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Looking back on our first tournament win

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Looking back on our first tournament win

May 15, 2015

The Bakers Bay Blue Marlin Invitational was our first tournament. The Bakers Bay Golf & Ocean Club is a private resort community in Great Guana Cay. The two hundred slip marina has great accommodations, restaurant and outdoor bar for meeting up to have a cold one at the end of the day.  Many golfers play barefooted, the course is that well maintained.

Tournament day came on the heels of a lengthy discussion about the use of plugs from the previous night. The entire team disapproved of this idea. Yet we did use them because I pushed for it.  We lost miserably. Lesson learned about listening to my team!

The next tournament is the Abaco Blue Marlin Tournament. We had three practice days to get ready. The first day we see free jumpers and catch a few. We get into a big one. The cockpit is flooding as all mayhem breaks out.  We are backing down so fast, the hatches are overflowing, the cold storage ice is melting around our feet and water is shooting through the gunnels as if from a fire hose!  The large tuna door comes opens while trying to close the door in the commotion, I don’t realize we are changing direction to follow the fish, my hand catches on the door and later it would need three stitches. Jeff, our mate, lands a beautiful 750 pound blue marlin, and it’s one of the coolest sights to see.  After a few appreciative pats on its head, the marlin swims away seeking refuge in the deep blue waters.

We are a small dedicated team and now we are fully ready for the tournament. Working together, we prepare the bait, the two dredges, the two bridge teasers and two cockpit teasers.  We mount six rods and have two pitch rods at the ready. At just 14 feet wide, the Miss Budweiser is narrow by some standards. Sometimes I think this is one of her secrets. She is very nimble and Captain Bill Davis turns her with ease. We catch the most Blue Marlins and win the 2014 Abaco Blue Marlin Invitational!  Our winnings were $127,000.00 - the richest tournament in the Bahamas!


Michael Flanigan


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