Billfish Tournament

Marlin release highlights tourney

 

scocking@MiamiHerald.com

The D & D, owned and skippered by Danny Massa won top team honors in Saturday’s one-day Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament with six sailfish releases.

The four-man team aboard Ray Crawford’s Master Plan was runner-up in the billfish division with Roland Crawford’s release of a blue marlin estimated at 100 pounds.

A New Day topped the funfish division with 82 pounds of dolphin, including a 29.2-pounder caught by John Auerbach.

Brendan Ludwig on Happy Day Today and Matthew Voll on Playpen tied for junior division honors, releasing one sailfish apiece. Angela Benton was top female with one sail release aboard Hooked Up II.

The tournament was presented by Nova Southeastern University to raise money for its scholarship fund. A fleet of 18 boats totaled one marlin and 16 sailfish releases.

Blue marlin releases happen infrequently in South Florida billfish tournaments. The crew of Master Plan were trolling for dolphin and wahoo in about 635 feet of water off Hillsboro inlet when the big fish struck one of the outrigger lines baited with Bally hoo.

“When he hit, he greyhounded beautifully,” Roland Crawford said. “He took out 150 yards of line. We were clearing the lines while he wore himself down. But he was still healthy when he was released.”

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