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The historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina is continuing its tradition of hosting memorable fishing tournaments by announcing an expanded series in 2016 starting with the Wahoo Weekend on March 3-6.
The remainder of the sportfishing series will follow with the BBGC Billfish Tournament on April 14-17, the BBGC Tuna/Dolphinfish Tournament of May 26-29 and the BBGC Wahoo Smackdown VIII on November 10-13. BBGC Tournament Series points for Wahoo, Tuna and Dolphinfish will be awarded at a rate of one point per pound over minimum scoring weight of 20 pounds. To kick off the scoring system, double points will be awarded to the first, second and third place finishers in the series’ opening tournament March 3-6. Overall, to qualify for BBGC points payouts anglers must have entered and fished at least two of the BBGC scheduled events. Point payouts will be awarded at the BBGC Wahoo Smackdown VIII Awards Banquet on November 13, 2016.
Tournament Director is BBGC longtime dockmaster Captain Robbie Smith, who has been greeting thousands of boaters at the docks over the last 28 years. Captain Smith, a 2015 Bahamian Icon Awards finalist, is certified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) as an official Weigh Master.
The Wahoo Weekend will kickoff March 3rd in the Hemingway Lounge with a captain’s meeting and will conclude March 5th with an Award Gala, poolside. To register for Wahoo Weekend, please go here. For more Wahoo Weekend information, including room bookings call 800-867-4764 or email Reservations@BigGameClubBimini.com. For sponsorships, please contact Roger Berkon at Events@BigGameClubBimini.com.
For novelist and adventurer Ernest Hemingway, western author Zane Grey, retail store magnate Michael Lerner, Captain Tommy Gifford and many others, Bimini was the place to land record fish in the 30s. 40s, 50s and early 60s. Bimini’s location along the legendary Gulf Stream (a “river” of warm water) is at the apex of a superhighway for migrating fish and acts as a kind of sushi conveyor belt carrying abundant food to the local fish. Deepwater game fish include marlin, tuna, dolphinfish, sailfish, wahoo and swordfish, while big grouper, barracuda and schools of snapper can be found on the reefs. Bimini’s flats are home to the fishermen’s favorite prey, bonefish and permit. With more than 50-record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has earned its title of Sport Fishing Capital of the World.
Hemingway, who lived and fished in Bimini for two seasons in the 1930s, is credited with putting the tiny island on the international sportfishing map. During its heyday, Bimini anglers, including Hemingway (who is credited with being the first to land an unmutilated tuna on the docks) would catch many hundreds of blue marlin, bluefin tuna, sharks and other game fish for display and trophy mounts.
Big Game tournaments and Bimini are synonymous said Captain Smith. The International Annual Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament originally had its roots in Bimini. Over the years Bimini was a Mecca for big game anglers and was host site to numerous fishing competitions including the Frankie Brown, The Hemingway, and the famous Cat Cay tuna tournaments.
Grand Central Station for tournament hosting was the Big Game Club, opened for business in 1947. Owner Neville Stewart saw the promise and allure of fishing and personally developed and encouraged tournaments. He sold his interest to Bacardi, which over 30 years grew the tradition with many memorable tournaments helping to build Bimini’s title as “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” The current owners, the Southern California-based Hankey Group– put the iconic fishing resort back in play in 2010 and are completing a multi-million-dollar renovation, that includes numerous capital improvements to the rooms, restaurant and lounge, landscaping, new pool and a renovated 75 slip marina, including docks and seawall.
About the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina? ?Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina
In Alice Town, Bimini, The Bahamas, is a popular, internationally-regarded boutique Out Island resort less than 50 miles from South Florida. The property features 51 guest rooms & suites, a 75 slip full service marina, a dive center with daily dives, rental equipment, a variety of scuba diving lessons and specialty training courses and a fresh water swimming pool. The Big Game Bar & Grill is the most popular restaurant in Bimini serving American and Bahamian cuisine with all day dining from a second floor vantage point overlooking the marina and bonefish flats of Alice Town. Bimini is known for world class beaches, fishing and diving and is a family-friendly destination with many on-the-water activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and boating. For more information on the Big Game Club Resort & Marina go to http://www.biggameclubbimini.com
About Wahoo (Scombridau Family; also called ONO fish, Pacific kingfish)
The wahoo can be found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas. Pelagic and seasonally migratory, the wahoo tends to be a loner or travel in small groups of 2 to 6 fish. There are indications of seasonal concentrations off the Pacific coasts of Panama, Costa Rica and Baja California in the summer, off Grand Cayman (Atlantic) in the winter and spring, and off the western Bahamas and Bermuda in the spring and fall. It is found around wrecks and reefs where smaller fish that it feeds upon are abundant, but it also may be found far out at sea. The wahoo is reputed to be one of the fastest fish in the sea, attaining speeds of 50 mph (80 km) and more. The first scorching run may peel off several hundred yards of line in seconds. Occasionally this fish jumps on the strike and often shakes its head violently when hooked in an effort to free itself. Fishing methods include trolling with whole, rigged baits as well as with trip baits or artificial lures. Live bait fishing and kite fishing are productive. The wahoo’s flesh is finely grained and sweet and is considered excellent eating. The current all tackle world record for wahoo is 184 lbs.