Olei tops category in Luta Fishing Derby’

Posted on Oct 13 2022

The $3,000 check is presented by Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig, middle, to the crew of Olei, captained by John Hattig, fifth from left, after they won the Marlin category for their 160-lb marlin, in the 2022 Bud Light Luta Fishing Derby last Oct. 7 to 8. 

The Bud Light Luta Fishing Derby last Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 on Rota reeled in a total of 34 boats, with the boat Olei, captained by John Hattig, topping the Marlin category with a whopping 160-lb marlin as the biggest catch.

The crew of Olei won $3,000 for their two days of work off the waters of the West Harbor Marina in Songsong, Rota.

In second place with a $1,200 cash prize was the boat Hiptimco, captained by Vincent King, for his 121-lb marlin. In third place with a $800 paycheck was the boat Traveller captained by John Cruz, with a catch of a 109-lb marlin.

In the Wahoo category, Almon Rock’R II, captained by Alfred Taimanao, came in first with a 43.5-lb catch, securing $1,200. Second place for $800 was the boat Papa San, captained by Paul Roberto, with a 40.5-lb catch. Third place went to a 39-lb catch from John Cruz’s Traveller for $500.

For the Yellowfin Tuna category, $700 and first place went to the boat Jernie, captained by Keith Espinosa, for their 17.5-lb catch. Second place went to the boat Ray Ann, captained by Ray Taitague for their 16.5-lb haul, cashing in $500. Paul Roberto’s boat, Papa San, added $300 to their money pool for their third place catch of 15.5-lbs.

Captain John Hattig, right, poses with his boat Olei’s 160-lb marlin catch, which won them $3,000 during the 2022 Bud Light Luta Fishing Derby last Oct. 7 to 8. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Over in the Bonito Tuna category, Paul Roberto’s Papa San brought in an additional $400 to their paycheck, for a total of $1,500, after catching the heaviest fish at 8 lbs. They were followed by MV Gilita, captained by Deron Mendiola and received $250 for their 5-lb catch. Third place for $150 was also a 5-lbs catch from the boat MV Villa Marie, captained by Victor Val Hocog.

In the Total Weight category, first place was the boat Jernie III, captained by Keith Espinosa, which had a haul of 127-lbs for $700. The boat Traveller, captained by John Cruz, added another $500 for their overall haul of 109.5-lbs. The boat Don Pedro II, captained by Joaquin Cruz, received $300 for their 105.5-lbs haul.

The Most Variety category for $200 was won by the boat Peudi Suette II, captained by Ignacio V. Lizama Jr. for three different types of fish. 

The award ceremony was held at the Chamorro Village at 8pm, where the cash prizes and trophies were handed to the respective winners of each category.

Prior to the derby, a mandatory Fishing Derby orientation was held on Oct. 6.

The sponsors for the derby included the Rota Mayor’s Office, 18th Rota Municipal Council, Marianas Visitors Authority, Ambros Inc., Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, and Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The Fishing Derby coincided with Rota’s annual “Bisita Luta” festival and the San Francisco de Borja Festival, which brought in new and returning tourists to the island of Rota and all took part in a concert, cultural activities, indigenous cuisine, and many more. 

Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig said, “It brings me so much joy to see our people beaming with pride over the food they have caught or prepared, as well as the sense of accomplishment they feel after winning a competition. I am excited about the new competition that we will be having this year, which is the Bisita Luta’s longest cast with spinning rod competition.”

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.
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