A dramatic finish saw Florida-based ‘Uno Mas’ take home US$100,000 at the inaugural Cayman Billfish Rundown held 14-17 May in Grand Cayman.
After two days of fishing, the Florida-based team and local fishermen ‘Happy Days’ were locked atop the catch and release standings Wednesday (15 May) with two blue marlins on record for 375 points each. However, with an off day Thursday (16 May), ‘Uno Mas’ filed a protest against Happy Days’ highly debated second release. After both teams scored their third release of the tournament on the third and final day Friday (17 May), Happy Days was in line for the grand prize as the earliest catch of the day would break a tie.
However, tournament officials accepted the Americans’ protest concluding the video submitted by Happy Days for their second release did not conclusively meet the criteria of both the tournament nor the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) regulations, thus awarding the grand prize to Uno Mas.
“There was no definite result to declare it a legal, clean release,” Tournament Weighmaster Dayne Brady told the Camana Bay crowd at Friday’s award ceremony. “We had another boat with witnesses that saw this fish released, but they couldn’t present a video showing a release, so we couldn’t accept that fish even though they were close enough they could have touched the fish.”
Uno Mas captain Brooks Smith also pocketed an additional US $10,000 for winning the captain’s award.
Happy Days captain Nathan Day told Cayman 27 the team was disappointed with the decision and will continue to pursue the matter.
Other payouts included US$10,000 to ‘Cool Change’ for their 77.20 lb Yellowfin Tuna, while ‘Ecks-Change’ won US$10,000 for their 30.20 lb Wahoo, with Reel Addiction winning Heaviest Dolphin and US $10,000 for their 24.60 lb catch.
View all the results from the Cayman Billfish Rundown here.
Note: Cayman Billfish Rundown and Cayman 27 are subsidiaries of Hurley’s Media.