught by Captain Ace Doulatram on Lakbaj.
Captain Sherwood Tibon and Team MISCO took the wahoo prize with a 59 pounder. Captain Damien Milne and Team Daliah caught a 41 pound wahoo for second and Captain Baron Bigler and Team Limanbwine caught the third place wahoo at 26 pounds.
Sonny also caught the winning barracuda that weighed 28 pounds. Mattan on Brits Too were in second with a 23 pounder, while Damien, Sonny and Sherwood all tied for third with 14 pound barracudas.
No mahimahi were caught.
Of note, Baron’s team caught a 51 pound giant trevally that wiped out the previous record of 36 pounds held since 2015 by Valentino Balan.