|Kailua-Kona, HI - The
third leg of the Maui Jim Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series gets underway this weekend. The
13th annual Firecracker Open is one of the larger events in the series, and last year 51
teams took to the calm Kona waters in search of marlin. Early entries indicate that the
tournament should be about the same size when fishing starts this Saturday morning.
This year, the rules have been changed, and the scoring format shall include not only marlin, but also ahi and marlin that are tagged and released. The Firecracker has been traditionally a points tournament, for the past 12 years the event scored one point per pound for marlin - 200 pounds or better - and paid out the prize money to the top three scoring teams.
The year 2000 event shall be known as the Firecracker Open Big Game Fishing Tournament and teams can score one point per pound for each ahi 100 pounds or better, 1 point per pound for each marlin 300 pounds or better and 250 points for each blue or black marlin tagged and released. Spearfish and striped marlin will not be eligible for scoring points.
The Hawaii Conservation Association has some pop up archival tags left over from the Big Island Invitational Marlin Tournament, and anglers at the Firecracker shall get an unexpected opportunity to participate in the "Lure an Angler to Research" program initiated when the film crew from ESPN-2's "Athletes in Motion" was here for the BIIMT. Slow fishing prohibited teams from deploying 5 of the 6 mini computers on marlin, so Firecracker anglers will now have the opportunity to bid on a chance to take one on their boat for the two days of fishing. If an angler places a satellite tag on a marlin during the Firecracker, his fish will be a part of the second Maui Jim Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series TV show filmed at the Series championship in December, and the marlins travels tracked on the HCA web site.
The Firecracker expects a total purse of more than $100,000.00. The tournament is open to all interested anglers and there is no limit on boat size or style. Interested anglers can pre-register at the office of the Hawaii Conservation Association located next to Capt. Zodiac at Gentry's Kona Marin complex in Honokohau Harbor.
The Maui Jim Hawaii Marlin Tournament
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