Asian Pearl crew wins $44K in Mayor’s Cup Billfish Tournament


Special to the Miami Herald

The second day of the 2014 SeaVee/Mercury Mayor’s Cup Billfish Tournament ended with the Asian Pearl crew — consisting of Robert Voges, Christopher Galarraga, Brandon Mullar, Eric Johnson, Victor Paneda and Marie Diaz — earning a $44,000 bounty for releasing 10 sailfish in the two-day tournament held out of Monty’s Raw Bar in Coconut Grove.

The Pearl’s crew caught just enough to take the top position among the 29 boats in the tournament, three of which had nine releases.

Coming in second overall was Angler Management, which earned $3,000, and in third was Weez in the Keys with $5,700. The Weez earned more money for being entered into more categories of the tournament.

Finding his way to the leaderboard Saturday with just five releases was Chris Paige of the Relentless Too crew. His releases earned him $500.

The Kraken fishing team caught the heaviest fun fish in the tournament, a 30-pound wahoo, and the biggest kingfish (24 1/2 pounds) to earn $2,534. At the top of the other fun fish categories were the teams of Crook and Crook (22 1/4-pound tuna for $12,666), and Rockstar OG (12 1/4-pound dolphin for $500).

Michelle Beltran of the Lady Rockstar crew was the top female, and earned a $500 prize.

Top anglers: 1.Chris Paige, Rentless Too, 500; 2. Nick Valdivia, Angler Management, 400; 3. Sean Lue, Crook and Crook, 400; 4.Ryan Rasberry, DaySea Fishing, 400; 5. Ariel Pared, Top Vee, 300; 6. Henry Jimenez, Rockstar OG, 300; Jorge Piedra Sr, Rockstar OG, 300. Top female: Michelle Beltran, Lady Rockstar, 200; Stephanie Gordon, Just Do It, 100; Marie Diaz, Asian Pearl 100. Top junior: James David Jr., Jichi, 200. Top boats: Asian Pearl 1000, Angler Management 900, Weez In The Keys 900, Notorious 900, Rockstar OG 800, Top Vee 800, Miss Britt 2 800.

•  Bass Pro Shops Southern Open: Van Soles of Haines City weighed 15 bass totalling 50 pounds, 15 ounces over three days to win the Bass Pro Shops Southern Open on Saturday in Central Florida’s Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. In his first B.A.S.S. professional tournament, Soles made headway toward securing a spot in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic. His winning strategy was to punch mats of vegetation with a Gambler BB Cricket.

Susan Cocking

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