Record-setting 86 marlin caught during 41st edition of JIBT


With Typhon Nari approaching Japan, the 41st edition of Japan International Billfish Tournament looked doomed.  Anglers and skippers knew that fish were there, so they were eager to go out, but of course safety comes first.  The tournament directors used the latest weather report and forecast for the decisions, and they saw the window of possibility.

The result of day 1 was nothing short of spectacular.  The first strike call came in at 07:54 in the morning, followed by a steady stream of calls from various boats. The first marlin was caught at as early as 08:08.  The total number of strikes amounted to 140, resulting in 64 catches (out of which 41 marlin were tagged and released).  This is the record number of fish caught in a day at JIBT.

The second day was canceled due to the big sea and stiff breeze.  The start of the third day was delayed by two hours, and the time to stop fishing was pushed ahead accordingly.  Fish stayed in the area for more action, adding 61 strikes and 22 catches.  Team Mahalo, which led the tournament the first day with spectacular 4 catches, won the tournament.

Following is the data of JIBT this year: - Participating boats: 86

- Number of anglers: 600
- Billfish strikes: 203
- Billfish caught: 86 (4 stripee, 81 blue and 1 spearfsh)
- Billfish released: 58

The 42nd JIBT is scheduled in the same time frame in 2020; the exact date is to be announced.
Plenty of beer and friendship … Kickoff party
Elementary school kids enjoying the ride of sportfishers
Fish are plenty, so no need to hurry!

A blue caught by the winning team Mahalo
This fish didn’t make it for the weigh-in, but oh it was big
Grand outdoor banquet as the wrap-up