by John Bell
You could say 'The Wahoos' were running hard in Bimini in November. The Bahamas Wahoo Smackdown, hosted by the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina on November 16-18, saw more than 60 anglers competing for more than $30,000 in cash and prizes and landing nearly a ton and a half fish in the process.
Team "Ocean Alley" First Place
'It was a perfect weekend with lots of action,' said Tournament Director Captain Paul Cameron. 'The Big Game Club was the perfect host and the fishing Gods were with us. There were a ton of Wahoo and the action was very competitive with only 4/10 of a pound separating first from second place.'
Team Ocean Alley out of Hollywood, Fl. took top team honors taking home $7,500 in cash winnings. Team members Joey Jordan, Alex Antunez, Alfonzo Llanes, Tony Provenzano and Todd Smith caught the largest fish (61.4 pounds) and total catch weight at 225 pounds.
Team Fishless out of Miami, Fl. finished second with a second largest catch of 58 pounds and a total catch of 311.2 pounds. Chasin Tails of Miami, Fl. finished third with the third largest catch of 53.8 pounds and total weight of 199.4 pounds.
Team "Fishless" Second Place
'We listened to what the anglers wanted and we came up with what we felt was a good combination blending reasonable entry fees with great prizes,' said Cameron, who hopes to repeat the tournament in January-February with the end-of-season Wahoo run.
Big Game Club General Manager Michael Weber said the weekend 'went flawlessly', including the end of tournament banquet, which featured native Bimini specialties as well as three roasted pigs.
Bimini’s location along the legendary Gulf Stream (a 'river' of warm water) location is at the apex of a superhighway for migrating fish and acts as a kind of sushi conveyor belt carrying abundant food to the local fish. Deepwater game fish include marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and swordfish, while big grouper, barracuda and schools of snapper can be found on the reefs. Bimini’s flats are home the fishermen’s favorite prey, bonefish and permit. With more than 50-record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has earned its title of Sport Fishing Capital of the World.