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Japan fishing club takes lead on Day Two of the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament

August 4, 2010 |  1:56 pm

Old South Marlin Club #2 teammates pose with 2010 Miss Billfish, Sonja Ascino, alongside their second tag of the 2010 
Hawaiian International Billfish tournament.

Only one fish was boated on Day Two of the Hawaiian International Billfish tournament taking place through Friday off Kailua-Kona, but it was enough to help secure the standings lead for the team landing it.

It only took 43 minutes for angler Hidemi Hayashi of Hilton Grand Vacations Fishing Club in Japan to land the 531-pound Pacific blue marlin, but the team realized the importance of landing such a big fish, having won the tournament in 2007.

Fishing aboard Marlin Magic, captained by Jason Holtz, Hayashi fought a good fight. "We were fishing way down south. The fish did not take out a lot of line, which made for some quick time," said Holtz. "At the back of the boat, she was jumping and splashing. It felt like being in a rodeo!"

With three minutes left before the end of fishing, Marlin Magic again radioed to headquarters, "Team 19 hooked up," and teammate Shuu Yamaguchi proceeded to tag a shortnose spearfish, propelling the team to first place.   

By the end of the second day of competition, 12 fish were caught and all but one were tagged and released.

The tag-and-release rule is a key component of the strict tournament regulations. Tag points often become an important strategy in gaining valuable team points -- boat a fish weighing less than 300 pounds and no points are awarded; tag and release a fish in the same weight category and the team earns points. Teams rely on the extensive knowledge of captain and crew to determine the estimated weight of each hookup, often done as the fish nears the boat during the heated battle of reeling it in.

Daily Catch (Tuesday -- Day Two)
Nine Pacific blue marlin tagged and released
One Pacific blue marlin weighed
One striped marlin tagged and released
One shortnose spearfish tagged and released

HIBT Week Total
19 Pacific blue marlin tagged and released
Three Pacific blue marlin weighed
One striped marlin tagged and released
Three shortnose spearfish tagged and released
One ahi (yellowfin tuna) boated

Team Standings
Place Team Points
1 Hilton Grand Vacations Fishing Club, Japan, 1,008
2 Game Fishing Club of South Australia, 900
3 Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan, 627

Captain Standings
Place, Captain, Boat, Points
1 Boyd DeCoito, Foxy Lady, 1,200
2 Jason Holtz, Marlin Magic, 1,008
3 Kevin Hibbard, JR’s Hooker, 927
4 Lance Gelman, Long Ranger, 900

*Note: in the event of point ties, place standings are determined by the time the fish is boated.

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: Old South Marlin Club #2 teammates pose with 2010 Miss Billfish, Sonja Ascino, alongside their second tag of the 2010 
Hawaiian International Billfish tournament. Credit: Hawaiian International Billfish tournament

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