Team Mahalo gets on the top podium!

The 37th Japan International Billfish Tournament (JIBT), based in the beautiful small town of Shimoda, Japan, was severely affected by Typhoon Nangka. Originally 95 boats signed up, but the heavy swell from the south prohibited some teams to check in, resulting in 82 in actual number. This three-day tournament was scaled back to the last day only, but considering the scale of the system it was inevitable.

The marlin report was poor during the previous weeks. Then all of a sudden the "Black Current" decided to wander up, bringing in the 80 degree water closer. In the morning of July 20th, the shotgun start was at 06:00, one hour earlier than the original schedule in order to maximize the fishing time of the last and the only competition day. Numerous yellowfin tuna were observed and caught in the beginning, but at 07:34 the first blue marlin was brought to boatside of "Lay A Ghost" skippered by Ken Matsuura, a reelmaker. The morning bite was hot, resulting in the total of 19 blue marlin caught, one of which was mauled by a shark and thus disqualified. 15 were safely released with tags installed. Not bad at all for 8 hours of fishing!

Team Mahalo tagged and released two marlin using 50lb line climbed on top of the podium. The runners-up used 30 lb line but only caught one fish each. The biggest was blue marlin of 152.3 kg (335.76 lb), caught by Shinnosuke Sugimoto of Idaten VIII.

Following is the data of JIBT this year:

- Participating boats: 82
- Number of anglers: 405
- Marlin strikes: 51
- Marlin caught: 18 (all blue)
- Marlin released: 15

The 38th JIBT is scheduled in the same time frame in 2016; the exact date is to be announced.
Lay A Ghost caught the very first marlin of the day
Mahalo on the deep blue
Miss Billfish asking for donation for a good cause

Three fish were brought in to weigh
Team Mahalo got the ticket to compete in HIBT 2016
What a great party it was, again!