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April 14, 2008

2008 Tournament Time

Whether your favorite species is blue marlin, dolphin or redfish, this special section has you covered with all the latest news and contact information.

The Fishing Event
June 1-8
The Fishing Event is a unique Caribbean tournament for participants and partners, which offers more than $100,000 in cash prizes to competitors. Last year, the event produced sailfish, white marlin and spearfish. Teams had 121 strikes, 56 hookups and 38 releases in three days of fishing in nice weather. This year's third edition will be held once again in Simpson Bay Marina - St. Martin. Tournament organizers invite you to participate in this exclusive competition with the TFE ShootOut, the TFE Master and the TFE Classic. The event is organized under rules that promote fishery conservation and encourage the release of billfish and any blue marlin not meeting the 450-pound minimum weight. With nice facilities, a unique location, plenty of action, big cash prizes and simple rules, The Fishing Event should be a hit in 2008. For more inform-ation, e-mail fishingevent@orange.fr, or visit www.the-fishing-event.com.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic
June 4-8
The largest bluewater event in the Gulf of Mexico is back for its 12th year in 2008. Known for its big fish and big money, the Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is expecting another successful run this season. Last year's winning blue marlin weighed over 530 pounds, while in 2002 it took a grander to win. With payouts approaching $250,000, this tournament is not shy in rewarding the biggest blue marlin, dolphin, tuna and wahoo. Last year's overall money winner, Bounty Hunter, enjoyed cash prizes totaling more than $330,000. And this year, tournament organizers have decided to allow boats to leave from different ports, all in the name of easier access to the best fishing grounds in the United States for large fish of the aforementioned species. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic has become known as an event where records are meant to be broken. For more information, contact Robbie Carter at 225-938-4992, e-mail rfcarter4@gmail.com, or visit www.mgcbc.com.

The Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament
June 7-14
Big Rock will celebrate its 50th annual tournament in 2008 with 200 boats and a purse that should exceed well over $1.5 million. In 2007, 184 boats fished the waters off Morehead City, North Carolina, and competed for a record purse of $1,568,950. Last year's winner was the South Carolina boat, Bak Bar, which took home more than $800,837. This year,   prepare to rock and ride away a winner! The band Party on the Moon will play for the kickoff event, and Big Rock will give away a custom-painted Harley Davidson "Fat Boy" to one of the entrants during the exciting week of fishing. Tournament fishermen will compete in a six-day event complete with daily game-fish prizes, release prizes and the Big Rock Lady Angler Tournament held on Saturday, June 7. Big Rock is a modified-release tournament targeting blue marlin, white marlin and sailfish. Game-fish levels include dolphin, tuna and wahoo. And don't forget the kids! Junior angler  trophies will given to the most billfish release points and the largest tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Join us for a world-class billfish competition and a week of Crystal Coast excitement with family, friends and hundreds of fishing enthusiasts. Contact Crystal Watters, tournament director at 252-247-3575, director@thebigrock.com, or visit www.thebigrock.com.

25Th Annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament
June 8-13
Treasure Cay Hotel Resort & Marina in Abaco, the Bahamas, will again host the Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament. A qualifying event for the IGFA Offshore Championship, this modified-release event offers four days of fishing, social parties, dinners and fun competitions. Multiple awards are given for billfish. There are also awards for tuna, dolphin and wahoo in the 25th annual Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament. Release-point standings are verified by a participant's own digital and/or video camera. For more information, call 800-327-1584 or 954-525-7711 or e-mail info@treasurecay.com. Online, visit www.treasurecayfishing.com or www.treasurecay.com.
 
Abaco Billfish Challenge
June 10-14
Firsts are wonderful - especially when it means double the chance to fish. For the first time, the Bermuda Triangle Series fished its kickoff Bahamas leg in Boat Harbour within the inaugural Abaco Billfish Challenge, won by Mark Selwartz on the Viking 65, Masque. Fished in mid-June, around the same time as the 34-year-old, five-tournament Bahamas Billfish Championships, the ABC embodied the theme, "If you can't be first, be different." This is a total catch-and-release event for billfish that includes a separate division     for wahoo, dolphin and tuna, which lets anglers choose their own lay day. Proceeds from the tournament benefit The Billfish Foundation, Bermuda Triangle Series & Boy Scouts of America and Every Child Counts. For more information, contact Amy Withers at 305-934-0505, amy31665@msn.com, or visit www.fishabc.com.

Maui Jim Marlin Tournament Series
June 28-29, Kona Classic
July 5-6, Firecracker
July 11-13, Skins Marlin Derby
Aug. 8-10, Big Island Marlin Tournament
Sept. 5-7, TBA

The Maui Jim Marlin Tournament Series ushers in yet another exciting Hawaii marlin season in 2008. Kona is famous for big marlin, and last summer Bo Godfrey took a 911-pound beast in the Big Island Marlin Tournament. In the Skins Marlin Derby, Team Maui Jim had a chance at a similar marlin, only to have it pull off after a long series of jumps. So many marlin were caught in the Skins Marlin Derby and Big Island Marlin Tournament that two television episodes were produced for each event. The fish disappeared for the Championship Tournament, which will be re-fished just prior to June. Tournaments run from June through September. A new event will     be created to replace the Okoe Bay Rendezvous, which was formerly held from a mothership. This event is no longer feasible, and discussions are underway regarding a new-format event to be held from Kona. The Maui Jim Marlin Tournament Series can be seen on the Versus Network starting in April. Second-quarter airings will be on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. EDT. Coverage is provided by the long-running TV series Maui Jim's Pacific Expeditions. Check the Maui Jim Series website (www.konatournaments.com) for exact tournament schedules, breaking news and entry forms and results. For more information, contact Jody Bright at 808-557-0908, jody@konatournaments.com.

Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship
July 2008
The championship series is comprised of three Bermuda-based events, including the Bermuda Billfish Blast (July 3-6), the Bermuda Big Game Classic (July 9-13) and the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament (July 16-20). Boats competing in any of these events are eligible for  the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. There is no additional entry fee to compete in the championship. The Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship is a celebration of incredible fishing, allowing boats to compete in a Bermuda billfish series. Participating boats will earn points as anglers wind them in during each qualifying event. The winners will receive special championship rings and a prize package that is one of the sport's best. If you plan on being in Bermuda this July, take the ultimate challenge and compete in all three legs of the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. For more information, contact tournament director Dan Jacobs at 407-571-4680, dan.jacobs@bonniercorp.com, or visit www.bermudatriplecrown.com.

Bermuda Billfish Blast
July 3-6
The Bermuda Billfish Blast will serve as the first leg of the Bermuda Triple Crown Billfish Championship. Boats fishing the Blast compete for cash and prizes estimated at $265,000 and are automatically entered in the BTC Championship where they earn valuable points toward their participation. With the Blast, World Cup and Triple Crown up for grabs, there will be plenty of action on the water in Bermuda. The World Cup has been won five times in Bermuda - reason enough to join the great fishing and landside activities. There will be no shortage of exciting parties  during the week, and Bacardi will make sure we don't run out of spirits at the daily weigh-in mixing stations. Whether you are an individual or a team, for more information, contact tournament director Dan Jacobs at 407-571-4680, dan.jacobs@bonniercorp.com, or visit www.bermudabillfishblast.com.