The Bahamas Billfish Championship returns for its 43rd year with four tournaments, a new point structure and bigger cash prizes.
Tournament directors have brought back the popular Million Dollar Marlin prize for an angler who catches a blue marlin that breaks the current Bahamas record of 1,119 pounds. Dave Albury set the record at the Treasure Cay Championship in 2011.
“It’s going to be exciting to see if someone catches that million-dollar marlin,” tournament director Jennifer Dudas said. “It’s been done before at Treasure Cay. It’s possible that this year at Treasure Cay we can see it happen again.”
The previous two blue marlins over 1,000 pounds — Sam Jenning’s 1,060.5 and Rick Smith’s 1,030-pounder — also were caught at the Treasure Cay Championship.
Catching that blue marlin is not the only way to win big at this year’s BBC. The first team to catch a grand slam — a sailfish, a white marlin and a blue marlin — in one day in any of the BBC tournaments wins $5,000.
A new point structure of 600 points for blue marlin, 100 for white marlin and 50 for sailfish offers an incentive for anglers to chase the big fish if that’s their preference, Dudas said.
The Bahamas Billfish Championship is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tourneys. Cumulative points determine the overall Bahamas Billfish champion. Dates and locations are:
- Guana Cay Championship: May 4-7
- Boat Harbour Championship: May 18-21
- Harbour Island Championship: June 1-4
- Treasure Cay Championship: June 15-18
Also on the radar is a new challenge for anglers: a chance to fish Cuba. At the conclusion of the BBC series, boats can travel to Cuba for the new Gamefish Grande. The first of two tournaments will be held at the new 1,100-slip Marina Gaviota Varadero. The format will include three days of fishing June 25-28. The marina has extended 30 percent off accommodations and has special dockage rates for tournament participants.
From Varadero, boats will travel to Havana for the final tournament of the Gamefish Grande on June 29-July 2. The Club Nautico Internacional Hemingway de Cuba and Cuba Travel Services will be the hosts.
The BBC was purchased in 2014 by Active Interest Media, which owns Soundings Trade Only and Anglers Journal, among many other special-interest magazines.