19 releases in four days!

I’d like to announce with excitement that Team Margarita took the Cantina Cup, but the tournament director made an incredible error. I guess that’s what happens when a diver is in charge of a fishing tournament. I wouldn’t ask an NFL referee to judge Olmpic gymnastics. After struggling to get the V back in the water with new cutlass bearings and maintenance work done, I had to put off a group until Saturday that had been waiting all week. A nice morning surprise water pump issue kept us at the dock Friday morning and we hurried to try to get both boats in the water Friday. We went all in in the pots -$2K. Friday morning one engine wouldn’t start. We left the dock thinking maybe we could get a little charge in the battery or get the connection to tighten better. It didn’t happen and before we left the moorings, turned around to meet the mechanic and go get the other starter to try. Getting to the house, he informed me the motor was full of water. Knowing we had $2K invested and the World Offshore inviation on the line, I had to make the unfortunate call to take the other boat. I thought we could find them a reasonable charter to the Island, but they didn’t like the boat and maybe it wasn’t correctly conveyed that I’d make up all differences in price for another boat. Tournament control O.K.ed us to go out on the other boat. I knew they had made a rule about switching boats because people were upset about the year before when we had a fuel pump line fall off on the way in, and received a little help getting in to ensure that we were there on time. Many people complained to the tournament director even though there was no rule against it, hoping to get us disqualified. The new rule stated that no boat could be changed after the start of the fishing day. Well, it took six hours for the tournament director to let us know that we were DQed for the day, after we had five fish releases and would have won the daily. He was out fishing on another boat which probably didn’t help. I think the only person on his rule’s committee was his tournament control voice. They made the ruling that the shotgun start was the start of the fishing day. He thought he could get away from having any conflict this year. On the last day we had five releases that would have been good for first. One boat posted eleven releases, but after hours of three or four boats of witnesses coming up with reports, they finally admitted passing around rods after the one minute deadline and three fish were disqualified. Another boat who had six fish to win the Sunday daily also lost a fish due to the fish being caught on two lines at once. I witnessed one boat forcing their mate to hold up thrashing billfish to his chest for up to a half-minute at a time to get the pictures and the hook out. Our fishing community has me saddened. Time to just fish for fun.
We’ve just been nailing them on the naked rigged ballyhoo. My new box of fifty hooks is almost gone. All the fish have swam off healthy and I haven’t even had a scratch. We’ve had awesome battles on 30#. We had a school of maybe eight sailfish come up yesterday just a hundred yards off the Island. No yellowtail yet. A couple 350# marlin have been caught. The dorado are getting closer. Will be out tomorrow before the first frontal wind of winter hits. The water is still 86 and blue, so things are far from over.

tight lines,



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