Kona Game Fishing Club-Taiyo caught just one fish on Tuesday, but it was just enough to keep its spot atop the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament standings on a day in which other teams enjoyed banner days.
The Japanese club tagged and released an estimated 200-pound blue marlin that earned it 300 points and a total of 1,268 after the second day of the five-day fishing tournament, which continues through Friday in West Hawaii waters.
Another Japanese group, JIBT Team Edotoku, sits in second place with 968, and New Zealand’s Whangaroa Sports Fishing Club is third with 900 points.
Angler Masaharu Matsushita tagged and released Taiyo’s 200-pounder a day after he helped boat a 576-pound blue that gave the Taiyo a comfortable lead heading into Day 2 of the tournament.
However, JIBT narrowed the gap, tagging and releasing two blue marlin on Tuesday — one of them was estimated at 150 pounds — after tagging two others on Monday.
Whangaroa made the biggest push on Tuesday, with angler Trevor Woolston reeling in a 388-pound blue — the largest weighed fish of the day — late in the afternoon aboard Holoholo. That catch and a 225-pound blue teammate Janice Allan tagged and released after a 14-minute fight gave the New Zealand team its 967 points.
Other notable catches:
c Bay of Islands Swordfish Club-Eldorado angler Serge de Bie tagged and released a 175-pound blue aboard Unbelievable for his New Zealand team.
c South African Protea Team inserted a satellite tag on a blue marlin aboard High Flyer. The tags, used for scientific research, track the marlin’s migratory patterns.