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Balboa USA 2014


 
 

The third fish caught in the 2014 Master Angler Billfish Tournament

"Little Joey" Team Kea Kai-Los Pescadores Fishing Club's  est. 43 kg (95 lb) striped marlin in honor of Joe "Grrr" Houck   Photo courtesy of  Ryan Griffin

 

The sixth fish tagged in the 2014 Master Angler Billfish Tournament

Dave Elm tags the sixth striped marlin in the 2014 MABT IGMR Photo courtesty of Ryan Griffin

 

The fifth tag of the 2014 Master Angler Billfish Tournament

Rick Hult with the 5th satellite tagged striped marlin of the race

 

 
 

Deckhand Rick Hult with Angler and Tagger Nate Shill aboard Andreya on October 12, 2014
 

Balboa, USA 2014 Race Complete

APRIL 2015 -- Just when we thought the race was over, the tag on Fish 5 (Team Andreya- Balboa Angling Club) popped up to win the 2014 Master Angler Billfish Tournament (MABT) IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR), edging out  Fish 6 by just 37 nautical miles (nm)!

On October 12, 2014, tag co-sponsor Nate Shill caught and tagged a 54 kg (120 lb) striped marlin while fishing with Captain Curtis Owens aboard Andreya. Shill wrote on the data sheet that the marlin put up a "strong fight for being small" but released it with "good color and lots of life". On April 18, 2015, the tag popped off Fish 5 to reveal that the marlin swam a linear distance of 1,176 nm in 188 days! Congratulations to Team Andreya- Balboa Angling Club who's tag was generously cosponsored by Hyun Jin Bae, Nate Shill, Matt Kharrazi, Suresh Khemlani, Don Ebright, Michael Mailman, Michael Shill, David Beek, Jeevan Gore, Mike Coon, Kenneth Marcoon, Tom Ruiz, Nichole Burke, Kelly Shill, Gail Nelson, Diane Shill, Kelli McManus, Sara Unke, David Shill, Tiffany Reinhold, Kelly Normandin, and Cortney Walstrom.

Reporting 360 nm southeast of Fish 5, Fish 6 Team Kea-Kai- Tuna Club of Avalon wound up in second place for the race. On October 14, 2014, Dave Elm placed the satellite tag (independently sponsored by angler Jock Albright) on the 45 kg (100 lb) striped marlin while fishing with Captain Ryan Griffin aboard Kea-Kai. 183 days later, the tag popped up to reveal that the marlin swam a linear distance of 1,139 nm.

Taking third place in the race was Fish 1 Team Hooked- Dana Angling Club whose tag was jointly sponsored by David Peter, Thomas Lawlor, Geoffrey Hersch, Jeffrey Tom, Michael Webster, Chris Bailey, Jason Greene, Craig Cleaver, Donna Kalez, Todd Walkow, Ronald Vesely, Brad and Patti Holmes, David Cummings, David Guyot, Robert Phillips, Ryan Stover, William Waite, Lynne Gonzales, John Tully, Dennis Trombino, Erica Peter, Gary Floyd, Gloria Webster, and Kristi Whitaker. On September 12, 2014, tag co-sponsor Craig Cleaver tagged the 54 kg (120 lb) striped marlin caught by Rod Halperin while fishing with tag co-sponsor and Captain Geoff Hersch aboard Hooked. 181 days later, on March 12, 2015, the tag popped up 706 nm away from where it was tagged. However, as you can see by the zig-zag track on the race page, the marlin actually swam a much greater total distance. 

Unfortunately, three other tags in the race, on Fish 1 Team Charisma- Tuna Club of Avalon, Fish 3 Team Kea-Kai- Los Pescadores Fishing Club, and Fish 4 Team Joint Venture- Tuna Club of Avalon failed to report. Although we speculated to the reasons these three tags did not report in a recent email to the sponsors, we'd like to individually thank these sponsors below for their generous participation:

Team Charisma - Tuna Club of Avalon sponsored by Tuna Club Foundation, Tony Sabatino, Colby Durnin, and Bob Petrina

Team Kea-Kai - Los Pescadores Fishing Club in Memory of Joe "Grrr" Houck sponsored by the John & Donna Crean Foundation

Team Joint Venture - Tuna Club of Avalon sponsored by Tuna Club Foundation and Robert Webster

This was the first event in the IGFA Great Marlin Race where striped marlin were ever tagged and it is thanks to all the sponsors, captains, anglers, crew, and participants in the race that we are learning about billfish behavior and protecting the sport we love for future generations of fishing!

We hope to see you at this year's 2015 MABT IGMR where one tag has already been sponsored by Anthony Salcido, Bob and Sally Kurz, Abbott Ayloush, Balboa Angling Club, Bluewater Grill, Mark Kelley, Gail Anderson, Gordonna Clarke, Rodney Couch, John Doughty, Robert Middleton, and Michael Poma.


Balboa, USA 2014 Race Update

DECEMBER 2014 -- We have reached the halfway point in the 2014 Balboa, USA IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) where six striped marlin are racing for first place!

One month after the 2014 Master Angler Billfish Tournament (MABT), the last two tags of the race went out on striped marlin.

In the afternoon of October 12, Nate Shill fought a 54 kg (120 lb) striped marlin for 45 minutes aboard Andreya. Shill said the marlin put up a “strong fight for being small” but released it with “good color and lots of life” after he deployed the fifth tag of the race on the fish. Tag 5 Team Andreya - Balboa Angling Club was jointly sponsored by Hyun Jin Bae, Nate Shill, Matt Kharrazi, Suresh Khemlani, Don Ebright, Michael Mailman, Michael Shill, David Beek, Jeevan Gore, Mike Coon, Kenneth Marcoon, Tom Ruiz, Nichole Burke, Kelly Shill, Gail Nelson, Diane Shill, Kelli McManus, Sara Unke, David Shill, Tiffany Reinhold, Kelly Normandin, and Cortney Walstrom.

Two days later, in the afternoon of October 14, 2014, Dave Elm placed the sixth tag of the race on 45 kg (100 lb) striped marlin after an 18 minute fight with angler Jock Albright aboard Kea Kai. The tag sheet stated the “fish looked great”. Tag 6 Team Kea-Kai - Tuna Club of Avalon was independently sponsored by Jock Albright.

Funding was secured for a seventh tag thanks to Anthony Salcido, Bob Kurz, Abbott Ayloush, Balboa Angling Club, Bluewater Grill, Mark Kelley, Gail Anderson, Gordonna Clarke, Rodney Couch, John Doughty, Robert Middleton, and Michael Poma. However, when it became evident that the tag could not be deployed within a reasonable timeframe to the other six tags, the decision was made to schedule the tag to be deployed during next year’s IGMR event.

The tags are due up between March 11 and April 12 of 2015, but periodically check the MABT race page where we will post all updates on the 2014 Balboa, USA IGMR. In the meantime, we’d like to thank all the contributors, organizers, captains, crew and participants for making the first ever IGMR event in Balboa, California successful and for supporting this important conservation project.


Balboa, USA 2014 Race Start

OCTOBER 2014 -- The Master Angler Billfish Tournament (MABT), hosted by Balboa Angling Club, is one of the most prestigious and longest running marlin tournaments on the west coast of the United States and four weeks ago, on September 12-13, 2014, the IGFA Great Marlin (IGMR) participated in the 33rd Annual MABT in Balboa, California, USA. Thanks to the help of IGFA Representative Bob Kurz, seven miniPAT satellite tags were sponsored to be deployed on striped marlin during the event- the first time striped marlin to be tagged in IGMR history!

With high winds and seas during the two day tournament, anglers really had to work for it! On the morning of the first day of the tournament, Bob Petrina placed the first satellite tag on a 57 kg (125 lb) striped marlin after angler Brian Fox reeled in the fish aboard Charisma. The tag was generously co-sponsored by the Tuna Club Foundation, Tony Sabatino, Colby Durnin, and Bob Petrina.

An hour later, the second tag was deployed on a 54 kg (120 lb) striped marlin by Craig Cleaver after a 45 minute fight with angler Rod Halperin aboard Hooked. The tag was co-sponsored by David Peter, Thomas Lawlor, Geoffrey Hersch, Jeffrey Tom, Michael Webster, Chris Bailey, Jason Greene, Craig Cleaver, Donna Kalez, Todd Walkow, Ronald Vesely, Brad and Patti Holmes, David Cummings, David Guyot, Robert Phillips, Ryan Stover, William Waite, Lynne Gonzales, John Tully, Dennis Trombino, Erica Peter, Gary Floyd, Gloria Webster, and Kristi Whitaker. Both of these tags are due to surface on March 11, 2015.

Five days after the tournament on September 18, 2014, angler Aaron Grose reeled in a 43 kg (95 lb) striped marlin while fishing from Kea Kai. After Bill Buchanan tagged the fish, he wrote on the data sheet that the “fish looked healthy and swam away looking strong”. The tag was generously sponsored by the John and Donna Crean Foundation in memory of Joe “Grrr” Houck and is due to pop-up on March 17, 2015.

The fourth tag went out on a 59 kg (130 lb) striped marlin on September 27, 2014. The marlin was tagged by Miles Howe after angler Curtis Woolsey reeled in the fish aboard Joint Venture. As noted on the data sheet, the striped marlin was released “in good condition and swam away strong”. The tag is due to surface on March 26, 2015 and was jointly sponsored by the Tuna Club Foundation and Robert Webster.

The remaining tags are due to be deployed on striped marlin from Andreya and Kea Kai before November 11, 2014. Please stay tuned for updates on the Balboa, USA 2014 IGMR!