True to their boat’s name, Lucky Harvest topped last Saturday’s 2nd Annual Tinian Beef, Beer and Bands Festival Fishing Derby after reeling in a 772.5-lb marlin.
Making up the crew of Lucky Harvest are captain Cecilio Raiukiulipiy and deckhands Ray Dela Cruz Jr., Jeffrey Hofschneider, Jun Salik, and J.J. Sablan.
According to Raiukiulipiy, who is a master navigator, they caught the monster marlin using a Mikenzee lure and just before Coke Reef. He said he and his trusty crew fought it for about 3 hours.
He dedicated winning the top prize in the 2nd Annual Tinian Beef, Beer and Bands Festival Fishing Derby to Peter Olopai and Basilio Blas.
“They are my late crew who passed away this month. They went on to deeper and bigger oceans to fish with our creator,” said Raiukiulipiy.
A long time peskadot who learned the ropes of fishing around the Marianas at the tender age of 6 years old, Raiukiulipiy and company won a grand total of $3,500 in the one-day derby—$2,000 for the monster marlin and $1,500 for winning the wahoo category.
He and his crew immediately shared their blessing by donating the whole entirety of the 772.5-lb prizewinning marlin to Tinian’s man’amko.
“We donated to the Tinian senior citizens…Our culture is to give it to the elders…God of the ocean will give us more blessings,” he said.
Aside from the billfish and wahoo categories, the 2nd Annual Tinian Beef, Beer and Bands Festival Fishing Derby also awarded prizes to the heaviest yellowfin ($1,500) and mahi ($500). Saipan Tribune is still awaiting the rest of the results from the Tinian Fishermen’s Association.
The fishing tournament was held from 5:30am to 6pm last Aug. 12 and participating boats launched from the Tinian Marina Dock.
Last year, Lucky Harvest also made use of their luck and skill in winning the 2nd Annual Wahoo in the Marianas after Raiukiulipiy and his loyal crew landed a 36.1-lb wahoo.