By John Bell
Alice Town, BIMINI - The recently re-opened Bimini Big Game Club will resume its rightful place on the grand sport fishing tournament circuit when it hosts the first leg of the 2011 Bahamas Wahoo Challenge, November 11-14, 2010.
The Bimini Big Game Club, a legendary outpost for fishermen and host to numerous major sport fishing tournaments for more than half a century, officially re-opened this summer as a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort & Marina following completion of a $3,500,000 renovation that included all guest rooms, the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, and the Outfitter Shop, a retail experience featuring sportswear, fishing supplies and gifts.
Approaching its fifth year of competition, the Bahamas Wahoo Challenge has attracted the best wahoo anglers in the world to the Bahamas. The Wahoo Challenge, according to Tournament Director Tony Albelo, consists of three tournaments—Bimini; Port Lucaya on January 12-16, 2011; and March 3-6, 2011 in the Bahamas. Each tournament is an individual competition, but also adds points to the overall series. Teams can compete in one or all three legs.
According to Albelo, the wahoo fishing continues to be red hot.
“The top fish for the 2006 series was a 95-pound torpedo weighed in by “Nothin’s Wild” out of Homestead, Florida,” he began. “The following years all saw increased numbers of fish and fish size, likely due to new rules and regulations enacted by the Bahamas. As a tournament, the Challenge also adopted new rules reducing the fish count to four fish per team. These small efforts in concert have made a noticeable impact on fishing.”
In 2008, the Bahamian-crew on “Zephyros” hauled in a 105-pound behemoth which is the largest wahoo taken in any tournament in the Bahamas. Fish in the 80-plus pound range are routinely caught in the Challenge as fishing continues to be improving.
Bimini’s location along the legendary Gulfstream (a “river” of warm water) location is at the apex of a superhighway for migrating fish and acts as a kind of sushi conveyor belt carrying abundant food to the local fish. Deepwater game fish include marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo and swordfish, while big grouper, barracuda and schools of snapper can be found on the reefs. Bimini’s flats are home the fishermen’s favorite prey, bonefish and permit. With more than 50-record-setting catches in the waters around the island, Bimini has earned its title of Sport Fishing Capital of the World.
Bahamas Wahoo Challenge participants can call 800-867-4764 to reserve a room and slip at the Big Game Club. For more tournament information go to www.wahoochallenge.com .