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TBF’s Junior Angler Program

Do you remember where, when, and what you used to catch the first fish that got you “hooked” on fishing? Who were you with and how did that singular experience get you more involved with fishing and conservation? 2016 is year of the Junior Angler for The Billfish Foundation and TBF is developing content for their Junior Angler Program and we would love for you to be a part of it. We want to get a first hand report on your most memorable fishing experience – not necessarily billfish related.

We believe that many in the sportfishing community (and our members especially) have shown great commitment and passion to furthering conservation and would love to honor that with your words. TBF wants to recognize your achievements, dedication to the sport, and the first time you were “hooked” in pursing this lifestyle. The anglers represented in this program will spearhead it and will in turn be acknowledged as a representative of the program to show others why conservation and fishing go hand in hand. The interview will take place over email or phone and photos/videos are needed to share the story. We hope to hear from many of you. Please contact tag@billfish.org to have your story shared.

Please use the hashtag #tbfjr on social media so we can share and recognize you, your family and friends fishing.

The post TBF’s Junior Angler Program appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Incidental Bluefin Tuna Caught by Anglers in Gulf

This summer’s Gulf of Mexico’s tournament season began “white hot” with good numbers of marlin, including large ones, and bluefin tuna, which presented unexpected excitement for anglers in the region.  Federal fishery regulations prohibit the targeting of bluefin tuna by both the commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf, but each category is allowed a limited “incidental” landing quota of the species.  An incidental catch occurs when anglers target another species, marlin or other tunas, and have a bluefin tuna take the bait.  Only recently, thanks to TBF, has the government allocated a quota for bluefin tuna caught by anglers in the Gulf. The quota is small, only 3,306.9 pounds, which can be filled quickly with a few large bluefin tuna.  The first bluefin weighed 647.80 pounds and was caught by Sydney Turner on board the boat You Never Know during the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club’s Memorial Day Tournament; that tuna won the Tuna Category in the tournament.  A second bluefin tuna was caught and weighed in the Gulf of Mexico during the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic, an event that did not include bluefin as a qualifying fish in their tuna division.  The fish landed by Trey Thormahlen on board the boat the Bimini Babe weighed 541 pounds.   It will not take but a few more large bluefin to be weighed for the quota to be met and the season closed.  Boats can only keep one trophy size (73” + fork of tail to lower jaw) bluefin a year in the Gulf.

 

The post Incidental Bluefin Tuna Caught by Anglers in Gulf appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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General Category Atlantic Bluefin Retention Limit Adjustment

NMFS Adjusts the General Category Daily Retention Limit for June-August 2016 to Five Fish

May 11, 2016

Courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category daily retention limit from the default limit of one to five large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73″ or greater) per vessel per day/trip for June 1 through August 31, 2016 (the General category does not open until June 1, 2016). The approved gear types for Atlantic Tunas General category permitted vessels are rod and reel, handline, bandit gear, greenstick, and harpoon.

In deciding the retention limit, NMFS considered the amount of available quota, effects of the action on the fishery, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, the data collected from the fishery, the effects on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives management plans. This action is intended to provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2016 General category quota; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.

Changes applicable to General category permit holders

The daily retention limit adjustment applies to vessels permitted in the commercial Atlantic tunas General category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing commercially (not-for hire fishing). It is effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and vessels are not allow to target BFT. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed. For example (and specific to the June through August 2016 limit), whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the daily limit of five fish may not be exceeded upon landing.

Current Limits for HMS Angling and Charter/Headboat Vessels

Effective April 23, 2016, through December 31, 2016, the bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits are the following. For HMS Angling-permitted vessels: 2 school BFT (27 to <47″) + 1 large school/small medium BFT (47 to <73″); for HMS Charter/Headboat-permitted vessels: 3 school BFT + 1 large school/small medium BFT. These limits are effective for all areas except the Gulf of Mexico. The recreational BFT trophy fishery (73″+) is currently open north of 39°18′ (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ) as well as in the Gulf of Mexico with a limit of 1 BFT measuring 73″ or greater/vessel/year. For further information, see notices in library (at left).

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. General category, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov.

Please keep informed and up to date on changes to retention limits, quotas and closures through TBF’s news and sign up for our monthly newsletter. For more information please contact Science & Policy Specialist, Michael Kelly at Michael_Kelly@billfish.org.

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State Flushes Polluted Water onto East Coast Reefs but Coral Reef Initiative targets recreational fishing

The South East Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI), coordinated under Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, momentum is driven by a  tax exempt organization 501 (c) (3)  – Friends of Our Florida Reefs (FOFR), founded in 2015. The non-profit makes prominent the words “Our Florida Reefs” as a mantra for its movement to support and enhance the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (FDEP CRCP).  Florida Statute 112.3251 identifies such an organization as a citizens’ support group (CSG), which can raise money for its organizational needs, but it also can raise funds to help fill government budget gaps. Helping to fill budget gaps could garner favor with government decision makers.  The non-profit strives to secure protections for the coral reefs offshore from the St. Lucie Inlet south to the northern border of Biscayne National Park.

FOFR established Community Working Groups (CWG or the Groups) that invite citizens to gather and discuss mutual reef issues of concern; the groups have benefit of the state government providing public notices for their meetings. The Groups’ members have identified an array of concerns they believe threaten the reefs, including recreational fishing.  Most all who enjoy Florida’s marine waters embrace the goal of conserving reefs, but the devil will be in the details.  The Groups are drafting management recommendations for the “use and protection of Florida east coast reefs,” which no doubt will include restrictions on recreational fishing, yet recreational fishing interests included in the discussions are extremely limited. Management of recreational fishing should be under the jurisdiction of the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Before targeting responsible users of offshore state waters, why didn’t the Groups focus their energy directly on the major threat to the east coast reefs –government discharge of toxic runoff from Lake Okeechobee into the Atlantic Ocean and rivers?  Toxic water, 70,000 gallons per second, poses more harm to Florida’s east coast reefs than recreational fishing or boating.  

The next “all day” Community Working Group meeting is scheduled for June 1 between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek.  The purpose of this meeting is to continue developing more management recommendations.  All day meetings are not conducive to genuine public inclusion for most people work eight hours a day. TBF will stay on top of this issue and be present at meetings. Stay Tuned and share with your friends.

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The Billfish Foundation Announces 2016 Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

For Immediate Release   –  May 4, 2016                  

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA –  Today, The Billfish Foundation (TBF), the world’s leading sportfishing conservation organization for marlin, sailfish, spearfish and associated highly migratory fish, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and is announcing the winners of its prestigious Rybovich Lifetime Achievement Award – Captain Kelvin “Red” Bailey, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Captain Ernie Foster, Hatteras, North Carolina and Bonnie Powell, Brandon, Florida.  The Award is named in honor of the late John Rybovich, a pioneer in billfish conservation and sportfishing vessel design.  Award presentations will be made during TBF’s annual gala, held this year on Friday, November 4, 2016 at the Harbor Beach Marriott resort on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida.

Captain Kelvin “Red” Bailey, of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, began sportfishing when famous Captain Tommy Gifford offered him, as a 19 year old, a mate’s job saying “if you’re interested son, you can start tomorrow.” Red started and 52 years later continues to show up tomorrow.  Following his time with Gifford, Red worked for Johnny Harms during which he earned his captain’s license allowing him to take charter clients fishing, including Dr. Lyman and Nancy Spire. Before long, Red worked for the Spires as captain of their Abigail II and their custom built Abigail III, now the oldest local charter boat on the island and owned by Red Bailey. Throughout his career Red encouraged tag and release and the use of single hooks – the Red Bailey lure by Mold Craft contains only one hook. In a Marlin Magazine interview, he noted that in the “early days” he found anglers were “more interested in the skill of sportfishing rather than catching the most fish.” He remains a promoter of the sport in the Caribbean, serving as President of the Virgin Islands Game Fishing Club’s Board of Directors, and has said he would like to be remembered as “someone who worked to ensure that sportfishing would be around for future generations to enjoy.”  Today, Red’s son, Kelvin Bailey Jr., is a charter captain and one who gave him a member of the “next generation,” a grandson who will enjoy offshore fishing one day.

Captain Ernie Foster of Hatteras, North Carolina, grew up on boats fishing in the family’s charter business, the Albatross Fleet.  His father, Capt. Ernal Foster, one might say launched charter fishing in the region in 1937 when he began charging anglers to take them fishing; others laughed.  In the early 1950s when his boat landed a 451 pound blue marlin, the Dare County’s first public relations specialist was present and took photos. When those photos spread worldwide, Hatteras was on the map as a hot spot for offshore fishing.  Ernie’s brother was the first in the region to have clients request the release of a giant blue marlin, which he did. Today, Ernie runs the Albatross III while managing the Albatross Fleet and its 250 charters a year.  Having witnessed significant changes in fishing, in government regulations and changes in the abundance of many fish species, Ernie finds it necessary to take an active role with fishery management issues. And, when some situations pit commercial fishing and recreational fishing against one another in his community, that is when Ernie most likely finds his earlier professional experience as a guidance counselor most useful.  Ernie views his community of Hatteras as a “fishing community” first, for each person there depends on fishing either directly or indirectly – a way of life Foster wants to see continue for all Hatteras residents.

Bonnie Powell of Brandon, Florida started fishing at a young age, including fishing the Tampa Tarpon Tournament year after year.  Once married to her late husband, Captain Billy Powell, they, along with their boys, fished in Bimini, where Bonnie caught a blue marlin that placed in a tournament.  Her fishing skills also have earned her two world records fishing with light tackle.   After joining the International Women’s Fishing Association (IWFA), an organization founded in 1955 by female anglers, Bonnie became very active within the group. A perfect fit for Bonnie, who, like all the other members, loves to fish, practice responsible fishing techniques, support conservation and raise funds for college scholarships.  Bonnie served on IWFA’s Board, as its President (1991 – 1993), was presented its Ann Kunkle Memorial Sportsmanship award in 1999 and was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame (2000).  Bonnie now serves as the Executive Secretary of the International Light Tackle Tournament Association (ILTTA), once an all male fishing group, where she coordinates participation in an annual light tackle release tournament hosted by member clubs in different locations. ILTTA promotes sportfishing, camaraderie, conservation and good fishing practices. Bonnie also provides radio services for The Masters Angling Tournament, for the Ocean Reef Cup, and for the Stuart Sailfish Club’s Light Tackle Tournament. Bonnie is also known for her delightful “people skills.”

Please join TBF in congratulating winners on their lifetime achievement awards and have fun celebrating TBF’s 30th anniversary of advancing billfish conservation worldwide.  TBF is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization created in 1986 by anglers to insure healthy stocks of fish and great sportfishing opportunities worldwide.

Contact: Ellen_peel@billfish.org                                                                                                            (954) 202-9267                                  

 

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Rum Bum Racing Suspends IMSA Campaign

Long-loyal squad hits ‘pause’ in IMSA

Orlando, Fla. (25 April 2016) –  Enough is enough, for now. After a record-setting run that saw the squad go from mere concept to winningest team in series history, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing will suspend its 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge campaign.

The team made a winning first impression in 2010, taking a victory at Daytona International Speedway in its first-ever race with drivers Matt Plumb and Gian Bacardi.

From that speedy debut, the team has accumulated in its 66 starts, 21 wins, 6 poles, and 32 podiums. It has completed 91% of total race laps, and has led 17% of those laps. The organization won the GRAND-AM Championship in 2012 and scored another spot in the record books with an encore GRAND-AM Championship again in 2013.

The team not only scored back-to-back titles for the team and drivers in 2012 and 2013, Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing also played critical points-generating roles in the Manufacturers Championship, pushing BMW to the title in 2010 and 2011, and then doing the same for Porsche again in 2012 and 2013.

Rum Bum Racing wasn’t afraid of the big stage, either. The team came just a coffee mug of fuel short of scoring a podium in their Rolex 24 At Daytona debut in 2013 with an Audi R8, and again made a big impression with an exploratory run in IMSA’s GTD Class at Sebring in 2014.

Lead driver and General Manager Matt Plumb raced into the record books, not only becoming the winningest driver in the history of the championship, but also doing so in record time. Team Manager Joe Varde also added to his Championship record of 9 as driver and crew chief.

Aligned with Bacardi’s emerging Rum Bum brand, the team has been a successful group off the track as well. With a full merchandise line of apparel for its fans to support the team’s IMSA efforts, a remarkable social media following with over 53,000 fans on Facebook, and a concerted effort to give fans the behind the scenes look at the team via a significant video effort (www.rumbumracing.com/videos), the team has been as active getting the word out as it has to get the wins.

Originally formed ahead of the 2010 GRAND-AM season, Rum Bum Racing has remained loyal to GRAND-AM, and then IMSA. The 2015 season saw the signature preparation and pit execution from the Joe Varde-led team, however the team came up short in pace for the Championship over the powerful Stevenson Camaro. The 2016 season saw the team fighting once again to hold a lead on a number of occasions due to once again perfect strategy and execution in the pits only to suffer a devastating mechanical failure at Daytona and a third place finish at Sebring.

The team will continue to evaluate competition possibilities in the future as well as investigate partnership opportunities.

Rum Bum Racing Information:
2010: 3 Wins (Daytona, Trois-Rivieres, Miller Motorsports Park)
BMW Manufacturer Championship
2011: 3 Wins (Daytona, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course)
BMW Manufacturer Championship
2012: 5 Wins (Barber Motorsports Park, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Road America, Watkins Glen, Lime Rock Park)
IMSA Team Champions, Porsche wins Manufacturer Championship
2013: 3 Wins (Barber Motorsports Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America)
IMSA Team and Driver Champions, Porsche wins Manufacturer Championship
2014: 1 Win (Kansas Speedway)
2015: 3 Wins (Daytona, Road America, Virginia International Raceway)

The post Rum Bum Racing Suspends IMSA Campaign appeared first on Rum Bum Racing.

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Daily Trip Limit Adjustments for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category

Courtesy of National Marine Fisheries Service

April 20, 2016

Today National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces adjustments to the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to vessels permitted in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally for BFT) effective April 23, 2016, through December 31, 2016, as follows:

New retention limits for HMS Angling vessels effective April 23, 2016 to December 31, 2016. Courtesy of NMFS.

In deciding these retention limits, NMFS considered the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments, which include available quota, fishery performance in recent years, availability of BFT on the fishing grounds, and the effects of the adjustment on the stock and on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and amendments.  These limits should provide opportunities to harvest the available U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it; prevent overharvest of the 2016 quotas; and collect a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes.

Who is Affected?

These daily retention limits apply to vessels permitted in the recreational HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing recreationally.  The daily retention limits are effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and where NMFS does not allow targeted fishing for BFT.  Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed.

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely.  General category, HMS Charter/ Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov.  Depending on fishing effort and catch rates, additional retention limit adjustments or fishery closures may be necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.

NMFS regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1) require that all BFT that are released be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water.  For additional information on safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure available atwww.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.

For additional information, go to hmspermits.noaa.gov , the official notice or contact Science & Policy Specialist, Michael Kelly at Michael_Kelly@Billfish.org .

Attention: NMFS announced that as of April 10, 2016 the bluefin tuna Trophy Angling Category south area is closed for large medium and giant “trophy” bluefin tuna (73” or greater) in the southern area by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the remainder of 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), not including the Gulf of Mexico. Any bluefin tuna caught by recreational anglers in the southern area must be released. This applies to all HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels in the southern area. See TBF news for further information.

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New Competition Category!

You spoke and we listened.

Many of the crews who take part in our competitions told us that they wanted both tagged fish and released fish to count towards their total numbers in each category. Up until now, we counted those separately, but TBF is pleased to announce the introduction of a brand new category in our Annual Tag & Release Competition. Starting this year, we will now give out a captain and an angler award to recognize your total catch for the competition year. So that will include those tagged, as well as those released without a tag, combined. While the data gathered from reporting releases is valuable to the work we do, tagging fish yields an abundance of data that is essential to aid the development of fisheries management policies and we would like to provide an extra incentive for those who go the extra step to tag their fish.

Report your tags and releases at www.tagbillfish.org, and check out the competition rules & eligibility at www.billfish.org/competition.

Photo courtesy of Skeet Warren and Bushwacker Sport Fishing.

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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Trophy Angling Category South Area Closed

Effective as of 11:30 p.m. (EST), April 10, 2016 the Angling category for large medium and giant “trophy” bluefin tuna (73” or greater) in the southern area (see image below) has been closed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the remainder of 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), not including the Gulf of Mexico. Any bluefin tuna caught by recreational anglers in the southern area must be released. This applies to all HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels in the southern area.

Bluefin angling regions. South area (closed as of 4/10/16 to 12/31/16) highlighted in green.

As of 2015, the annual Trophy Angling Category quota of 4.5 mt is divided equally among the north, south and Gulf of Mexico regions for HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels. Based on reported landings from the NMFS Automated Catch Reporting System and the North Carolina Tagging Program approximately 1.6 mt of trophy sized bluefin have been landed by Angling category southern area trophy bluefin, exceeding the 1.5 mt subquota and therefore warranting the closure of the southern area for trophy bluefin. The possession or landing of any large medium or giant bluefin tuna in the southern area by HMS Angling or HMS Charter/Headboat vessels is now prohibited and any bluefin caught recreationally must be released. NMFS encourages all anglers to practice safe handling procedures. See the HMS Recreational Fishing Compliance Guide and the Careful Catch & Release brochure for more information. REMINDER: Federal Regulations at 50 CFR 635.21(a)(1): Atlantic highly migratory species… that is not retained must be released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival, but without removing the fi­sh from the water.

Northern and Gulf of Mexico areas remain open until the Trophy Angling Category for the respective region is filled and notice is made by NMFS. Only trophy sized bluefin may be landed by anglers in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Angling category for large and medium bluefin (greater than 27” and less than 73”) in the northern area remains open until further notice. The annual Angling category trophy limit of one trophy bluefin per vessel remains in effect for the north and Gulf of Mexico area until reached. Bluefin of all size classes landed by HMS Angling or HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels must be reported to NMFS within 24 hours by calling or via the Automated Catch Reporting System or calling 1-888-872-8862. For complete details on HMS recreational fishing regulations see NMFS Permit Shop website and keep updated on any further Angling category closures.

The post Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Trophy Angling Category South Area Closed appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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HMS AP & ICCAT updates – March 2016

The Billfish Foundation regularly represents recreational interests and discusses issues surrounding management of billfish and tuna here in US Atlantic waters. This past month, a number of important topics including regulations for both commercial and recreational fishing, new research findings, potential regulations and research needs were all discussed at two separate meetings; the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Advisory Panel and the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). A diverse group of participants from various sectors (academia, government, commercial and recreational) bring different perspectives, knowledge and experiences to the table, and together are vital in working towards establishing the best management practices for important HMS species.

Photo of a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) above water. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

The ICCAT meetings bring together invited and interested stakeholders to formulate a management/policy strategy for the United States. TBF took part in the Billfish Species Working Group to develop management and research recommendations for the consideration of the US delegation for ICCAT. The group reviewed the status of billfish stocks and the schedule for upcoming assessments and discussed current ICCAT management measures, other possible management measures, and actions from the 2015 Commission meeting.

A couple of the management recommendations were to look at the reporting from the artisanal fleets in the Atlantic and look to prohibit the international trade of overfished billfish stocks. Research recommendations stemmed from looking the socioeconomic importance of billfish from sportfishing, looking at FAD effects on the fishery and most importantly, continually collecting data and doing analysis of billfish life-history. Note that many of the basic life-history parameters of billfish are still poorly understood for all species.

Domestically at the HMS meetings, the management of bluefin tuna was also a hotly debated topic and many important issues were raised that have significant implications for not just anglers that target for bluefin, but all offshore anglers.

Bluefin Tuna. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

TBF was very active in seeing that recently established regulations for bluefin tuna kept longline fishing out of important closed zones, including the Desoto Canyon, and established additional time-area closures in the Gulf for longline fishing. In both of these zones, there have been high rates of billfish bycatch when they were previously open to longline fishing.

TBF was also active in the discussion of the National Bycatch Reduction Strategy (currently in draft form) to see that more efforts will be taken to reduce billfish bycatch both domestically and internationally. One action taken here in the states that was presented was the Deepwater Horizon Pelagic Longline Project that with restoration funds aims to compensate longline vessels for staying at the docks or switching over to alternative gear (green-stick and buoy gear) as a way to reduce bluefin tuna and billfish bycatch.

Perhaps the most important topic for anglers that was presented was an update to the HMS Recreational Tournament Surveys. In recent years, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has been making strides to quantify the economic important of HMS recreational fishing in the Gulf and Atlantic waters and now NMFS is focusing on HMS tournaments and are planning on distributing surveys to both tournament directors and participants. TBF strongly urges everyone to participate when the survey becomes available as it is only by knowing the full economic importance of HMS recreational fishing that NMFS can better manage HMS recreational fishing in a way that reflects its true significance.

Please keep up with TBF by following our newsletter and checking in at our website for updates.

 

 

 

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Introducing the Cape Verde Regional Tag & Release Competition

Courtesy of the Big Oh

For the past several years, winners of TBF’s International Tag & Release Competition blue marlin categories have all come out of Cape Verde and it is certainly one of the top places in the Atlantic Ocean to catch one of its top predators. Each year this small chain of islands off the west coast of Africa draw some of the biggest and best names in the sportfishing arena. The number of blue marlin and their sizes in Cape Verde make it a special place, a great fishery and an important place for TBF to recognize.

For 2016, TBF is introducing the Cape Verde Regional Tag & Release Competition that creates another locality in addition to its year long International Tag & Release Competition. Award categories are only for blue and white marlin and only these species will count toward overall award categories. Awards by species and overall will also be split into Private and Charter categories to recognize and give more chances for both kinds of boats to compete.

COMPETITION DATES: November 1 – October 31 of the following year.

DEADLINE: All Tagging Data Report and Release Notification Cards must be received by TBF no later than November 15th, whether via mail or online at www.tagbillfish.org.

ELIGIBILITY: Anglers, captains and mates MUST be a current TBF member to receive an award based on their submitted Tagging Data Report and Release Notification Cards. Regardless of membership, all data from every card is valuable for billfish research and membership is not required if you wish submit your tag & release data from anywhere in the world. You can check your membership status or join TBF by calling (954) 938-0150 ext. 106. If you have registered with our online tag and release database, you can see if your membership is current in your profile page and join or renew at www.billfish.org. Charter captains must have a valid captain’s license and all necessary licenses for a documented charter vessel. Tags must be deployed on the same vessel in order to be counted for charter categories. Overall tag and release categories are calculated as the total number of eligible species reported tagged and or released by a captain or angler.

ELIGIBLE SPECIES: Only blue marlin and white marlin are eligible species and categories. Overall winners will be the angler or captain that tags or releases the greatest number of eligible species combined for the respective category.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cards should be submitted to TBF as soon as possible or entered online at www.tagbillfish.org after tagging or releasing a fish. If you wait until the end of the competition year to send your cards, you run the risk of not having your cards reach TBF by the deadline. TBF also reserves the right to disqualify any participant if circumstances indicate there is reason to question reports.

TAGGING – Captain and Angler Awards are presented to those who tag the most billfish of each species within each category after having met the 5 fish minimum.

RELEASE – Captain and Angler Awards are presented to those who release, without tagging, the most billfish of each species within each category after having met the 5 fish minimum.

CATEGORIES

Tagging Categories

Top Tagging Lady Angler
Top Tagging Angler
Top Tagging Charter Captain
Top Tagging Private Captain
Top Tagging Junior Angler

Release Categories

Top Release Junior Angler
Top Release Angler
Top Release Charter Captain
Top Tagging Private Captain
Top Release Lady Angler

PLEASE NOTE: For the categories listed to the right, fish that are tagged and released are NOT counted in the Release Category. These fish are only counted in the Tagging Category.

PRIVATE VS. CHARTER

Any records submitted for eligible species tagged and or released on a registered charter boat are only eligible for charter captain and charter boat categories. Charter captains must have a valid captain’s license and all necessary licenses for a documented charter vessel. Tag and release must be deployed on the same vessel in order to be counted for charter categories. Any tag or release records for billfish caught during a non-for-hire trip, but on a registered charter boat, are only eligible for charter categories. Proper documentation and proof of charter status must be presented if requested by TBF.

YOUTH

Awards are presented to youth anglers who tag and/or release the most billfish of any species within each age category after having met the minimum of 3 fish. Categories include: ages 8 & younger, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-17. (Please note: To enter the competition all youth anglers MUST write in their date of birth next to their name or in the space provided, or if reporting via tagbillfish.org please include date of birth when creating user profile.) Youth anglers must be active TBF members to win.

FEMALE

Awards are presented to the female anglers who tag and release the most billfish.

MATES

TBF recognizes the valuable contribution of mates in both the release and tagging of billfish through TBF’s Mate Recognition Program, a cumulative, on-going program that awards mates with a pair of Costa Sunglasses and a plaque for his or her level of achievement.

Proper Tagging Procedure & Tagging at Tournaments

The post-release survival of billfish is vital and TBF urges that proper tagging procedures are used when tagging any billfish to ensure safe, healthy releases (see TBF’s Tag & Release Program brochure for more information). Improper tag placement, ‘speed tagging’ or using too much force when tagging can result in serious injury or death to the fish. For this reason TBF does not encourage tagging during tournaments. However, if a boat chooses to tag any billfish during a tournament they will be counted toward any applicable regional competition as well as the International Tag & Release Competition. All participants are encouraged to see TBF’s Tag & Release brochure for information on safe handling and proper tagging procedure.

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Introducing Two New Regional Competitions!

Due to popular demand of our current regional awards in South Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, TBF is excited to announce the expansion of our regional competitions to include Cape Verde and the Hawaiian  Islands. These two locations are known to have great marlin fishing and a passionate sportfishing community, where several past award winners come from or have fished.

These competitions will focus on who reports the most total marlin to TBF before the end of the competition season. The season will run concurrently with our overall awards (November 1st – October 31st of the following year) and just like our past regional competitions, those who participate in the regional, will also compete and can receive awards in the overall competition as long as their billfish numbers exceed the minimum amount required for their respective category, and they are active TBF members.  One difference is that the Cape Verde and Hawaiian regions will be further separated into a charter and private boat category.

The Billfish Foundation is proud to honor and recognize the captains, anglers and crews for their effort to tag, release and report their catches every year. These conservation heroes report the most tagged and released billfish annually, and our newest regional competitions will further engage and excite crews, and increase participation in TBF’s Tag & Release program. In creating these additional categories, we acknowledge those who are faced with unique fishery/fishing conditions and celebrate them for their conservation ethic and will be driven by their competitive spirit.

TBF’s regional competition offers several opportunities for participants to be recognized for their outstanding fishing accomplishments, contribution to billfish conservation and a chance to win great prizes including trophies from King Sailfish Mounts, Costa Sunglasses, and much more. To learn more about these regional competitions, eligibility, their varied categories,  and the overall competition check out our website or contact us.

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Introducing the Hawaiian Tag & Release Regional Competition!

Photo Courtesy of Chase Offield

The Hawaiian Islands are undoubtedly a special place for many reasons. In the eyes of many anglers, it is unique for being the only place in the world where a grander marlin has been caught during every month of the year. After the success of TBF’s regional competitions in the Gulf of Mexico and South Florida, TBF has created the Hawaiian Tag & Release Regional Competition to recognize the great fishing, captains, anglers and crews who fish there. It couldn’t come at a moment sooner after one of the best billfish seasons on record in 2015.

For 2016, TBF is introducing the Hawaiian Islands Regional Marlin Tag & Release Competition that creates another region in addition to its year long International Tag & Release Competition. Award categories are for only black, blue and striped marlin and only these species will count toward overall award categories.

COMPETITION DATES: November 1 – October 31 of the following year.

DEADLINE: All Tagging Data Report and Release Notification Cards must be received by TBF no later than November 15th, whether via mail or online at www.tagbillfish.org.

ELIGIBILITY: Anglers, captains and mates MUST be a current TBF member to receive an award based on their submitted Tagging Data Report and Release Notification Cards. Regardless of membership, all data from every card is valuable for billfish research and membership is not required if you wish submit your tag & release data from anywhere in the world. You can check your membership status or join TBF by calling (954) 938-0150 ext. 106. If you have registered with our online tag and release database, you can see if your membership is current in your profile page and join or renew at www.billfish.org. Charter captains must have a valid captain’s license and all necessary licenses for a documented charter vessel. Tags must be deployed on the same vessel in order to be counted for charter categories. Overall tag and release categories are calculated as the total number of eligible species reported tagged and or released by a captain or angler.

ELIGIBLE SPECIES: Only blue marlin, black marlin and striped marlin are eligible species and categories. Winners will be the angler or captain that tags or releases the greatest number of eligible species combined for the respective category.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Cards should be submitted to TBF as soon as possible or entered online at www.tagbillfish.org after tagging or releasing a fish. If you wait until the end of the competition year to send your cards, you run the risk of not having your cards reach TBF by the deadline. TBF also reserves the right to disqualify any participant if circumstances indicate there is reason to question reports.

TAGGING – Captains and Anglers Awards are presented to those who tag the most billfish of each species within each category after having met the 5 fish minimum with the exception of youth anglers (see Youth rules below).

RELEASE – Captain and Angler Awards are presented to those who release, without tagging, the most billfish of each species within each category after having met the 5 fish minimum with the exception of youth anglers (see youth anglers below).

CATEGORIES

Tagging Categories Release Categories
Top Tagging Lady Angler Top Release Lady Angler
Top Tagging Angler Top Release Angler
Top Tagging Junior Angler

Ages 9-10

Ages 11-12

Ages 13-15

Ages 16-17

Top Release Junior Angler

Ages 9-10

Ages 11-12

Ages 13-15

Ages 16-17

Top Tagging Private Captain Top Release Private Captain
Top Tagging Charter Captain Top Release Charter Captain

 

PLEASE NOTE: For the categories listed to the right, fish that are tagged and released are NOT counted in the Release Category. These fish are only counted in the Tagging Category.

PRIVATE VS. CHARTER

Any records submitted for eligible species tagged and or released on a registered charter boat are only eligible for charter captain and charter boat categories. Charter captains must have a valid captain’s license and all necessary licenses for a documented charter vessel. Tag and release must be deployed on the same vessel in order to be counted for charter categories. Any tag or release records for billfish caught during a non-for-hire trip, but on a registered charter boat, are only eligible for charter categories. Proper documentation and proof of charter status must be presented if requested by TBF.

YOUTH

Awards are presented to youth anglers who tag and/or release the most billfish of any species within each age category after having met the minimum of 3 fish. Categories include: ages 8 & younger, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-17. (Please note: To enter the competition all youth anglers MUST write in their date of birth next to their name or in the space provided, or if reporting via tagbillfish.org please include date of birth when creating user profile.) Youth anglers must be active TBF members to win.

FEMALE

Awards are presented to the female anglers who tag and release the most billfish.

MATES

TBF recognizes the valuable contribution of mates in both the release and tagging of billfish through TBF’s Mate Recognition Program, a cumulative, on-going program that awards mates with a pair of Costa Sunglasses and a plaque for his or her level of achievement.

Proper Tagging Procedure & Tagging at Tournaments

The post-release survival of billfish is vital and TBF urges that proper tagging procedures are used when tagging any billfish to ensure safe, healthy releases (see TBF’s Tag & Release Program brochure for more information). Improper tag placement, ‘speed tagging’ or using too much force when tagging can result in serious injury or death to the fish. For this reason TBF does not encourage tagging during tournaments. However, if a boat chooses to tag any billfish during a tournament they will be counted toward any applicable regional competition as well as the International Tag & Release Competition. All participants are encouraged to see TBF’s Tag & Release brochure for information on safe handling and proper tagging procedure.

The post Introducing the Hawaiian Tag & Release Regional Competition! appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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2016 Tag & Release Competition Update

Just when it seems that the excitement from last year’s Tag & Release Award Ceremony has begun to wind down, we’ve started ramping up for the 2016 competition. This year we will be debuting a few exciting new things for captains and crews, so keep checking in at http://www.billfish.org/competition for official rules and announcements coming soon!

Every year, The Billfish Foundation (TBF) recognizes the captains, mates and anglers (including youth and ladies) who tag and release the most billfish in each of the world’s oceans. The competition is categorized by billfish species, ocean, and whether the fish were tagged or released untagged. Award winners will be recognized at TBF’s Annual Tag & Release Awards Ceremony held during the Miami International Boat Show presented by the TBF Tag and Release Sponsors: Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund, Casa Vieja Lodge, Costa Sunglasses, Garmin, Pelagic, and Yeti.

The “Top Five” in most of the competition categories are highlighted below. This list constitutes the tag and release records received from around the world and either entered online or processed by TBF as of March 30, 2016. Regional competition standings will be updated soon.

Do you know anyone on the list? Are you in the top five and want to be recognized by the who’s who in the billfishing community at our ceremony? Be sure to tag, release, and report your billfish catches before the end of the competition on October 31, 2016. Remember you can submit your records online now at www.tagbillfish.org or you can submit them through the mail. The last date that TBF can receive tag and release cards for this competition year is November 15, 2016.

 

As of 3/30/16

 

OVERALL RELEASE CAPTAIN

  1. 1. Brad Philipps
  2. 2. Ben Horning
  3. 3. Dean Panos
  4. 4. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro
  5. 5. Chris Bays

 

OVERALL TAGGING CAPTAIN

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Doug Covin
  3. 3. Randy Bradley
  4. 4. Perry Rosalie
  5. 5. Rolly Pierre

 

OVERALL RELEASE ANGLER

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Chris Jessen
  3. 3. Laura Jessen
  4. 4. Bill Pino
  5. 5. Paul Poulter

 

OVERALL TAGGING ANGLER

  1. 1. John Henry David
  2. 2. Laura Jessen
  3. 3. Chris Jessen
  4. 4. Stephan Kreupl
  5. 5. Russell Bartlett

 

OVERALL RELEASE LADY ANGLER

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Sharon Poulter
  3. 3. Amanda Cofer
  4. 4. CeCe Imbrie
  5. 5. Tiffany Day


OVERALL TAGGING LADY ANGLER

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Brandi Reed
  3. 3. Dawn Samuels
  4. 4. Kumie Saegusa
  5. 5. Luena Amaro

 

OVERALL RELEASE YOUTH ANGLER

  1. 1. Toby Mason

 

OVERALL TAGGING YOUTH ANGLER

  1. 1. Toby Mason
  2. 2. Shawn MacMullin
  3. 3. Oliver Hoffman
  4. 4. Sebastian Ortiz Stoessel
  5. 5. Aidan Burke

 

TOP TAGGING ANGLER – ATLANTIC

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Rafael Gomes Ferreira
  2. 2. Jean Paul Bonnin
  3. 3. Gordo Heldewier
  4. 4. Armand Pandjou

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Jose Juncadella
  2. 2. Wayne Jenkins
  3. 3. Shawn MacMullin
  4. 4. Scott Nichols
  5. 5. Luis Van Dunem

 

TOP RELEASE ANGLER – ATLANTIC

Sailfish

  1. 1. CeCe Imbrie
  2. 2. Chris Deleo
  3. 3. Charlie Schiffert
  4. 4. Sandra MacMillan
  5. 5. Eric Hull

 

TOP TAGGING CAPTAIN – ATLANTIC

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Stephane Millez
  2. 2. Igor Assad
  3. 3. Richard Peeples
  4. 4. Olivier Bossard

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Doug Covin
  2. 2. Sebastian Juncadella
  3. 3. Bouncer Smith
  4. 4. Iain Nicolson
  5. 5. Gary Clifford

 

 

TOP RELEASE CAPTAIN – ATLANTIC

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Myles Colley

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Dean Panos
  2. 2. Jeff Scott
  3. 3. Doug Covin
  4. 4. John Dudas
  5. 5. Gene Lebron

 

White Marlin

  1. 1. Mike Standing

 

TOP TAGGING ANGLER – PACIFIC

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Stephan Kreupl

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Chris Jessen
  2. 2. Laura Jessen

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. John Henry David
  2. 2. Laura Jessen
  3. 3. Chris Jessen
  4. 4. Thomas Garmany
  5. 5. Darryl Schroeder

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Brandi Reed
  2. 2. John Duvall
  3. 3. Rico Sakko
  4. 4. Oliver Hoffman
  5. 5. Kumie Saegusa

 

TOP RELEASE ANGLER – PACIFIC

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Jason Shearwater

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Chris Jessen

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. John Duvall
  2. 2. Chris Jessen
  3. 3. Laura Jessen
  4. 4. Bill Pino
  5. 5. Paul Poulter

 

TOP TAGGING CAPTAIN – PACIFIC

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Tim Richardson

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Al Gustavson
  3. 3. Chris Van Leeuwen

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Ben Horning
  2. 2. Thomas “Tucker” Colquhoun
  3. 3. Rich Hamilton
  4. 4. Ramiro Ortiz
  5. 5. Callum Parrott

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Alex Rogers
  2. 2. Julio Coya
  3. 3. Jaime Gonzales
  4. 4. Bernabe Ruiz

 

TOP RELEASE CAPTAIN – PACIFIC

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Brett Alty
  2. 2. Tim Richardson
  3. 3. Laurie Wright
  4. 4. Blue Marlin
  5. 5. Ben Horning

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Brad Philipps
  2. 2. Ben Horning
  3. 3. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro
  4. 4. Chris Bays
  5. 5. Carlos Alverenaga

 

Striped Marlin

  1. 1. Ty Valli

 

TOP TAGGING ANGLER  – INDIAN

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Scott MacGowan

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Russell Bartlett
  2. 2. Mike Mason
  3. 3. Henry Riggs-Miller

 

TOP TAGGING CAPTAIN – INDIAN

Black Marlin

  1. 1. Randy Bradley
  2. 2. Antoine Hoareau

 

Blue Marlin

  1. 1. Randy Bradley
  2. 2. Jo-Ann Riley
  3. 3. Ross Newton
  4. 4. Peter Faulkner

 

Sailfish

  1. 1. Rolly Pierre
  2. 2. Randy Bradley
  3. 3. Perry Rosalie
  4. 4. Aaron Lyle-Manes
  5. 5. Bomber Farrell

 

FEMALE DIVISION (TAG)

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Brandi Reed
  3. 3. Dawn Samuels
  4. 4. Kumi Saegusa

 

FEMALE DIVISION (RELEASE)

  1. 1. Laura Jessen
  2. 2. Sharon Poulter
  3. 3. Amanda Cofer
  4. 4. Cece Imbrie
  5. 5. Tiffany Day

 

YOUTH DIVISION (TAG)

8 and under

  1. 1. Sebastian Ortiz Stoessel

 

11 – 12

  1. 1. Aidan Burke

 

13 – 15

  1. 1. Oliver Hoffman

 

16 – 17

  1. 1. Toby Mason
  2. 2. Shawn MacMullin

 

YOUTH DIVISION (RELEASE)

16-17

  1. 1. Toby Mason

 

The post 2016 Tag & Release Competition Update appeared first on The Billfish Foundation.

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Rum Bum Racing Returns to Sebring International Raceway Podium

Sebring, Fla. (18 March 2015) – Continuing to set new marks in IMSA competition, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing once again returned to the podium at Sebring International Raceway with a third place finish in what was a thrilling IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge show around the 3.74-mile central Florida road course. Brothers Hugh and Matt Plumb drove to the team’s 32nd podium and second consecutive Sebring podium result after finishing third in last year’s event.

Hugh Plumb opened the 2.5-hour race from the front row after qualifying second on the grid during Thursday’s qualifying session. At the drop of the green flag, he slotted into second behind the pole-sitting Mustang and delivered quick and consistent laps to remain among the top-three for the opening 50 minutes.

He had moved up to lead the race when Crew Chief Joe Varde called Hugh to pit lane for the team’s first pit stop some 53 minutes into the event. An expert full service stop of fuel, tires, and a driver change saw Matt Plumb emerge with the race lead ahead of the pole-sitting No. 15 Mustang of Billy Johnson.

The one and only caution flag flew at the 1 hour and 10 minute mark with the Rum Bum team opting to pit under the yellow for fuel and tires. When the race went back to green with just over an hour to go, Matt restarted fifth.

A late-race quick pit stop under green flag conditions for fuel and left side tires with 38 minutes to go, saw Plumb return to the track once again with the race lead. He gave it all he had to hang on to that lead in the final stages, but despite excellent teamwork and pit stop execution from the Rum Bum team, the strong race pace of the Cayman and Mustang was too much for the Rum Bum Porsche and Matt hung on for third at the checkered flag.

“My hat’s off to Matt (Plumb) – he had his hands absolutely full there at the end surrounded by horsepower and performance that we didn’t quite have today,” said Hugh Plumb, of his brother’s final stint. “We’re super happy with third, points wise it’s a huge day. We just have to keep plugging along and focus forward on the next one at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”

The No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche was credited with 11 laps led, as the 2012 & 2013 IMSA Championship-winning team continues its pursuit toward the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship.

“That was about the best we could have done today with what we had,” offered Team Manager and driver Matt Plumb. “I think maybe even a couple of positions better. We do what we can and try to set a pace that we think will win a race. We did everything we could and we’re third. Congrats to Billy (Johnson, No. 15 Mustang), he drove a great race. The Fords looked strong, the Caymans looked strong. Thanks to Luis Bacardi for assembling such a great group – our Rum Bum crew and their pit stops is what kept us in it.”

Rum Bum Racing will next be in race action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on April 29-30.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the Sebring International Raceway event on Sunday, March 27 at 12:30 PM ET.

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Home Race for Rum Bum Racing at Sebring International Raceway

EVENT INFO: Round 2 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship at Sebring International Raceway, LIVE on IMSA.com – Green flag on Friday, March 17 at 12:20 PM ET

Televised on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, March 27 at 12:30 PM ET

CAR INFO: No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997

ANOTHER HOME RUN FOR RUM BUM RACING: The Sebring event is the second closest stop on the IMSA circuit for Rum Bum Racing, whose race shop is located about 90 miles north of the track in Orlando. The season-opening round of Daytona is also not far from the team’s shop with both events drawing big crowds of Rum Bum supporters.


SEBRING TESTING: IMSA held a two-day test for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge last month in preparation for this weekend’s event. The test saw sporadic rain on the first day, with the second day a wash for the team as strong storms moved into the area. Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, Rum Bum Racing worked to get the most out of the limited track time and set the quickest lap time of the test among the GS class field.

A LOOK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR: Rum Bum Racing appeared to be well on its way to a return trip to the Daytona International Speedway podium after leading 22 laps. Hugh Plumb snagged the pole position in Daytona qualifying and the race opened with a frantic pace. After leading early, a fuel delivery issue slowed the pace of the Porsche with the Plumb brothers fighting to hang on to a fifth place finish at the checkered flag.

RUM BUM’S SEBRING HISTORY: Rum Bum has twice visited the historic 3.74-mile road course of Sebring International Raceway. In the team’s 2014 debut at the track, Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi took home a 10th place result.. The team returned last year with Matt Plumb joined by his brother Hugh where they stood on the podium in third. It took a mix of strategy, teamwork, and hard driving to deliver the podium performance and there was a big crowd of supporters on hand as Jennifer Bacardi and her family celebrated with the team following the race.

SEBRING 2014: Started – 13th Finished – 10th (Matt Plumb, Nick Longhi)
SEBRING 2015: Started – 5th Finished – 3rd (Matt Plumb, Hugh Plumb)

MATT PLUMB TALKS SEBRING: “We learned a lot when we raced here last year, but Sebring is always a different animal when you come back,” said driver and Team Manager Matt Plumb. “It’s a rough track, without a lot of mechanical grip. In the limited time we had at the test, we learned enough to make us feel good for when we come back for the race. The Rum Bum guys are always working in the right direction – they’re never complacent with what we have.”

EVENT SCHEDULE: 

Tuesday
Promoter Test Day

Wednesday
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM Practice 1
2:50 PM – 3:35 PM Practice 2

Thursday
1:00 PM – 1:15 PM Qualifying

Friday
12:20 PM – 2:50 PM Race

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TBF Tag & Release Ceremony Recap

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL- Anglers, captains and mates worldwide are the vital elements needed to provide The Billfish Foundation’s (TBF) Tag and Release program the valuable data required to further billfish science and ensure that fishing opportunities are available for future generations. Without the dedication of these individuals from around the world, what is known about billfish science and the advances in conservation would not be possible today.

Since 1990, TBF has received more than 220,000 billfish tag and release records from anglers and captains around the world. Records are entered into TBF’s Tag & Release Online Database, which has gained in popularity with boat crews and anglers since its introduction in 2014. The records collected via the database will better help marine researchers gain insight into migratory patterns, growth rates, and the overall health of billfish stocks round the world.

On Feb. 11, over 30 award winners along with their family and friends came from across the globe to accept their 2015 International Tag & Release Awards at Miami’s Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom. The ceremony was sponsored by Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund and the awards were presented by King Sailfish Mounts. Sailfish Brewery once again supplied amazing local craft beers. During the cocktail hour guests had the opportunity to mingle and interact with a marmoset, a baby kangaroo, and some beautiful birds. All award winners received sunglasses from TBF Conservation Partner, Costa. Top Overall winners also received a custom Fathom lure and a one-year subscription to FishTrack in addition to their trophies. Guests also had the chance to participate in the raffle, which included products from Costa, Casa Vieja Lodge, Garmin, Pelagic, Yeti, Alutecnos, Buoyweather, Fathom Offshore, Fish Track, Goslings Rum, Troll Pro, and Release Ruler. Every guest received a goody bag filled with items and information from all of our sponsors.

TBF’s Overall Tagging Angler Winner for all species (any combination of blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, white marlin, sailfish and/or spearfish) was Laurent Sahyoun (Mandelieu, France). Laura Jessen (Sarasota, FL USA) took the honors as the Top Overall Lady Tagging Angler. Kaleb Richardson (Lafayette, LA USA) won the Top Overall Youth Tagging Angler. Top Overall Tagging Captain was Chris Sheeder (Guatemala City, Guatemala).

In the release division, Top Overall Release Angler went to Pat McCotter (Vandemere, NC).  Taking the honors for the third year in a row, Top Overall Release Lady Angler was Tiffany Day (Kitty Hawk, NC, USA).  Brown Gaddy (Manteo, NC USA) won the Top Overall Release Youth Angler and Brad Philipps (Guatemala City, Guatemala) once again kept his title as the Top Overall Release Captain.

The 2016 competition began Nov. 1, 2015 and will run through Oct. 31, 2016.  TBF members from more than 70 countries are invited to participate. ‘Tag Data Reports’ and ‘Release Notifications’ can be submitted to TBF using either the traditional hard copies or reported online at www.tagbillfish.org. Separate categories currently exist for the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the South Florida Sailfish and the Gulf of Mexico. This year TBF will be adding additional regional categories (Hawaii, Cape Verde, and Japan) to the competition.

To be eligible to receive an award, active TBF members must have tagged and/or released five or more of a species to qualify. In addition, TBF’s Youth Program was created in 2001 and recognizes the conservation ethics and achievements of young anglers. It includes a three fish minimum in five separate age groupings for both tag and release categories.

For more on TBF’s annual Tag & Release program or to see the full list of winners, please visit www.bilfish.org or call 954-938-0150 for Peter Chaibongsai (ext. 107), Michael Kelly (ext. 102) or Adrienne Katz (ext. 115).

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Costa, YETI and TBF Tagging Trip to Isla Mujeres

Being a part of the sportfishing community and having an opportunities to work alongside our Tag & Release Program sponsors as well as captains and anglers, to put our initiatives to practice is not only fun but vital to our mission for billfish conservation. This past January, YETI Coolers, Costa Sunglasses, and TBF staff joined TBF board member, Capt. Fin Gaddy in Isla Mujeres for a few days to build on and promote the future of billfish conservation.

Oliver Rogers Photography

If you are unfamiliar, Isla Mujeres, Mexico is one of the best places in the world to catch Atlantic sailfish as huge numbers of sailfish come to the waters off of the Yucatán Peninsula to feed on the massive aggregations of sardines. Captain Fin Gaddy of Qualifier Charters has been coming to this small Mexican Island for close to a decade and was kind enough to host staff members from Costa and TBF along with cameraman, Oliver Rogers (www.oliverrogersphotography.com) to capture Costa and YETI gear in action and of course, tagging dozens of sailfish! Baitballs, good weather, and big numbers of hungry sailfish all cooperated for an opportunity to get some amazing images. The number of fish seen also gave Amanda Sabin and Todd Barker from Costa plenty of practice at tagging after some coaching on proper tagging techniques from TBF staff and first mate, Colin Oxnard (one time TBF intern). After three full days of fishing Capt. Gaddy led the team to tag 38 sailfish and release another 35. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lack of action to get on film!

Tagged and ready for release. Oliver Rogers Photography.

The time spent looking back at the spread was also a great opportunity for everyone on board to discuss matters surrounding billfishing conservation and continue to build synergy to tackle these issues. The combination of working with industry leaders and the top captains gives us a good pulse on what is happening and just goes to show the shared passion and understanding of a shared responsibility to ensure the future of the resource and the sport.

The beautiful images will help to show how amazing billfish are, spread the conservation message across the globe and visualize the importance of tagging. Of course, the YETI and Costa gear on board certainly helped to get some great shots of everyone tagging in style! Keep an eye out for more images to come and we’re sure you will enjoy them!

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TUNE IN ALERT: Saturday, 8:30 AM ET on FOX Sports 1

Don’t forget to catch Round 1 of the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship tomorrow! The 2.5-hour race in which Hugh Plumb started from the pole, will be aired on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 AM ET.

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Nick Mayer – TBF’s 2016 Artist of the Year

We at TBF are proud to present Nick Mayer as our 2016 Artist of the Year. This year marks The Billfish Foundation’s 30th Anniversary, so we wanted a unique work of art to commemorate this milestone. Nick’s beautiful painting, Billfish Slam is featured on the cover of this issue of Billfish. Members joining or renewing for $250 or more will receive a personally signed and numbered edition of Billfish Slam. Each print presented to TBF Chairman’s Club members will also include a beautiful hand-painted remarque.

The son of an artist and a biologist, Nick Mayer has the best of both worlds. He utilized undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology from Brown University as tools to study and help in the conservation of fish. He has done so as an artist, a teacher, a research biologist, and a fly fisherman.

While investigating the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on sockeye salmon, restoring spawning habitats for steelhead in the Columbia River, studying the nesting habits of sea turtles in Costa Rica, or fishing small streams in the Green Mountains for brook trout, Nick has kept detailed sketchbooks to later use as references in his watercolors.
Close encounters that include falling overboard off a commercial fishing vessel into the Bering Sea followed by a near float plane crash in Northern Labrador inspired Nick to pursue his true calling as an artist. His paintings are not just portraits of fish, they are windows into real experience—his experience.

His works have been exhibited in many esteemed galleries on both the East and West coasts. Nick completed two large outdoor murals; an underwater scene located in the center of Vergennes, Vermont and a privately commissioned creative depiction of the evolution of life. Nick completed the illustration of his first book, Catalina Dive Buddies, a coffee table art book and field guide to the fish of Catalina Island, California.

Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and raised in Riverside, Rhode Island, Nick now lives in Lincoln, Vermont with his wife and two sons where he works as a full time professional artist. Nick’s work can be viewed online at nickmayerart.com and Nick can be contacted by phone at 802.349.2733 or email: nickmayerart@gmail.com.

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30th Anniversary Year Dedicated to Today’s Youth

30th Anniversary Year Dedicated to Today’s Youth

…Our Legacy must be a Billfishing Future for Them!

TBF’s Herbert Nanne, Central American Conservation Director, worked tirelessly for three years to have the government of Costa Rica sign off on a law that ALLOWS minors to fish! Can you believe what you just read? Yes, it is true. Why such a nonsensical law was ever on the books is hard to imagine, but no longer.

The timing was perfect for it coincides with TBF’s 30th Anniversary year, which is dedicated to young anglers with a commitment from today’s adults to insure a billfishing future is available to them. We hope in Costa Rica there will be a move to take children fishing, even if from shore or a pier. Fortunately there is not such a restraint in most parts of the world, we just have to make good on our commitment to the legacy!

To build our legacy to insure billfishing opportunities are available in our children’s future, we must support conservation, responsible management, responsible fishing and including children in safe and fun fishing experiences. Supporting TBF is a great way to help insure that future, but it takes each individual who billfish to make a meaningful contribution to building the legacy in their region with children.

During 2016, TBF is featuring a variety of creative, fun and educational sessions at tournaments, classrooms, clubs, within the digital world and at TBF events to engage and inspire youthful members within our constituency. Stay tuned and be sure to check out TBF’s youth publications, Sailfish & Spearfish. Request copies at education@billfish.org or download online at www.billfish.org!

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A Snapshot Of The Billfish Foundation’s First 30 Years And Strategies For The Next 30!

If you fished offshore 30 years ago you likely remember seeing at tournaments billfish, especially blue marlin, stacked in piles on the docks after anglers posed for photos with their prized dead fish. That was the norm. At the same time, U.S. commercial fishing vessels brought billfish to the docks and sold them. Today the images are very different with release flags flying in most tournaments and U.S. commercial vessels fishing for Atlantic tunas prohibited from selling billfish.

Thanks to you – anglers, boat owners, captains and mates along with Win Rockefeller and  scientist Dr. Eric Prince – who recognized that such unchecked killing could not sustain the sport, a movement began that resulted in establishing The Billfish Foundation (TBF). The mission of the new organization was to advance billfish research, conservation and education and raise funds to support those activities. This was a billfish angler movement for it was you who recognized that billfish abundance was declining and the government was setting no priority for the species or for the sport of billfishing.

Launching into its mission, TBF’s first science investment was for billfish stock assessments, which is a sophisticated computer modeling method to calculate abundance in the water based on reported landings. Because billfish are highly migratory in nature, the investment was international for no nation, even though many benefitted from billfishing, had contributed funds to billfish research for the fish were of
no priority to them. Anglers recognized even with their improved fishing skills, equipment and more anglers fishing, their catch rates were declining and they feared billfish stocks were declining as well, which threatened their current and future fishing opportunities.

During the first Atlantic marlin stock assessment workshop it became apparent that a great deal more data was needed since most nations had not reported billfish landings. Fisheries that commercially targeted species generate a huge amount of data because the thousands of tons of fish landed are recorded when off loaded at the dock and then when sold. Purchasers of the dead fish are required to also track numbers. A great deal of landings data is available and used in the stock assessment of the commercially targeted species. But the billfish caught as bycatch in many nations’ commercial fleets are randomly recorded leaving their numbers under reported from that, again robbing billfish stock assessments of valuable data.

Recognizing that a great deal more billfish data was needed, TBF’s science and educational emphasis turned to constituents asking them to tag and collect recapture data. As anticipated, you responded by purchasing and using tags, and reporting recapture tag data when a tagged fish was caught or recaptured by another vessel. The resulting influx of more data provided most of what was known about billfish for decades. While tag and recapture data gathering increased, much more is needed for it takes thousands of tagged fish in the water for one to be recaptured and data reported. In more recent years, TBF added satellite tagging to its research tools, which gathers different types of data than traditional tags, but both are very important to continue.

TBF also broadened its scope of research by commissioning socio-economic studies to capture the economic impact data from angler expenditures while pursuing billfish. Again boat owners, anglers, captains and mates participated in the studies. The studies documented that individuals fishing for billfish spend a lot of money for the experience even when they release the fish. The studies also documented that many jobs were associated with billfishing in the area of sales and service of boats, gear, electronic equipment, apparel, etc.

Even when stock assessments documented some billfish stocks were overfished and overfishing was occurring, governments still did not give billfish priority consideration for conservation and management. More was needed. The science and socio-economic data had to be used to educate decision makers about what billfish conservation was lacking.

TBF also commissioned other types of research, as it continues to do today, which expanded the scientific knowledge base about billfish in the areas of genetics, age and growth, habitat use, post release mortality, identification of oxygen depleted zones, etc.

Because science and economics had not convinced decision makers to make needed conservation and management decisions for billfish, TBF added “advocacy” to its strategies. Advocacy gives billfish and the billfishing community a voice for change in fishery management, a voice that focuses on the conservation of billfish, their forage species and their ecosystems.

Strategies for The Next 30 Years:

TBF will continue to focus and invest in billfish science, economics and advocacy, with more emphasis placed on student angler education.

(1) 5,000 More Tags for 3% –
Increase traditional tagging by at least 5,000 tags a year until the recapture data rate rises from 2% to 3%, while this may not sound like a big deal, it is a very important step toward improving the data-dependent stock assessment process. If funding were made available by international regional management organizations or the U.S. government, distributing tags to commercial longline vessels to tag billfish could also lead to increasing recapture data. Some U.S. commercial vessels have turned in recapture data. A partnership of this type, at least with U.S. vessels, could be very productive.

(2) Student Anglers for Billfish –
Engage students and teachers directly in the use of TBF’s tag and recapture data for educational projects. Inform students that many academic disciplines can be applied to fishery management and conservation, including math, which is the bases for stock assessments, economics, biology, statistics, ecology, law, public policy,
art and more.

(3) Billfish International Network –
Anglers, boat owners, captains, mates, tournament directors, charter operations, clubs, tourism businesses and the recreational fishing and boating communities associated with billfishing worldwide have a vested interest in one another and in TBF’s successes. This network has supported TBF over the past 30 years during which a voice raised billfish and billfishing issues to prominence in most all fishery management arenas. Billfish and associated issues are now included on meeting agendas of managers and scientists around the world. To rise about the level of “making the agenda” to “driving change” in agendas requires a stronger and larger network around the world. Help TBF achieve this goal by signing up your club, tournament, charter operations, club, your sportfishing business and/or joining as an individual member.

(4) Billfish Science –
Invest in a variety of research including improving stock assessment methodologies, satellite tagging, age and growth, and research to learn more about the life history characteristics of billfish, their habitat and forage species and continue socio-economic surveys.

(5) Fishery Management –
Initiate changes in the fishery management paradigm so fish are not viewed and valued solely as a consumable commodity. Eco-tourism values should be given equal consideration as consumptive value. The health of forage species and ecosystems should be included, as well as, evaluation of fishing techniques as to their compatibility with sustaining healthy stocks of fish and ecosystem, and incorporation of economic return to communities for they are all important and should be in the management process in the U.S. and international fishery management arenas. Traditional methods need strengthening, especially reducing the international pelagic longline tonnage of billfish landed each year to levels that would allow sustaining healthy levels of abundance.

(6) 30 Year Investment Plan –
Grow an endowment fund that generates interests enough to support at least half of TBF’s research, education and advocacy costs within 20 years. To help reach this goal, TBF is establishing a 30 year endowment growth strategy that allows you to invest a tax deductible gift to return billfishing assets for your children and their children’s generations.

(7) 10 Members More for 30 –
Growing membership and dollars are core to TBF’s ability to meet the challenges of the next thirty years. Will you commit to bringing on board 10 new TBF members each year for 30 years and encourage them to renew and, in turn, bring on 10 new members as well each following year? In addition, membership will be further encouraged through new programs, including, but not limited to: My First Billfish & Grander and Growing Granders Release Clubs.

It goes without saying that success also requires expert financial and organizational management, which are taken very seriously at TBF. We know every cent that you give to TBF could be given to other non-profits and your gift is the result of hard work and sacrifice. It is our philosophy to direct the overwhelming majority of each dollar to programs for the fish and the oceans in ways to guarantee continued and future billfishing opportunities for you.

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Rum Bum Racing Fights to Fifth at Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Fla. (29 January 2016) – Rum Bum Racing returned to its home track of Daytona International Speedway firmly focused on a another big result at the “World Center of Racing.” The three-time Daytona winners wanted to open the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship with a big result once again on Friday.

With a strong record of success at the track, the team was well-prepared to take on the 3.56-mile road course and Hugh Plumb started from the pole position after posting the fastest time during a soggy qualifying session on Thursday.


The Orlando-based Rum Bum Racing squad appeared to be well on its way to a return trip to the podium after leading 22 laps of a race that opened with a frantic pace, but to the disappointment of the Rum Bum Racing fans on site and following at home,  a fuel delivery issue slowed the pace of the Porsche with the Plumb brothers fighting to hang on to a fifth place finish at the checkered flag.

“The start of the race went pretty well and I had a lot of pressure from the Mustang in the first 15 laps,” said HughPlumb, who battled for the lead with some breathtaking side battling against the eventual race winner.  “A little later on I got some pressure from the No. 33 Cayman. The crew just did an amazing job for us, great pit stops as usual. It was pretty hectic and there was a lot of pressure but the guys did a great job.”

The usual perfect pit stops by the Rum Bum Racing crew were on full display with the first stop coming with 1 hour and 25 minutes remaining in the race. Hugh Plumb pitted from second in the order to hand the car over to Matt Plumb who anchored the car to the finish.

When Matt Plumb took to the track he was in a continuous fight for the lead with the Mustang of Billy Johnson all the way up to the final pit stop of the race. Plumb took the car to pit lane for tires and fuel with just under 50 minutes to go and a brilliant stop by the Rum Bum crew saw the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche return six seconds ahead of the Mustang with the lead.

Unfortunately what was sure to be another intense battle all the way down to the checkered flag was never to be had as the fuel delivery issue hindered the Porsche’s pace, leaving Plumb to fight to hang on for fifth position through the final laps of the race.

“It’s a shame that we didn’t get that podium we were looking for today – Luis Bacardi assembles such a great group here in Rum Bum Racing and with the Bacardis and a whole crowd of Rum Bum supporters on hand here with us, we really wanted to give them a good result today,” said Matt Plumb. “As soon as I got in the car for my stint, I started to feel something a little off. It was a particular problem that we’ve never seen before. Billy (Johnson) and I had a great race. I could see he was faster, but I sure wasn’t not going to make it a bit of a show. Billy runs very hard and we’ve raced enough together to realize that when one car is a little better, we’re not going to take each other out. Congrats to him and his team, they deserved the win today.”

Rum Bum Racing next travels to Sebring International Raceway for Round 2 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge March 17-18.

FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the Daytona event on Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

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TBF welcomes Marina Casa de Campo as a new Tag & Release Industry sponsor!

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard the Marina Casa de Campo as a new Tag & Release Industry sponsor. Located in the beautiful Dominican Republic, and conveniently close to La Romana International airport, the marina has every service needed for incoming ships and visitors offering a lifestyle of elegance, prestige, luxury, safety and warmth.

This location has a premier offshore bite, especially for blue marlin, where it is possible to encounter up to double digits in one day. The 2014 Fishing Season was a blast – closing with an average of 8 billfish released per day.  With the numbers of marlin seen, the marina clearly understands the importance of giving back to conservation efforts since a healthy sportfishery of billfish and other highly prized gamefish means more boats and clients!

TBF looks forward to working with Marina Casa de Campo in 2016 and for many years to come! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of The Billfish Foundation, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

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Rum Bum Racing Puts Porsche on Pole at Daytona

Defending race winners singing in the rain but ready for a dry race on Friday

Daytona Beach, Fla. (28 January 2016) – Shaking off the challenging weather conditions, Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing was right back up to its usual speed at its home track of Daytona International Speedway on Friday when Hugh Plumb put the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 at the top of the time charts during a very rainy, wet IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge qualifying session on Thursday.

As the rain picked up and worsened through the 15-minutes of qualifying, Plumb improved his time with each lap around the 3.56-mile lap at the “World Center of Racing.”


His quickest time of 2:12.492-seconds was half of a second faster than the rest of the field. It marks Hugh’s second consecutive front row start at Daytona after he qualified second for Rum Bum Racing in last year’s race.

The run to the pole was all the more impressive for Hugh Plumb, who had never driven in the rain at the Daytona circuit prior to this year’s event.

“The conditions have been constantly changing through each practice because it’s been drying, then raining, then drying,” said Hugh Plumb after accepting the Total Pole Award. “In qualifying, it was pretty much a downpour so each corner was just adapting and reacting to what was potentially coming at you. You would just keep trying to go faster, step over the boundary and learn how far you could push it. Then, you’d get to the next corner and it’d be even wetter!”

Rum Bum Racing also scored the pole at Daytona in 2011 and went on to lead 28 laps en route to victory. 

“The Porsche is good here,” said Hugh Plumb. “We’ve had a set up we’ve used for the last few of our races here at Daytona and that’s always seemed to work well for us. Everybody at Rum Bum just does an incredible job and exactly what they have to do.”

The Daytona weekend featured an abundance of rain with the 3.56-mile Florida road course providing for some slick driving conditions through two practice sessions on Wednesday and a third practice on Thursday. With the Continental Tire rains adding strength to the Porsche machine, Hugh and co-driver Matt Plumb posted quick times throughout each session.

The brothers drove to the second quickest time in each of the three practice sessions.

“We’ve had a lot of time to prepare for these conditions and the car showed that it’s where it needed to be,” said Matt Plumb, who also serves as the Rum Bum Racing Team Manager. “Hugh did an amazing job. Each lap was faster than the next and he was consistently setting the bar higher and higher to the point where he did his fastest lap when the rain was coming down the hardest. He did a great job all last year and once again he’s showing he’s the man for the job.”

With the rain forecasted to move out and sunny skies predicted for Friday’s race, the event could well see very different racing conditions.

“The good and the bad for tomorrow is that we’ve been here before and we have a setup that works,” added Matt Plumb. “The bad is that we’re not quite sure where everybody else is pace wise (because of the rain), but that’s something we can’t control and we can’t worry about. We’ve just got to run our race and I’m very confident that everyone at Rum Bum Racing will do the great work that they always do.”

Since debuting in 2010, Rum Bum Racing has taken home three victories, four podiums, and five top-five results at Daytona. On a track that often features late-race lead changes, Rum Bum Racing  has shown strength from start to finish, having led laps in every race it has ever run at Daytona, for a total of 116 laps led and 31% of the time the car’s been competing on the Daytona circuit.

The 2.5-hour BMW Performance 200 goes green at 1:45 PM ET on Friday. Watch the race LIVE on IMSA.com.

FOX Sports 1 will televise the Daytona event on Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

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TBF welcomes IGFTO as a new Tag & Release Community sponsor!

The Billfish Foundation (TBF) is extremely excited to announce and welcome aboard the International Game Fish Tournament Observers (IGFTO) as a new Tag & Release Community sponsor. IGFTO’s team of highly trained observers authenticates the “Catch & Release” of billfish & game fish during big game fishing tournaments.  IGFTO supports tournaments that advocate the release and conservation of the billfish species and those programs who study and protect game fish, making this collaboration with TBF a natural choice. We look forward to working with you in 2016 and for many years to come!

TBF is looking forward to having IGFTO on board and excited for the future with all these great companies on board to support TBF’s Tag and Release Program! To learn more about becoming a sponsor of TBF, please contact us via email or by phone (954) 938 0150.

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Rum Bum Racing Returns to Daytona International Speedway for IMSA Season-Opener

Orlando, Fla. (25 January 2016) – There is no place like home, and for Rum Bum Racing, Daytona International Speedway is as close to home as you can get on the IMSA schedule.
For fans of Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing, it’ll be a familiar sight at Daytona International Speedway this weekend as the team looks to add to an already-incredible run of success at the World Center of Racing.

The opening round of the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship takes place at the Orlando-based team’s home track and the organization returns to race with the well-developed championship-winning No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche that the squad has utilized since it made its race-winning debut in 2012.


Also returning for 2016 are Rum Bum Racing drivers Matt and Hugh Plumb, as the fraternally-linked duo look to build on their run to second place in last year’s IMSA championship standings.

Not only is Daytona International Speedway Rum Bum Racing’s home track, the team has set a high bar for success at the 3.56-mile road course. Since debuting in 2010, Rum Bum Racing has taken home three victories, four podiums, and five top-five results at Daytona. On a track that often features late-race lead changes, Rum Bum Racing  has shown strength from start to finish, having led laps in every race it has ever run at Daytona, for a total of 116 laps led and 31% of the time the car’s been competing on the Daytona circuit.

“We are very excited to be back on the banks of Daytona, it is always a fan favorite and one we love to perform at,” said driver and Team Manager Matt Plumb. “We are also glad to be back with IMSA and to be working together with the organization to build this into the best championship season yet. IMSA has been there to host our finest moments and that has not been forgotten.”

Despite its relative age to the field, the No. 13 Porsche 997 looks to capitalize on the car’s “wisdom” to beat the competition.

“We are up against some very strong competition from the new Mustangs as well as the all-new Porsche GT4,” added Matt Plumb. “However, over the last four years we have consistently improved the handling and reliability to match some of the newer cars’ pace. Ultimately it comes down to team work. Rum Bum Racing has some of the best pit work and strategy which we will have to nail race after race and then it is up to Hugh (Plumb) and I to make it happen.”

Rum Bum Racing tested the No. 13 Porsche at the annual ‘Roar Before the 24’ test days at Daytona earlier this month to prepare for Friday’s endurance challenge.

The 2.5-hour race, which is held as part of the big 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona event, will take the green on Friday, January 29 at 1:45 PM ET. The event will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on February 13 at 8:30 AM ET.

You can watch the race LIVE on IMSA.com.

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2015 Tag & Release Winners

This year was truly a great year for the billfishing community and for TBF’s Tag & Release Program with more reports of tagged and released fish than in several years. Below are some of the top conservation-minded anglers, captains, and crews from around the world at the apex of this amazing sport. Congratulations to all the winners and we hope to see everyone at our awards ceremony, presented by Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund, on Thursday, February 11, 2016 in the Treetop Ballroom at Jungle Island during the 2016 Miami International Boat Show. The evening will kick off at 6:00 PM with cocktails followed by the award presentation and dinner. Proceeds benefit TBF’s tag and release program. Get your tickets for the 2015 Tag & Release Award Ceremony here.

Every year, The Billfish Foundation (TBF) recognizes the captains, mates and anglers (including youth and ladies) who tag and release the most billfish in each of the world’s oceans. The competition is categorized by billfish species, ocean, and whether the fish were tagged or released untagged. Award winners are recognized at TBF’s Annual Tag & Release Awards Ceremony and held during the Miami International Boat Show presented by the TBF’s 2015 Tag and Release Sponsors: Bisbee’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fund (our ceremony sponsor), Casa Vieja LodgeCosta SunglassesPELAGIC, King Sailfish Mounts, Yeti Coolers, and Garmin.

Please note that for all anglers, captains and mates to receive their awards they must be current TBF members. You can join or renew your memberships online.

Overall Release Awards

Top Overall Release Angler – Pat McCotter – Vandemere, NC USA

Top Overall Release Lady Angler – Tiffany Day – Kitty Hawk, NC USA

Top Overall Release Youth Angler – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Top Overall Release Captain – Brad Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Top Release Anglers – Atlantic Ocean 

Blue Marlin – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Sailfish – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Release Anglers – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin – Toby Mason – Dampier, Australia

Sailfish – Riley Smith – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Release Anglers – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Sharon Poulter – Smithfield, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pat McCotter – Vandemere, NC USA

Sailfish – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Striped Marlin – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA

Swordfish – John Gregory – Kerikeri, New Zealand

 

Top Release Captains – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, FL USA

Sailfish – Dean Panos – Pembroke Pines, FL USA

White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Release Captains – Indian

Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Release Captains – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Paul Poulter – Smithfield, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pete Rae – Atlantic Beach, NC USA

Sailfish – Brad Philipps – Guatemala City, Guatemala

Striped Marlin – Eddy Cesena – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Swordfish – John Gregory – Keri Keri, New Zealand

 

Overall Tagging Winners 

Top Overall Tagging Angler – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

Top Overall Lady Tagging Angler – Laura Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA

Top Overall Youth Tagging Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA

Top Overall Tagging Captain – Chris Sheeder – Palmetto Bay, FL USA

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Gray Ingram – Jupiter, FL USA

Sailfish – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Swordfish  – Richard Gudoian – Key Largo, FL USA

White Marlin – Laurent Sahyoun – Mandelieu, France

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin * – Scott MacGowan – Baynton, Australia

Black Marlin * – Jo-Ann Riley – Baynton, Australia

Blue Marlin * – Marcus Longhurst – Broome, Australia

Blue Marlin * – Jo-Ann Riley – Baynton, Australia

Sailfish – Henry Riggs-Miller – Victoria, Seychelles

*  Denotes a tie.

 

Top Tagging Anglers – Pacific Ocean

Blue Marlin – Jada Holt – Kailua-Kona, HI USA

Sailfish – Chris Jessen – Sarasota, FL USA

Striped Marlin – Jack Duvall – Kemah, TX USA

 

Top Tagging Captains – Atlantic Ocean

Blue Marlin – Ronnie Fields – Lake Park, FL USA

Sailfish – Fin Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Swordfish – Sean O’Connor – Key Largo, FL USA

White Marlin – Christian Benazeth – Auch, France

 

Top Tagging Captains – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Blue Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish – Jourdain Ellens – Broome, Australia

Striped Marlin – Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Australia

 

Top Tagging Captains – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin – Tim Richardson – Bangalow, Australia

Blue Marlin – Pete Wishney – San Clemente, CA USA

Sailfish – Chris Sheeder – Palmetto Bay, FL, USA

Spearfish – Gene Vander Hoek – Kailua-Kona, HI USA

Striped Marlin – Jaime Gonzales – Cabo San Lucas, MX

 

Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition

Top Overall Tagging Angler – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Tagging Angler – Blue Marlin – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Tagging Angler – White Marlin – Charles Cooke – Florida

Top Youth AnglerAge 13-15 – Kaleb Richardson – Louisiana

Top Lady Angler – Lisa Foster – Florida

Top Tagging Captain – White Marlin – Adam Ladnier – Mississippi

Top Tagging Captain – Blue Marlin – Capt. Max Morris – Louisiana

Top Tagging CaptainCapt. Myles Colley – Florida

Top Tagging BoatBorn2Run – Florida

Top Tagging Charter Captain – Blue Marlin – Capt. Woody Woods – Louisiana

Top Tagging Charter Captain – Capt. Woody Woods – Louisiana

Top Tagging Charter Boat – Clairabelle – Louisiana

 

South Florida Sailfish Circuit

Top Tagging Angler – Shawn MacMullin

Top Tagging Youth Angler  Ages 13-15 – Shawn MacMullin

Top Tagging Lady Angler – Dawn Samuels

Top Tagging Captain – Michael MacMullin

Top Tagging Pro Captain – Bouncer Smith

Top Release Angler –  Shawn MacMullin

Top Release Pro Angler – Eric Hull

Top Release Youth Angler AGES 13-15 – Shawn MacMullin

Top Release Pro Lady Angler – Cece Imbrie

Top Release Captain – Michael MacMullin

Top Release Pro Captain – Dean Panos

 

 

Youth Winners

Top Tagging

Ages 8 & Under – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Runner-Up –  Sebastian Ortiz-Stoessel – Miami, FL USA

Ages 11-12  – Aidan Burke – Los Angeles, CA USA

Runner-Up – Hefner Appling – Port Aransas, TX USA

Ages 13-15 – Kaleb Richardson – Lafayette, LA USA

 Runner-Up – Shawn MacMullin – Key Largo, FL USA

Ages 16-17 – Nick Brackmann – Huntington Beach, CA USA

 

Top Release

Ages 8 & Under – Brown Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Runner-Up – Charles Gaddy – Manteo, NC USA

Ages 9-10 – Diego Adkins – El Paso, TX USA

Runner-Up – Moira Brummell – Granger, IN USA

Ages 11-12 – Cameron Johnson – Davie, FL USA

Ages 13-15 – Jonathan Gaskill – Vandemere, NC USA

Runner-Up – Riley Smith – Exmouth, Australia

Ages 16-17 – Samuel Yohanan – Lighthouse Point, FL USA

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Rum Bum Racing Ready for the Roar Before the 24

Orlando, Fla. (6 January 2016) – The annual Roar Before the 24 test days at Daytona International Speedway kicks off the 2016 IMSA championship this weekend with three days of Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge testing. Rum Bum Racing driver and Team Manager Matt Plumb will be on hand to drive the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche at the ‘Roar’ in preparation for the 2016 season.

Luis Bacardi’s Rum Bum Racing returns to the World Center of Racing as the team prepares to defend its record of success at its home track. The Orlando-based squad has won the 2010, 2011, and 2015 editions of the Daytona event and has placed among the top-five in five of six races at the 3.56-mile circuit that utilizes the NASCAR oval as well as the infield road course.

“We’ll be out at Daytona this week kicking off the cob-webs so to speak after a few months off after last season,” said Plumb. “We had another great year last year and were in the championship hunt all year long. We love racing at Daytona and it will be exciting to be the first race held after the big Daytona Rising project when we come back here at the end of the month.”

The ‘Roar Before the 24’ features six practice sessions for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge beginning on Friday.

The 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season opens at Daytona International Speedway on January 29, 2016.

Follow @RumBumRacing on Twitter for updates!

Roar Before the 24 Test Schedule:

Friday, January 8
7:15 AM Drivers Meeting
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session 1
1:45 PM – 2:45 PM Session 2

Saturday, January 9
11:05 AM – 12:05 PM Session 3
2:55 PM – 3:55 PM Session 4

Sunday, January 10
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Session 5
1:35 PM – 2:20 PM Session 6

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Participation On The Rise

When the US was in the midst of a recession (2007 – 2009), TBF saw a significant reduction in tag and release reports, and it comes as no surprise; the price of fuel was at an all-time high during 2008 as well as many people redirecting their expenditures towards other hobbies. In the years following the start of the recession, TBF saw large fluctuations in the amount of data coming in, but overall, the numbers remained fairly low. Participation from the captains, anglers, and mates who have long supported our mission via the Tag & Release Program began to make a comeback in 2012, and really began to boom in 2014. We are so excited to see cards pouring in from around the world, and also to see so many fishing crews are utilizing the self-entry Tag & Release Online database (www.tagbillfish.org). If you haven’t already done so, please create a profile and test it out for yourself, but don’t get too comfortable because we are in the process of making the data entry even more streamlined. While you’re there generating your personal logbook, you can explore areas where fish have been caught around the world or look up marine weather wherever you plan to take your next trip.

Take a look, the numbers speak for themselves, participation is on the rise. Thanks to all of your efforts, we’re able to translate the valuable data we receive and utilize it to push for sound billfish conservation policy and advocate for angler rights and access. We know you’re going out fishing anyway, and you’re certainly not required to take the time out when things get crazy in the cockpit to tag a fish or write down the information necessary to report your releases. But the fact so many of you do take the time only goes to reinforce what we already know: our collective success can be attributed to this widely dispersed group of anglers, captains and crews, and the fervor and commitment with which specifically the billfish sportfishing community display to ensure a future for the species. We applaud you, and thank you for your continued support of TBF, because of which the 2014 Conservation Report will show numbers higher than the years before, and we hope this is a trend we will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

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