The 26th Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament (TCBT), June 7-12, 2009, Abaco, Bahamas, will now be a sanctioned event of the World Billfish Series (WBS). The tournament joins more than sixty tournaments in seven worldwide divisions of the WBS World Tour. The WBS Caribbean Division includes other top-shelf billfish tournaments, such as the BBC, San Juan Invitational, British Virgin Islands Billfish Tournament and others. The WBS sanctions only those considered among the very best in the world. A leader in billfish championships since 1992, the WBS provides an exquisite Top Angler plaque to the TCBT's top individual or team.
With no additional charge to the TCBT anglers, competitors can fish as many tournaments as possible within a division in order to win their particular WBS division. The top angler from each sanctioned tournament and the top ten anglers within each division at the end of the year qualify to attend the WBS Grand Championships in Los Suenos, Costa Rica in December (08 and 09). The Grand Championship is the only true qualifying championship event of its kind where individual anglers must qualify for the right to attend, with a grand prize of a new Mercedes C-300 automobile, a custom bronze trophy by marine artist Geoffrey Smith, a gold Champion's ring and the title of World Champion of Billfishing.
By setting up a competitive point structure, the goal of the WBS is to encourage anglers to fish in additional events they might not normally fish, to gain extra points. Adding the TCBT provides a larger playing field, scored based on their entire season of fishing in order to win a division. The anglers can also attend a true championship event where they fish against the best qualified anglers in the world for a larger title. More information about the World Billfish Series is at www.worldbillfishseries.com.
A modified release tournament offering four days of fishing, social parties, dinners and fun competitions, the TCBT announces its first-ever guaranteed cash payout, ranging from $10,000 for a minimum of ten boats and up to $50,000 for participation of 50 boats. In addition, tournament boats will receive a fuel discount.
Open to the public, the TCBT tournament format consists of multiple awards for billfish, plus awards for tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Release point standings are verified by the participant's own digital and/or video camera with an image that can verify the time and date the photo was taken.
Registration, including boat entry, four dinners and four cocktail parties for up to six team members, team goody bag with t-shirts & hats and room discounts is $2,950 per team. New for 2009, those who enter by February 28, 2009 will be rewarded with three days free dockage (up to 60 foot) or three nights in a standard room (upgradable to deluxe or other room types) before or during the tournament.
Organizers are seeking sponsors for the "Tournament in a Tournament" with a cash payout of $500 to their top boat based on tournament scoring of billfish points. The TCBT touts a four-color magazine, to be launched at the Miami International Boat Show in February, 2009.
TCBT teams can elect for cash prizes for the fun fish division of tuna, dolphin and wahoo, with a payout rivaling top prizes of U.S. based tournaments. In addition to the cash prizes, winners receive beautiful trophies and have their name engraved in a statuesque Perpetual Trophy showcased in the resort's Spinnaker restaurant, one of the largest air conditioned out-island restaurant facilities available for events.
To involve the family, a special presentation will be made to Top Lady Angler and Top Junior Angler. Hatchet marlin, a species of white marlin that seems to be on the grow in the Bahamas, have been added to the rules. LMR Tackle, 1495 SE 17th St., Suite E, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316, phone 954-525-2592, has been designated as the "go to" point for information and several tackle dealers and marine businesses will soon have registration forms on-site.
The TCBT is renowned for its great food and camaraderie, with social events families can enjoy. Also new to the social events is a lay day "Hell's Kitchen" Dock Party Cookoff, with prizes for the most innovative dishes. An average of 275 anglers and guests attend each tournament, from many states in the U.S. as well as other countries. Information and photos from the 2008 event, won by Edward Burr and the Ohana fishing team, Jacksonville, FL, are available on www.treasurecayfishing.com