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Big OH Top Boat, Luis Bacardi Top Angler at July Open Billfish Tournament

Consistency paid off for Gray Ingram’s Big OH, which won Best Boat in the 47th Annual July Open Billfish Tournament, fished out of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, July 23-25. The team aboard the Ricky Scarborough 63 released one blue marlin the first day, two the second and three the third for a total of six blue marlin, more than any other team in the 23-boat fleet.

“It was luck and skill,” says Ingram, from Jupiter, Florida. “We fish as a team.”
One of Big OH’s secrets to success was fishing with light tackle. Four of the six blue marlin were released off 30-pound test line.
“If you keep the drag light, you can back right down on them and release them quickly before they go deep,” says Ingram, who is currently lead angler in the World Billfish Series’ Pacific Division.
Luis Bacardi’s Bertram 58, Rum Bum, finished Second Best Boat with five blue marlin releases. All releases on the boat were made by Bacardi, who won the event’s only angler prize, the prestigious Johnny Harms Give Him Line perpetual trophy.
“It was great,” says Bacardi. “This is where to fish for blue marlin.”
Finally, Frank Rodriguez’s Viking 65, Fa-La-Me, finished Third Best Boat, and was one of five boats to release three blue marlin.
Beautifully carved wood marlin heads, handcrafted by marine wildlife artist David Wirth, were awarded to the winning teams.
In total, the 23-boat fleet released 42 blue marlin and 1 white marlin over the three-day tournament. No fish were boated.
IGFA trained observers, all members of the IGFTO (International Game Fish Tournament Observers), rode aboard each boat throughout the tournament to verify the releases.
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