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HomeNewsArchivesGulf Rascal Top Boat and Polselli Top Angler at Open Billfish Tournament

Gulf Rascal Top Boat and Polselli Top Angler at Open Billfish Tournament

The third day proved a charm for Gulf Rascal. Though anglers aboard the Florida-based 54-foot Hatteras went fishless the third and last day of fishing in the 46th Annual July Open Billfish Team Gulf Rascal, Top Boat in the July Open Billfish Tournament. L to R (front row): Rick Steiner, Glen Helton, Gerald McKinney L to R (back row): Lee Steiner, Joel Finley, Chris Marshall, Billy BorerTournament (JOBT), the collective catch of five blue marlin earned Gulf Rascal the Top Boat award for the first time, according to a press release from the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club, Red Hook.
“We had one fish up on the teaser this afternoon, but it didn’t bite,” said the captain, Billy Borer. “We bit our nails instead, especially that last hour of the day.”
It was just after 3 p.m. when Florida angler, Rudy Polselli Jr., aboard his 55-foot Viking, Rude Awakening, released his vessel’s fifth blue marlin, a feat that tied Gulf Rascal on count.
“We either hoped we’d catch another or they (Rude Awakening) wouldn’t,” said Borer, who got his wish. Rude Awakening finished second best boat.
“I’ve got a great captain,” says Polselli, crediting Capt. Alan Fields. “We really worked hard to get that last fish.”
Polselli, catching and releasing all five of his team’s blue marlin, earned the prestigious Captain Johnny Harms “Give ‘Em Line” trophy, awarded to the angler who catches and releases the most blue marlin first.
Steve Swindal’s 60-foot Bertram, Blue Heaven, rounded out the top three in the boat prizes with three blue marlin releases.
The 19-boat fleet released a total of 34 blue marlin and one white marlin over the three-day tournament.
Interestingly, big fish created a real buzz on the docks this year – something that happened back in the 1968 JOBT when angler, Elliott Fishman, caught an 845-pound blue marlin, a fish that set a world record for its weight at the time. The Reel Escape, not fishing in the tournament, hooked up, fought for 8 ½-hours, and ultimately released a grander-plus blue marlin on July 5. The next day, tournament and Texas angler, Don Schmidt, fishing aboard his 64-foot Viking, Omi Gosh, hooked up another grander-plus blue marlin at mid-day.
“It was easily over 1200 pounds,” said Schmidt.
His nephew, James, offered a more graphic description: “It looked like a big truck barreling down at us.”
“The bad thing about letting the fish go was that we thought no one would believe us,” says Schmidt. “The good thing was having the observer onboard who verified the catch and the marlin’s size.”
This year, the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) brought back the tradition of hosting an onshore fishing tournament for kids. Forty kids came out to try their luck. Sebastian Silva earned Most Fish and Biggest Fish in the 3 to 6-year-old category, with the catch of seven fish, one being 9-ounces. In the 7- to 12-age group, Lerrent Erdem caught the biggest fish, 15-ounces, while Nathan Gatcliffe won the Most Fish award with the catch of 20 fish. Finally, in the 13 to 15-age group, Catherine Phelan caught the Most Fish, 16, and Biggest Fish, 1 pound 3 ounces.
This year’s tournament was dedicated to well-known Puerto Rican sports fishermen, Ralph Christiansen, who was killed in a plane crash in February. Christiansen was one of only two anglers in the history of the JOBT to win the Captain Johnny Harms “Give ‘Em Line” Trophy.
Sue Boland, president of the VIGFC, said at the Awards Ceremony, “Ralph was a member of the club since 1969. He was one of the most able and ardent, blue marlin fishermen in the world and we miss him a lot. This is his tournament.”
Proceeds from the JOBT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.
For complete results, visit www.vigfc.com
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The third day proved a charm for Gulf Rascal. Though anglers aboard the Florida-based 54-foot Hatteras went fishless the third and last day of fishing in the 46th Annual July Open Billfish Team Gulf Rascal, Top Boat in the July Open Billfish Tournament. L to R (front row): Rick Steiner, Glen Helton, Gerald McKinney L to R (back row): Lee Steiner, Joel Finley, Chris Marshall, Billy BorerTournament (JOBT), the collective catch of five blue marlin earned Gulf Rascal the Top Boat award for the first time, according to a press release from the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club, Red Hook.
“We had one fish up on the teaser this afternoon, but it didn’t bite,” said the captain, Billy Borer. “We bit our nails instead, especially that last hour of the day.”
It was just after 3 p.m. when Florida angler, Rudy Polselli Jr., aboard his 55-foot Viking, Rude Awakening, released his vessel’s fifth blue marlin, a feat that tied Gulf Rascal on count.
“We either hoped we’d catch another or they (Rude Awakening) wouldn’t,” said Borer, who got his wish. Rude Awakening finished second best boat.
“I’ve got a great captain,” says Polselli, crediting Capt. Alan Fields. “We really worked hard to get that last fish.”
Polselli, catching and releasing all five of his team’s blue marlin, earned the prestigious Captain Johnny Harms “Give ‘Em Line” trophy, awarded to the angler who catches and releases the most blue marlin first.
Steve Swindal’s 60-foot Bertram, Blue Heaven, rounded out the top three in the boat prizes with three blue marlin releases.
The 19-boat fleet released a total of 34 blue marlin and one white marlin over the three-day tournament.
Interestingly, big fish created a real buzz on the docks this year - something that happened back in the 1968 JOBT when angler, Elliott Fishman, caught an 845-pound blue marlin, a fish that set a world record for its weight at the time. The Reel Escape, not fishing in the tournament, hooked up, fought for 8 ½-hours, and ultimately released a grander-plus blue marlin on July 5. The next day, tournament and Texas angler, Don Schmidt, fishing aboard his 64-foot Viking, Omi Gosh, hooked up another grander-plus blue marlin at mid-day.
“It was easily over 1200 pounds,” said Schmidt.
His nephew, James, offered a more graphic description: “It looked like a big truck barreling down at us.”
“The bad thing about letting the fish go was that we thought no one would believe us,” says Schmidt. “The good thing was having the observer onboard who verified the catch and the marlin’s size.”
This year, the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club (VIGFC) brought back the tradition of hosting an onshore fishing tournament for kids. Forty kids came out to try their luck. Sebastian Silva earned Most Fish and Biggest Fish in the 3 to 6-year-old category, with the catch of seven fish, one being 9-ounces. In the 7- to 12-age group, Lerrent Erdem caught the biggest fish, 15-ounces, while Nathan Gatcliffe won the Most Fish award with the catch of 20 fish. Finally, in the 13 to 15-age group, Catherine Phelan caught the Most Fish, 16, and Biggest Fish, 1 pound 3 ounces.
This year’s tournament was dedicated to well-known Puerto Rican sports fishermen, Ralph Christiansen, who was killed in a plane crash in February. Christiansen was one of only two anglers in the history of the JOBT to win the Captain Johnny Harms “Give ‘Em Line” Trophy.
Sue Boland, president of the VIGFC, said at the Awards Ceremony, “Ralph was a member of the club since 1969. He was one of the most able and ardent, blue marlin fishermen in the world and we miss him a lot. This is his tournament.”
Proceeds from the JOBT benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Virgin Islands.
For complete results, visit www.vigfc.com