It didn’t take long for the first fish points to be recorded in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament on Monday.
Kona Game Fishing Club-Taiyo weighed a 576-pound blue marlin by 10:30 a.m., recording the first weighed fish of the tournament, which began on Monday and runs through Friday.
Angler and team captain Masaharu Matsushita, who caught the fish, is participating in his ninth HIBT.
Team standings were not released Monday by the HIBT, but many boats reported success.
Two other marlin made it to the scales. Sunshine Coast Game Fishing Club’s Heath Irvine caught a 417-pound blue on 50-pound test. LE Angling Club of Singapore reeled in a 371-pound blue on 80-pound test line. Ang Kah King caught that fish.
Lim Kim Teck, also of LE Angling Club, caught a 142-pound ahi on 80-pound test to add to the team’s point total.
Monday was also a big day for catch and release points.
A team from Portugal made a big splash in the catch and release category. Big Game Clube De Portugal angler Robina Baynan tagged and released two blue marlin, estimated at 200 and 250 pounds, on 50-pound test line.
Elsewhere, Olympian Dream Fishing Club angler Mari Arakawa celebrated her birthday by tagging and releasing two fish. She caught one blue marlin estimated at 150 pounds and a shortnose spearfish estimated at 40 pounds.
The HIBT awards billfish points for blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, shortnose spearfish and broadbill swordfish that weigh in at 300 pounds or more.
Qualifying tagged and released billfish earn points computed on line weights of 80- or 50-pound test. Bonus points go to fish weighed at more than 500 pounds, for the heaviest qualifying marlin each day and the heaviest qualifying marlin of the tournament. Ahi receive points per pound for fish that weigh in at 100 pounds or more.