Victoria tops mahi category in Guam derby


Husband and wife Diego and Vicky Benavente of Victoria show the 24.9-lb mahi they caught last Sunday during the Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby. (Contributed Phot

Victoria won the mahi category of the Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby held over the weekend after reeling in a 24.9-lb catch.

“It was our only catch and the heaviest mahi we have caught so far,” said crewmember Vicky Benavente, who joined Victoria captain and her husband Diego, and fellow anglers Scott Schular and Joe Deleon Guerrero in the Aug. 19 to 20 competition.

Victoria came back to the loading dock last Saturday empty-handed and seemed headed for another fruitless voyage last Sunday as morning had already passed and still there’s no signs of getting a prized catch. Then early afternoon, while coasting the Rota Banks, north of Guam, Victoria reeled in the more than five feet mahi.

“We reeled it into the boat around 12:30pm. This is the biggest that we’ve caught, bigger by just .3lb than the mahi that gave us the win in the Saipan Fishermen’s Association Mahi Derby in 2015,” Vicky told Saipan Tribune after Victoria made it back to Saipan shore last Tuesday morning.

“The Guam derby started at 5am and ended at 7pm. That’s 14 hours on the water, for two straight days and we loved every minute of it,” she added.

The victory in the mahi category is a big boost to Victoria after it failed to win any division in last month’s 33rd Saipan International Fishing Tournament. Victoria, which conquered the Tinian Fishing Derby in May this year, will next compete in the Rota Fishing Derby this October and hopes to make it back-to-back after ruling the same tournament last year.

Meanwhile, another Saipan-based team finished in the Top 3 in the Guam tournament last weekend.

Team Bella of Associate Justice Perry Inos placed runner-up in the marlin category after reeling in a 493-pounder.

In other results, Debbie 1 took the grand prize in the annual tournament after catching a 511-lb marlin. The same boat captained by Roque Chaco topped the 33rd Saipan International Fishing Tournament after bringing in a 384.50-lb marlin at the Smiling Cove Marina dock during the second and final day of the competition.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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