Debbie 1 ruled the 33rd Saipan International Fishing Tournament held over the weekend after reeling in the heaviest single catch in the competition.
The Roque Chaco-skippered Debbie 1 caught a 384.50-lb marlin yesterday morning to beat more than 60 boats for the top honors. The winning catch was the lone fish Roque and his crewmembers Randal, Ronaldo, Ray, and Tony Chaco, and Romy Magan got after nearly five hours of fishing yesterday and came a day after they lost three big marlins.
“We had three last Saturday, but they got away and we only managed to bring back a 20-lb wahoo. Today, we also had one catch, but a big one so we are very happy,” said Roque, who named the 26-foot boat after his wife Debbie.
“This one did not get away, but we had a hard time loading it to the boat,” Roque added.
Debbie 1 reeled in the prized catch around 10am and Roque and company called it a day, returning to the dock of Smiling Cove Marina around 12pm. Staff from the Division of Fish and Wildlife then had to use a boom truck to bring in the nearly 10-foot marlin to the weighing station.
“We got this outside the Goat Island,” said Roque, who joined the Saipan Fishermen Association-organized tournament for the first time in 2012 and missed the competition for four years before returning this year. The winning boat is based in Agat, Guam and placed second in the mahi category when it debuted in the SFA tournament.
Debbie 1’s marlin will get the grand prize (unofficial) of this year’s event, grabbing the victory from Day 1 leader Aquaholics, who got a 344.50-lb billfish. Brett Two had the third heaviest marlin at 201.75, while DBGY recorded the fourth heaviest at 184.85. The final rankings in the billfish category have yet to be announced, officially and the results reported were just based on the tally board on display at the competition site as of 5:30pm yesterday. Debbie 1, Aquaholics, Brett Two, and BDGY’s catches surpassed the 137.40-lb marlin Padre De Familia got when the latter won last year’s competition.
Aquaholics took the lead after Day 1 when it brought in its marlin at the weighing station between 5pm and 5:30pm. Aquaholics captain Robert S. Diaz and his crewmembers had to be patient before they could find out the weight of their marlin, as the scale malfunctioned. With the weighing scale still not working, officials decided to measure the marlin before taking it out of Smiling Cove Marina to have it weighed in the event’s alternate scale.
Meanwhile, the champions in the yellowfin and skipjack tuna, mahi, and wahoo categories will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Wednesday edition, as the winners will be officially announced tonight at the awards banquet at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.