Opening day of the 38th Pirates Cove Billfish Tournament saw nearly all the competitors head out to sea, and white marlin dominated the scorecards with 56 of the 63 billfish released on Tuesday.
Wave Paver from Port Canaveral, Florida, a 77-foot Bayliss Boatworks vessel built in Wanchese, took the early lead with 450 points by releasing one blue marlin and two white marlin. And they also are the leaders of the wahoo category.
Capt. Russell Sinclair’s boat is atop the standings on time, as their last fish was released the earliest of those with the same score, and came away with the daily billfish first place prize of $41,947.50 and the daily billfish jackpot of $45,687.50.
Wave Paver angler Scott Glasscock weighed a 59 pound wahoo that could be worth $26,916.67 if that fish survives atop the leaderboard through Friday.
They face a tall task holding onto the billfish lead, which could be worth another $95,187.50.
In second is Accordingly IV from Swansboro, a 76-foot Viking captained by Peter Dubose, also with a blue marlin and two white marlin releases for 450 points. They claimed the second place daily prize of $17,977.50.
Third place is held by Fin Planner, Capt. Chris Gornell, with 400 points, followed by Alice Kelly and Boat Builder Association Tournament winner Tarheel, Capt. John Bayliss, with 350 points and hold fourth based on time. Bullwinkle, Capt. Dan Spencer, is fifth, also with 350.
Sixth through tenth are Anticipation (300 points), Carolina Girl (300), Haley Adyson (300), Teaz’em (250) and Sequel (250).
Second place in the overall billfish category in the tournament pays $57,112.50 and third place $38,075.00.
The first billfish of the day was a white marlin released by Roberto (Bobby) Inchaustegui Mendez fishing on the Sandra D with Capt. Mike Merritt, which won $5,000.
Angler Jason Votzi, fishing aboard Waterman with Capt. Mike Standing, weighed a 25.9 pound dolphin. Frank Adams on the Ann Warrick with Capt. Brad Diaz, brought in a 223.3 pound bigeye tuna. Both those categories also pay $26,916.67 each to top finisher.
99 boats are entered in the tournament, with the boats allowed to fish three of the four days. The total purse stands at $1,203,800.
Live coverage of the tournament can be found at PCBGT.com, with radio reports by Capt. Marty of all the catches throughout each of the four days.