Spice Island Billfish Tournament, Grenada

Well, I was lucky enough to get to Grenada last minute to fish on the 45 Hatteras, Exile, that I spent so much time on in the beginning of my career.  It was good to see the ol’ girl, and she still can raise some fish.  With the tradewinds in Grenada, it is a little bumpy most days, but plenty fishable everyday in Grenada, especially with the short, 15 mile run.  The temps are in the 80-90s and sunny everyday with an occasional rain squall. A little tropical shower never hurt anybody.  It really is beautiful there, the people are extremely nice, and the fishing is even better!  The water temperature where we fished was 80 degrees all three days.  Most of the action was around the “hump” which is a seamount that comes up to about 280 fathoms from depths deeper then 1000 fathoms.  Every morning the action seemed to be best around the hump and even a few miles surrounding it.  In the afternoon the fish seemed to move a little inshore between the 500-1000 fathom lines.

I missed the first day of the tournament (1/28) and got in for the second day of fishing (Wednesday 1/29).  Frank Pettisani, ran the boat on day one and two, and we ended up 2/5 on sails raising 7.  Unfortunately the picture of the release of one of the sailfish didn’t turn out so we only got credit for 1.  All five of our bites came in about an hour about 3-4 miles North of the hump in the later morning.

The third day of fishing (my second day) was a lay day for the tournament, but we still fished, and this turned out to be the most action packed day.  Today was also the day of the NEW MOON (Thursday, January 30th).  We raised at least 7 sails going 1/4 on them.  We had a Blue marlin race through the spread and come up on the triple dredge of ballyhoo, but it never ate.  We picked at a few nice mahi, and late in the day we had a school of mahi invade our spread, and at the same time, we had a small blue marlin eat the right flat, then one on the left teaser, then another on the left long.  I am pretty sure that it was a triple header of blue marlin, but it all happened so fast all I can say is that they definitely were not sailfish.  We got one hooked up on the right flat dink ballyhoo, and two more fish hooked up which turned out to be dolphin in the 20 pound range. We put the two dolphin in the boat and Frank put in work on the blue until we got the release.  Fun day full of action, and we started to realize that blue/white color combos were the most productive.  The fish were feeding heavily on large flying fish, and the blue chugger heads and blue/white islander chasers were getting the majority of the bites.  I wonder too if the fish just preferred the bigger baits that we had on the teasers and chuggers since they were similar in size to the flying fish…?

The last day we fished was also the last day of the tournament (Friday, January 31st).  We had fished in pockets of blue water the past two days, but the blue water was scattered.  Our morning started us off with a sailfish and then another sail teaser bite that never took a hook bait.  The rest of the morning was quiet for us as we were north of the hump where the bite for us had been great in the morning the past two days, but the hump was the spot to be this morning and I found out a little too late.  We pushed inside with no luck then moved off to the hump when I found out the bite was good there.  We raised a sail that didn’t eat then lost a white marlin on the southern part of the hump.  The bite had slowed down and boat traffic there was pretty heavy so we pushed back inside. We ended up raising a blue which hammered the left teaser 2 different times, but missed Spencer’s hook bait.  Shortly after that we pulled the hook on another sail.  Overall it was just  a tough tournament for us, but great action.  Poor finishes are extremely disappointing, but all you can do is learn from it and come back amping to drive home a win next time.

It was a blast fishing with the crew again, Frank and Spencer, as well as meeting new friends, Chris and Sandy.  Great crew of fisherman, and everyone vibes well.  I can’t wait to fish together again and put up some real numbers.  I love fishing new places and learning new techniques as well as seeing what fish react to in those areas.  There is always more to learn in fishing, and that is what I love the most about it.


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2 responses to “Spice Island Billfish Tournament, Grenada

  1. sandy

    it was nice meeting you guys and working on the exile. hope to see you again soon.

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