The 36th Japan International Billfish Tournament (JIBT): A huge success repeated

The 36th Japan International Billfish Tournament (JIBT) was held July 19-21, 2014, in a beautiful rural town of Shimoda. This long-established, prestigious big game tournament strictly employs the angling rules of International Game Fish Association (IGFA). Mr. Peter Chaibongsai, director of science and policy of The Billfish Foundation (TBF), was also there for the second consecutive time to see the tournament, meet the anglers and talk with directors of JGFA.

Ninety-three teams trolled the marlin-rich water off Shimoda. Eighty-three were private boats while ten teams chartered local commercial captains and their boats.

The total number of bites amounted to sixty-seven with thirty-one marlin coming to the boat. Most were blue marlin, with four stripees and two blacks mixed in. Out of them, twenty-six fish were safely tagged and released. The release rate amounted to 70%, which is a sure indicator that the practice of tag & release is now solidly rooted in our big game fishing culture.

The winner of tournament was team Levante, which scored 495.6 points with two blue marlin, out of which one was tagged and released using 50lb test line. The fish caught by Mr. Tatsuyuki Okamoto of Levante, a 167.1 kg (368.4 lb) blue marlin, ranked largest in the tournament.
The shotgun start of JIBT 2014, with 93 boats heading to the fishing ground.
A blue marlin, leadered to be tagged soon and released in good condition. Boat: "Tiger"
A 167.1kg specimen caught and brought in by Levante. This proved to be the largest fish.

Elementary school students of Shimoda enjoyed the ride provided by the attending boats.
The large banquet hall of Hotel Izukyu was packed with anglers and guests for the award ceremony and dinner.
Happy faces. Team Levante also receives the monetary support to compete in Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament in 2015.