With high winds and challenging swells, K-Fisher captain Tak Nakazato had his work cut out for him from the start of the 14th Annual Mahi Mahi Fishing Derby held last April 21.
At 6am, Nakazato’s boat and 31 others headed out of the Smiling Cove Marina to compete for the biggest mahi mahi catch of the day. The hard work paid off at around 2pm, as Nakazato and the crew of the K-Fisher hooked up a hungry 23-lb bull mahi mahi to win first place in the annual tournament.
“It was definitely fun, but a hard fought derby. It was rough and choppy all day for us.” K-Fisher angler Peter Sablan said.
“Thank you to the SFA team for putting together a very nice mahi derby,” Sablan added.
It was the second mahi derby Sablan and his fellow anglers had competed in, but first for the K-Fisher. Joining Nakazato and Sablan on the winning team were Elmer Ocampo, Joe Torres and Jess Ombid.
In other results, Team 10-7 placed second after reeling in a 21.25-lb mahi mahi. The team is captained by Alvin Iglecias, while the anglers are Keith Torres, LeeJay Echalico, and John Jimeno. Captain Ton Flores and Team Aquaholics with anglers Jervy Babauta and Steve Pangelinan brought in a 20.8 lb to rank third.
Meanwhile, Saipan Fishermen’s Association president Gene Weaver was relieved that the tournament finally pushed through. The event was originally scheduled early last month.
“We are grateful that the weather finally cleared so that more than 30 boats and over a 100 fishermen could compete in the Marianas waters, Weaver said. “Next on the calendar is the 34th annual Saipan International Fishing Tournament in July.”
SFA and Weaver also thanked the following supporters of the competition: Marianas Visitors Authority, NPS, Division of Fish and Wildlife, SNILD, MARPAC, Docomo Pacific, and Fishing Tackle. (PR)