The Wahoo Smackdown XI took place November 7-10, 2019 at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina, and it was nothing shy of EPIC.
More than seventy anglers in fourteen boats competed with 108 fish coming in weighing just over 1500lbs. It was a close call for a while, but a weight difference of 13.1lbs took the tournament. A 52.7lb Hoo brought in by Team 4 Play took the purse for biggest fish.
The winning team was Blitzsea, out of Pompano, Florida. Lisa, also part of the Blitzsea crew, took the Top Lady Angler title. Day one was close on the leaderboard, but by day two they dominated, weighing in an impressive 251.4 pounds of fish.
Owner Jim Mollica is no stranger to both the Bahamas and fishing in general. He’s been partial to Bahamas fishing since his first trips in the 1970’s when his only navigation was a compass. He has plenty of stories about the “old days.” His fondest memories are plentiful and he, like many others, describes Bimini as the sports fishing mecca of the world. He holds dear the camaraderie between boats and the deep relationships formed no matter how intense the competition was out on the water. He continues to come to the Bahamas 10-15 times a year and has been throughout most of the islands but definitely professes a preference for Bimini.
“I love the people of the Bahamas, especially the people in south Bimini, where people take their fishing seriously. Over the years Bimini has changed a lot and the big resorts, cruise ships and casinos have shown up on the north end of the island bringing in a lot more tourists, but south Bimini still holds its historical charm.”
Jim and the Blitzsea crew didn’t hesitate to be part of a 35-boat caravan bringing supplies over for the relief efforts aiding the victims of Hurricane Dorian. The boat loaded up several times to help the affected areas of Grand Bahama.
He has fished the Wahoo Smackdown many times and was thrilled to win this year. His dedicated and experienced crew had a great time enjoying the flat calm of day one, and day two started out calm and easy as well so they decided to go about sixty miles north which proved to be quite fruitful. As the day progressed and reports of a front moving in they started heading back but 30-40 knot winds came in quick and kicked up seas pretty good. With the rough conditions, it took them a little over five hours to get back in. They were the very last boat to weigh in, of course, saving the best for last. They kept one fish, donated quite a bit to the tournament dinner and made sure to share the bounty with several of the natives. “A lot of the Bahamians don’t have boats and can’t afford to fish. We always try to give back to the locals. At the end of the day no matter how competitive it gets, we all look out for each other. We’re a tight group.” He praised Beth and the entire staff at Bimini Big Game Club for doing such a great job on the tournament. He can’t wait until next year to see if Blitzsea will dominate once again.
To see the whole photo album from 2019 CLICK HERE.
Stay tuned for 2020 dates at https://biggameclubbimini.com.