Saturday | January 20, 2018
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HIBT: Team Miss Behavin bags pair of tags, tourney lead

KAILUA-KONA — Fishing slowed down just a little bit but stayed steady on the second day of the 58th annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament.

Of the 18 teams in the tournament, 15 have put points on the board so far.

After 11 fish were tagged and released on the first day of fishing, eight were caught and returned to Kona waters on Tuesday. Surfside Marina’s Team Miss Behavin was the only club to tag two Pacific blue marlin on Day 2, catapulting the American anglers into the lead with 700 points.

The team of David Finkelstein, Stephen “Montauck” Weitzen and Jon Niiyama, fishing aboard the 45-foot boat Ihu Nui with Capt. McGrew Rice, had extremely short fights with a 250-pound and a 150-pound marlin.

The 250-pounder was reeled to the boat by Finkelstein in only 8 minutes. The second marlin, which the team chose to attach an electronic satellite tag to as part of the International Game Fish Association’s Great Marlin Race, was reeled in by Weitzen in a speedy 15 minutes.

“We had a great boat and a great crew that we have known for years,” Finkelstein said. “We were able to get one bite in the morning and I was able to reel that blue in and then we got another bite in the afternoon that we got in.”

This is Finkelstein’s first year competing in the HIBT and he is looking forward to the next three days after taking the tournament lead.

“We want to stay steady,” Finkelstein said. “We need to catch a fish in each of the next three days.”

Japan’s Core Marlin Club, the Day 1 leaders, came up empty on the second day of fishing but still managed to stay in second place by 50 points over South Africa’s Deep Sea Angling Association, which also did not have a catch. Core Marlin Club is 100 points back of Team Miss Behavin.

While no billfish has been weighed, the HIBT did see its first fish reach the scale on Tuesday. Pajaro Valley Gamefish Club’s Tony Campos reeled in an 111.8-pound ahi while fishing aboard Bomboy’s Toy with Capt. Bomboy Llanes.

“I got hooked up pretty early in the morning and it was a good day,’ Campos said. “It was a nice tuna but we lost two other fish. But that’s life though. Sometimes you get them hooked but you can’t keep them.”

Campos and his teammates Rocky Franich, Joe Yee and Jim Ramsey have fished in the tournament many times, though Campos did take a 12-year break before coming back last year.

“I have great teammates and we have been fishing for years,” Campos said. “I enjoy being here. It is so much fun.”

Fishing on the Kila Kila, Mission Bay Marlin Club’s Heidi McBride became the first wahine to put up points in this year’s HIBT after catching and releasing a 175-pound marlin. The fight took only 17 minutes and the second satellite tag of the day was attached before the release.

Humdinger jumped into the boat lead after the second day with 850 points behind Capt. Jeff Fay. Four boats are tied for second place.


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