Seven Tags Out, Three To Go!
With unusually cold water conditions during the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, the Great Marlin Race got off to a bit of a slow start - with only three tags deployed during the five days of fishing. The first tag, sponsored by WESPAC, went out August 3 on a fish caught by Kerry Kurz of the Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #1. The second tag, sponsored by Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Teams 1 and 2, was placed just a few hours later on a fish caught by Bob Dudley. Tag three, sponsored by Stephen Chow, was deployed the following morning on a fish caught by Ron Rudy of the Alii Brothers Marlin Hui Team. And that was where the race stood at the end of the day on Friday, August 6, when the "Stop Fishing" call brought the 51st HIBT to a close.
Fortunately, tournament founder and director Peter Fithian and the HIBT organizers all agreed that the rest of the tags that had been sponsored should still go out, and the race should go on as planned. He appointed event coordinator Bob Kurz and charter boat liaison Rob McGuckin to coordinate the distribution and deployment of the remaining tags, and after just a few days the count is already up to seven!
The Fourth tag, sponsored by Kona Gamefish Club Miyake, was placed on August 9 by Captain Guy Terwilliger of the Malolo, on a 175 lb. marlin caught by IGFA judge Bob O'Dea. Tag five, sponsored by Paxson Offield on behalf of the JGFA, was deployed by Captain McGrew Rice of Ihu Nui, on a170 lb. marlin caught by Bob Kurz on August 10. Tag six went out August 11 on a 150 lb. marlin caught by HIBT staff member Sherry Vann on board Miss Mojo, tagged by Bob Kurz. And the seventh tag was placed just a few hours later by Captain Marlin Parker of Marlin Magic II, on a 120 lb. marlin caught by Kirby Carter.
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