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HomeNewsArchives“Living the Dream” Wins 20th Golden Hook Challenge

“Living the Dream” Wins 20th Golden Hook Challenge

  First Row – Captain Austin Schneider, David Ziemer, and Chris Hanley; Second Row – Peter Chaibongsai (Billfish Foundation Director of Science and Policy), Matt Ridgway, AK Lovarco, Mike Fuller, David Johnson, Spike Herbert, and Chad Sheraw; not pictured “Rasta Dean” Dunham.The Golden Hook Fishing Club held their 20th Annual Golden Hook Challenge Feb. 23 – 24, in the waters off St. Croix. Six boats participated in the tournament and 14 billfish were raised. Numerous dorado “mahi mahi” were caught as well as tuna. After each day of the tournament, many participants got together to share fish stories and celebrate the event.
The Living the Dream fishing team took first place in the tournament with two billfish caught in the tournament. Angler Matthew Ridgway landed an estimated 75-pound blue marlin on the first day of the tournament, and David Ziemer landed a rare short-billed spearfish, which weighed approximately 55 pounds on the second day. Both fish were tagged and released. The boat was captained by Austin Schneider, Spike Herbert and owner David Johnson. The crew was led by Rasta Dean Dunham and Mike Fuller. Additional anglers included Chris Hanley, Chad Sheraw, and A.K. Lovarco. Riding along on Living the Dream the first day of the tournament were Peter Chaibongsai, director of policy and science for the Billfish Foundation, and Director Roy Pemberton Jr. and Fisheries Biologist II Jonathan E. Brown from the V.I. Department of Natural Resources.75 pound blue marlin caught by Matthew Ridgway
Billfish Foundation Director Chaibongsai said, "The Billfish Foundation was honored to take part in the 20th Golden Hook Billfish Challenge in St. Croix. We applaud clubs and tournaments who report all their billfish data and allow us to attend to create more awareness of billfish conservation. Allowing locals to understand that their clubs and tournaments (big or small) are essential in voicing their sport fishing concerns in the Caribbean and providing valuable billfish data is one of the main goals for the foundation."
Other participating boats included Producer, which was captained by Rob Olive; Golden Eagle, which was captained by Paul Stewart; Mako, which was captained by David Clark; Two Fer Sure, which was captained by Thomas Sedgwik; and Fraidy Cat, which was captained by Roger Charles.
The awards banquet was held Feb. 25, at Tutu Bene in Christiansted. The evening began with Peter Chaibongsai’s presentation about the Billfish Foundation. Living the Dream was presented with the first place prize, and a billfish painting, and two round-trip tickets on Seaborne Airlines. Tournament sponsors included Cruzan Rum, Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP, Presidente and Miller Lite.
A special presentation was then made to recently retiring board member Robert MacKay. He was awarded a life time achievement award and was granted life-time membership in the Golden Hook Fishing Club. MacKay was a founding member of the club. For the 20 years of the club, he was a member, served on the board, and participated in every tournament. Club President Dennis McCormick presented the award and said "It was an honor and a pleasure to present Robert Mackay with the life time achievement award for everything he has done for the GHFC as president, as a board member and founding father as well as a fishing man, but most important as a distinguished gentleman, fishing in all of the tournaments for the past 20 years. We need more Bob Mackay’s in the world today!"
The Golden Hook Fishing Club was founded to promote and encourage the sport of saltwater game fishing in the Virgin Islands, while at the same time, instilling an awareness of the importance of conservation of marine life, both in its members and in the Virgin Islands Community. The next tournament is the 14th Annual Dolphin Tournament on April 13. The 14th Annual Guy/Gal Reel Challenge will be Oct. 5 and 6. The Golden Hook Series finale will be the 14th Annual Wahoo Tournament on Nov. 30.
For more information about membership in the club or the tournament, visit www.fishstx.com or call President Dennis McCormick at 690-8252.

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  First Row – Captain Austin Schneider, David Ziemer, and Chris Hanley; Second Row – Peter Chaibongsai (Billfish Foundation Director of Science and Policy), Matt Ridgway, AK Lovarco, Mike Fuller, David Johnson, Spike Herbert, and Chad Sheraw; not pictured “Rasta Dean” Dunham.The Golden Hook Fishing Club held their 20th Annual Golden Hook Challenge Feb. 23 – 24, in the waters off St. Croix. Six boats participated in the tournament and 14 billfish were raised. Numerous dorado “mahi mahi” were caught as well as tuna. After each day of the tournament, many participants got together to share fish stories and celebrate the event.
The Living the Dream fishing team took first place in the tournament with two billfish caught in the tournament. Angler Matthew Ridgway landed an estimated 75-pound blue marlin on the first day of the tournament, and David Ziemer landed a rare short-billed spearfish, which weighed approximately 55 pounds on the second day. Both fish were tagged and released. The boat was captained by Austin Schneider, Spike Herbert and owner David Johnson. The crew was led by Rasta Dean Dunham and Mike Fuller. Additional anglers included Chris Hanley, Chad Sheraw, and A.K. Lovarco. Riding along on Living the Dream the first day of the tournament were Peter Chaibongsai, director of policy and science for the Billfish Foundation, and Director Roy Pemberton Jr. and Fisheries Biologist II Jonathan E. Brown from the V.I. Department of Natural Resources.75 pound blue marlin caught by Matthew Ridgway
Billfish Foundation Director Chaibongsai said, "The Billfish Foundation was honored to take part in the 20th Golden Hook Billfish Challenge in St. Croix. We applaud clubs and tournaments who report all their billfish data and allow us to attend to create more awareness of billfish conservation. Allowing locals to understand that their clubs and tournaments (big or small) are essential in voicing their sport fishing concerns in the Caribbean and providing valuable billfish data is one of the main goals for the foundation."
Other participating boats included Producer, which was captained by Rob Olive; Golden Eagle, which was captained by Paul Stewart; Mako, which was captained by David Clark; Two Fer Sure, which was captained by Thomas Sedgwik; and Fraidy Cat, which was captained by Roger Charles.
The awards banquet was held Feb. 25, at Tutu Bene in Christiansted. The evening began with Peter Chaibongsai’s presentation about the Billfish Foundation. Living the Dream was presented with the first place prize, and a billfish painting, and two round-trip tickets on Seaborne Airlines. Tournament sponsors included Cruzan Rum, Cane Bay Partners VI, LLLP, Presidente and Miller Lite.
A special presentation was then made to recently retiring board member Robert MacKay. He was awarded a life time achievement award and was granted life-time membership in the Golden Hook Fishing Club. MacKay was a founding member of the club. For the 20 years of the club, he was a member, served on the board, and participated in every tournament. Club President Dennis McCormick presented the award and said "It was an honor and a pleasure to present Robert Mackay with the life time achievement award for everything he has done for the GHFC as president, as a board member and founding father as well as a fishing man, but most important as a distinguished gentleman, fishing in all of the tournaments for the past 20 years. We need more Bob Mackay's in the world today!"
The Golden Hook Fishing Club was founded to promote and encourage the sport of saltwater game fishing in the Virgin Islands, while at the same time, instilling an awareness of the importance of conservation of marine life, both in its members and in the Virgin Islands Community. The next tournament is the 14th Annual Dolphin Tournament on April 13. The 14th Annual Guy/Gal Reel Challenge will be Oct. 5 and 6. The Golden Hook Series finale will be the 14th Annual Wahoo Tournament on Nov. 30.
For more information about membership in the club or the tournament, visit www.fishstx.com or call President Dennis McCormick at 690-8252.