“Stop fishing, stop fishing, stop fishing” rang out at exactly 4:30 p.m. for the final time this week and with those words the 54th edition of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament came to a close.
The 2013 HIBT Governor’s Trophy for first place went to Old South Marlin Club East Coast 1, in a come from behind victory with a total of 1,488 points.
Having scored 600 points on the first day of fishing, this team — skunked over the next three days — kept their lines tight and their heads in the game.
With several teams in contention, Old South was sitting on the bottom half of the scoreboard as the final morning of fishing got underway. Angler CJ Dugan boated a 588-pound Pacific blue marlin in a fighting time of 54 minutes and gained additional points for biggest fish of the day and largest fish of the week long tournament. These bookend points cinched the win for Old South.
In a tight race, second place went to Balboa Angling Club California with 1,200 points and third to Solitary Islands Game Fishing Club of Australia with 1,150 points.
“What a thrill ride this week has been,” said HIBT founder Peter Fithian. “Several teams were lurking on the upper end of the HIBT leaderboard, yet it was too close to call until the very end of the final day. I think that’s what makes Kona and HIBT the best fishing venue in the world.”
John Bagwell, captain of the 45-foot Silky, won the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament’s coveted Henry Chee Award that honors the charter boat captain with the highest number of billfish points scored at HIBT.
“Mahalo to the entire Big Island community for extending such warmth and aloha to all the HIBT anglers from around the world who came to Kona in search of big game fish,” said Fithian.