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Kona USA 2015

 

 

boat in 2015 HIBT

2015 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

IGFA Rep Sally Kurz with Masaharu Matsushita and IGFA's Eric Combast

 

 

2015 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament

 

 

IGFA Rep Sally Kurz with sponsor Keiji Matsuba and IGFA's Eric Combast

Kona, USA 2015 Race Complete

MAY 2016 -- Just when we thought the father-son duo Mitch and Marty Firestein (Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Team 3) had another HIBT IGMR in the bag with their blue marlin (Fish 10) that swam 2,668 nautical miles (nm) east across the Pacific, Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Teams 1 & 2's tag popped up to take the lead and win the IGMR by 265 nm! Congratulations to tag sponsors Bob & Sally Kurz, Robert Chavers, Robert Dudley, and Chuck Salinger for their winning marlin (Fish 6) that swam a point to point distance of 2,933 nm!

Ten tags were deployed during the Kona, USA 2015 IGMR, with nine popping up and coverering incredible ground. Unfortunately, one of the tags generously sponsored by the Greenberg Family/Joshua Tree Foundation was due up on April 15, 2016, and did not report. While we make every effort to get data from every tag deployed (and this year we had a reporting rate of 90%), these occurrences are an inevitable risk with any wildlife tagging program. The good news is that four of the nine reported tags completed the full deployment duration of 240 days, which helps us learn more than ever before about these amazing fish.

There are currently tracks available on the race page for Fish 1 Kona Game Fishing Club Osaka, Fish 3 Kona Game Fishing Club Taiyo, Fish 5 Game Fishing Club of South Australia #1, Fish 9 Greenberg Family/Joshua Tree Foundation, and FIsh 10 Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Team 3. Once the data has finished transmitting from  Fish 2 and Fish 4 Game Fishing Club of South Australia #2, Fish 6 Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Teams 1 & 2, and Fish 7 Corday Productions, the tracks will be generated and a comprehensive race report will be sent out to everyone.


Kona, USA 2015 Race Update

DECEMBER 2015 --We're halfway through the 2015 Kona, USA IGFA Great Marlin Race (IGMR) where ten blue marlin are still in competition for the first place title!

August 11, 2015 marked the second day of fishing in the 56th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) and the seventh year for the Great Marlin Race. In the morning, angler Masao Ikegami of Kona Game Fishing Club Osaka fought an estimated 68 kg (150 lb) blue for about ten minutes aboard Anxious with Captain Neal Isaacs. Soon after, tagger and sponsor Keiji Matsuba released the healthy fish with the first satellite tag of the race.

Several minutes later, angler and tag sponsor Cherekee Hill quickly fought an estimated 63 kg (140 lb) beautiful blue marlin which Tim Reed satellite tagged for Team Game Fishing Club of South Australia #2. Northern Lights Captain Kevin Nakamaru described the fish as being "very healthy" when it was released with the second satellite tag of the race.

One hour later, the third satellite tag of the race was deployed on an estimated 64 kg (141 lb)  blue marlin by Takeo "Uki" Izawa after a quick fight with angler and sponsor Masaharu Matushita while fishing aboard Ihui Nui with Captain McGrew Rice and Deckhand Carlton Arai.Not only did Masaharu solely sponsor a satellite tag for this year's HIBT, but he also fully sponspored a tag in the 2012 HIBT and cosponsored a tag in the 2013 HIBT - Thank you Masaharu for your support.

Two days later, on August 13, 2015, the second satellite tag sponsored by Bob and Cherekee Hill for Team Game Fishing Club of South Australia #2 was deployed by Jay Tabil on an estimated 73 kg (160 lb) blue marlin caught by Tim Reed while fishing aboard Lady Dee with Captain Bill "BC" Crawford and Deckhand RJ Paugherty.

The following morning of the final day of fishing on August 14, 2015, veteran IGMR sponsors and IGFA Representatives Rolf and Ralph Czabayski caught and tagged a large 102 kg (225 lb) blue while fishing with High Flier Captain Guy Terwiliger. The father and son duo of Team Game Fishing Club of South Australia, described the fish as " a little wild, but then calm" and eventually released "in excellent condition" with the fifth tag in the race.

Hours later while fishing with Captain Kenny Llanes onViken, IGFA Representative Sally Kurz hooked the second largest blue in the race-estimated at 127 kg (280 lb), and after a half-hour fight, Ricky Perkins leadered the marlin alongside the boat where IGFA Representative Bob Kurz tagged it with the sixth satellite tag of the race. The tag was cosponsored by IGFA Represenatives Bob & Sally Kurz, Robert Chavers, Robert Dudley, and Chuck Salinger for Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Teams 1 & 2. This is the their third year of sponsorship and we are grateful for their support.

Days after the HIBT concluded and 2015 Tag and Release Tournament (TART) began on August 18, 2015, Ihui Nui Captain McGrew Rice took aboard a tag that was sponsored for but never deployed in the 2014 TART. The seventh tag of the race, sponsored by Ken Corday, was deployed by Kaulike Rice on an estimated 79 kg (175 lb) blue marlin after a quick fight with Rick Fitts.

The following afternoon on August 19, 2015, the eighth tag of the race was deployed on an estimated 79 kg (175 lb) blue by Butch Chee after an eight minute bout with Dr. Brent Nelson while fishing with Humdinger's Jeff Fay. The following morning, Mike Dakil tagged an estimated 68 kg (150 lb) blue caught by Don Brandt while fishing aboard Kona Blue with Captain Bill "BC" Crawford. According to the data sheet, the fish was gently eased up to the boat, and was released quickly with the ninth satellite tag of the race. Both of these tags were generously sponsored by the Greenberg Family/Joshua Tree Foundation.

On September 13, 2015, after a ten minute fight from angler Stephen Circco, the tenth and final tag of the 2015 HIBT IGMR was deployed on the largest blue in the race: an estimated 170 kg (375 lb) marlin. Northern Lights Captain Kevin Nakamaru tagged the fish on behalf of IGFA Representative, veteran sponsor, and 2013-2014 IGMR Winner Marty Firestein of Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Team 3. Marty and son Mitch Firestein as well as Ralph Czabayski's company Star Electrical Pty Ltd. have independently sponsored satellite tags every year since the first HIBT IGMR in 2012. We at IGFA and Stanford, on behalf of the entire recreational fishing community, are so thankful for their unwavering support of billfish conservation efforts.

All ten tags are still collecting data every day on each marlin. With tags due up throughout April 2016, it's still anyone's race. Stay tuned for more updates.