Some of the best anglers, captains and crews in the world will head to St. Thomas Aug. 21-25 for the 38th annual USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament (ABMT), nicknamed The Boy Scout Tournament for its chief beneficiary and known globally as the Superbowl of Sports fishing. Fishing will take place Aug. 21, 22, 23 and 25, with a break for the full moon on Aug. 24.
More than 42 boats are revving up to fish out of American Yacht Harbor on St. Thomas. A veritable “Who’s Who” of sports fishermen is ready to compete, such as Click Through, which just won the Bermuda Triple Crown in July. Teams from the Bermuda Triangle Series are here aboard such vessels as Freedom and the brand new Uno Mas. Spanish Main Series contenders such as Big OH, which just won the July Open Bluefish Tournament, and Done Deal, Peje, Gulf Rascal and Fa-La-Me.
“We want to welcome our first time visitors from the Gulf,” said Jimmy Loveland, tournament director. “Some of these boats include Reel Worthless, Reel Addiction, CZ-Girl, Done Deal and Sea Angel. Once they get at taste of fishing in the Virgin Islands, we hope they’ll come back.”
There will also be some hot action in the Junior Anglers category. Tristan Lambert, 13 years old, is registered to fish aboard Reel Tight.
For the first time, viewers can get in on the fun from anywhere in the world by entering the boat pool online for the chance to win prizes. Go to www.abmt.vi/pages/boatpool.htm to learn more
The public can catch the spirit of sport fishing by doing the docks or watching the big rigs come in around 6:30 p.m. and counting the number of marlin release flags flying from the outriggers. The more flags, the more marlin the boat released. Blue signals the catch was a blue marlin, while white flags denote a white marlin.
Final registration is slated for Thursday, Aug. 19 at 4 p.m. The number to call is 714-4368. The kick-off party will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20 at the V.I. Game Fishing Club in Red Hook. The first day of fishing, Saturday, Aug. 21, will kick-off with the blessing of the fleet by Capt. Mike Latham, Janet Reiter singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and the Boy Scouts’ Color Guard and flag raising ceremony, which begins at 6:30 a.m. Lines in at 8:30 a.m.
On Monday, the Boy Scouts invite visitors and locals to a cookout at Camp Wahoo, located by the tournament tent at American Yacht Harbor Marina. The Caribbean Night Show will start at 8 p.m. Wednesday will end with the sport fishing swift Jim Smith “Race From the Edge” at 4:30 p.m. The best place to watch is from the spit of land past the pool at the Sapphire Beach Resort. An awards ceremony will take place later that evening with the naming of the Top Angler, who will pocket $10,000 in cash.
For more information, contact Jimmy Loveland, tournament director, at 1-888-2-FISHVI or 1-888-2-FISHVI (1-888-234-7484 1-888-234-7484) or 775-9500, 340-775-9500; Fax: 779-8605; e-mail email@example.com; or visit the Web site at www.abmt.vi.