Heading into this years West Coast Triple Crown Series we were hopeful for good fishing for all three events. We had no idea it would be soooo good. The Triple Crown Series is coined the “Iron Man” of billfishing by team captain Brian Turner. This series consists of three events, one every other week in which you leave port on Wednesday and return on Saturday. So pull up your big boy pants and get to rigging. Hold on to your rods cause the fishing has been epic!
The first leg of the series, Yellowfin Billfish Classic, proved the fish were plentiful in the loop current off our coast. We had a total of 9 billfish caught along with some pretty massive “funfish”. Teams Haulin’ Grass and For Now were able to catch and release a few sailfish along with weighing some nice Wahoo and Mahi. The next team No Limit, which is the current reigning champion from last year, came to the weigh in packing with a Blue Marlin and Sailfish releases. They also had an impressive 166.8 lb Swordfish weighed at the scales. The best was yet to come with Team South Paw. They truly had an epic trip. They released a Blue Marlin, two White Marlin and a sailfish. Our first grand slam of the event.
This was just the beginning.
The second leg of the series, Crosthwait Memorial Billfish Tournament, proved to show the fishing was even better than round one. This was the first time (that we know of) that EVERY TEAM fishing caught a billfish. Yes, 100% of the field released billed beasts. EPIC doesn’t even do it justice. This round the teams were bragging even before they made it to the weigh in. 12 billfish were released with 7 of them being Blue Marlin. The competition was close. Team Hooker came up with 2 Blue Marlin and a sailfish netting them 1101 points – yes, this would normally take the win. But, it was team Haulin’ Grass that had the truly epic moment of this event, they had an impressive double hook-up on Blue Marlin! They managed to bring them to the boat, get some great footage and then tag them for the Billfish Foundation to use for research. They also had a White Marlin hook up which made their total points rack up to 1252 points and claim the win. Team South Paw didn’t go quietly this round either, they had a Blue Marlin and a White Marlin release this round along with weighing in a massive 125.36lb Yellowfin Tuna.
This is only the second leg of three events.
Next week the teams will head out once again to the Loop Current. This is the third and final leg of the series and will determine which team will win the Triple Crown and $50,000 jackpot. The Old Salt Loop Billfish Tournament is in its 45th year. This event was actually the founding event for the Old Salt Fishing Foundation. It is held in our home town of Madeira Beach. We are hoping to repeat, if not better last weeks fishing stats. There is room for competition teams to come fish – contact us for all the info. (The Old Salt Line – 727-216-6601) Come out the the weigh-in and see what they bring back to the scales. The weigh-in is at 1pm and will be held at the Madeira Beach Marina.
Check out the video of the double-hook up from Haulin Grass.
Want to know the current LEADERBOARD? Here is how the teams currently stack up:
- South Paw – 1852 pts
- Haulin’ Grass – 1352 pts
- No Limit – 1202 pts
- Hooker – 1102 pts
- For Now – 701 pts
- Manna Ray – 100pts