The 29th Annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament is slated for Sunday, July 16, at Hull Bay Hideaway. It has been named one of the “Top Ten Best Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in the World” by online travel advisor www.hotwire.com.
The tournament, hosted by the Northside Sportfishing Club, is a chance to catch the “big one” and pocket $2,000 in cash. Didn’t catch a colossal king? No problem. There are more than a dozen other ways to win. Registration is still open.
“The fish have been biting, and we expect really good fishing,” said Catherine Bryan, one of the team of six tournament organizers. “Plus, with over $13,000 up for grabs in cash and prizes, we are expecting record attendance, record catches and record fun.”
Entry forms are available now at Neptune Fishing Supplies in Red Hook. Registration continues at the Captain’s Meeting at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 14, at Hull Bay Hideaway, and from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 15, at Hull Bay Hideaway. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, entry fees are low at $45 for adults and $35 for juniors ages 8 to 17.
All registered anglers receive an official Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament T-shirt, hat and goodie bag. Over 200 anglers – adults and juniors of all skill levels – as well as over 60 boats are expected to enter.
Prize categories include: Largest Kingfish, 2nd Largest Kingfish, 3rd Largest Kingfish, 4th Largest Kingfish, Best Captain, Best Boat, Best Male Angler, Best Female Angler, Best Junior Male Angler, Best Junior Female Angler, Largest Barracuda, Largest Bonito and Largest Mackerel.
This year, Budget Marine is sponsoring the Best Boat prize package valued at $500. In addition, several V.I. businesses have generously contributed many luxury prizes. There will also be a 50/50 raffle drawing.
Boat owners take note: Tri Island Energy will have a fuel truck available at Hull Bay Beach from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, July 15, so that tournament boats can easily fuel-up.
Like last year, the conservation-oriented organizers of the Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament have eliminated the jack species and increased the minimum length on barracuda to 40-inches in length. New also, to assure fairness for all, tournament participants are not allowed to leave shore until 4 a.m. on Sunday July 16.
Lines in the water at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 16, and fishing ends at noon, sharp. From noon until 2 p.m., while the weigh-master and judges go to work, registered anglers can quench their thirst with Coors Light and rum punch or juice, depending on age. The Awards Ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. at Hull Bay Hideaway on Sunday.
Junior anglers are eligible for the special “Catch in the Hat” drawing, sponsored by Offshore Marine. All registered junior angler names will be placed in a hat. The first eight names drawn will receive $50 cash and the next one will win $100 dollars, for a total award of $500. Junior anglers must be present at Hull Bay Hideaway to win. The drawing will take place during the band break Sunday afternoon. There will also be a bouncy house and face painting for the kid’s in the afternoon.
There will additionally be a “Lucky/Unlucky” prize drawn of $1,500 distributed among several participants. More details will be given at the Captain’s Meeting. The drawing will take place at the evening’s prize giving. Anglers must be present to win.
Come for the fishing and stay for the party. Cool Session Brass will play from noon to 4 p.m., followed by the Dem Fellas Band from 6-10 p.m. Hull Bay Hideaway will be serving food. The Armstrong Real Tasty Ice Cream Truck will also be parked at the venue during the day.
The 29th Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament is sponsored by Coors Light and Captain Morgan, distributed by Bellows International; Offshore Marine, the Yamaha distributor in the Virgin Islands; NEMWIL, managed in the USVI by Red Hook Agencies, Inc., providing homeowners and business insurance in the USVI for over 20 years; TOPA Insurance Services Inc.; Budget Marine, the Caribbean’s leading chandlery; Caribbean Gifts & Things; and Scoops & Brew, Gelato and Coffee Bar.
First organized by the Northside Sportfishing Club in 1987, the tournament has become one of the highlights of French Heritage celebrations on St. Thomas. The event benefits the Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue, Civil Air Patrol and Nana Baby Children’s Home. It also provides college scholarships.
For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 998-0854.