|Report by Jody Bright, Tropidilla
Vidal's Legend-ary Wins Continue - Takes Third Straight Marlin Tournament
Mike Vidal named his sport fishing boat "Legend" after his father who was a leader in the airline industry. Son Mike is creating his own legacy in his chosen path - big game tournament angling, with the indespinsable help of a first rate crew. On the heels of back to back tournament wins, Team Legend took a third vistory last week in the August Moon Billfish Tournament.
Twenty four anglers took to the flat Kona waters last week in search of marlin and ahi. Competing under a rule format never before seen in Hawaii, the teams saw their share of good fishing with 10 marlin being tagged and released and only one brought to the scales. Reuben Rubio led Vidal to his 616.5 pound blue marlin on their second day of fishing to take the daily highest gross score purse and the largest marlin of the tournament purse. In addition, Team Legend tagged the earliest marlin of the first day of fishing, gathering up the daily purse for Day One as well. Total winnings for the team amounted to $16,360.00 which was better than two thirds of the total purse.
Innovative in structure, the August Moon Billifsh Tournament runs over the course of five fishing days. However, teams only fish three of the five, and get to choose which day they want to fish as the week unfolds. Creating a new scenario for strategy, the tournament also allows people to fish in a competition when their schedules might not allow it if it weren't for the flexibility in days. Also new to the tournament scene, the format paid a set amount per entry fee for the largest marlin of the tournament, a separate amount for the most tagged and released marlin of the tournament and another for the highest gross score of ahi (yellowfin tuna) points.
Daily categories were entered at anglers options and purses were awarded for the highest cumulitive score of each day - combining marlin points, tag points and ahi points.
Vidal and company took two of the three daily awards, leaving the third to Mike Contreras of Spring, Texas. Mike tagged and released two marlin on the third day while fishing on the "Eclipse" with Capt. Bill Ross.
Wahine angler Mary Marten took the most tag and release category by angling three marlin to the back of "On Line" skippered by Capt. John Llanes. "On Line" is owned by Steve Zehring. Their winnings were $2,100.00
Jim Waters walked off with the ahi division by capturing the only tuna of the competition, a 136 pounder from Capt. John Jordan's "Kona Concept". Their catch was worth a little over $100.00 per pound as the ahi division paid $1,400.00.
Keeping an eye on the future of the fishery, the teams also raised some money for the research of juvenile and larval marlin being conducted by scientist Andrew West of the Hawaii Conservation Association. In appreciation for enjoying the sporting opportunities provided by these magnificent fish, anglers are becoming more aware of the need to understand the early life stages of marlin in order to insure the health of their species in the wild.
Team Legend also smashed the ten year old record standing for the largest marlin of the Kona Marlin Tournament Series. In the Skins Marlin Derby held in July, Vidal caught a 974.5 pound monster which earned him first slot in winning a new pair of Caterpillar diesel engines on top of his jackpots. Legend is not assured of winning the engines yet, as there is still one more tournament left in the Series. Anyone who catches a marlin larger than his 974.5 pound fish will displace him.
The final event of the 1999 Kona Marlin Tournament Series is slated for September 16. The three day Okoe Bay Rendevous is staged from a remote beach on the southwest corner of the Big Island of Hawaii allowing anglers to access waters that are normally inaccessible to Kona based boats.
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