welcome to the super bowl of sportfishing! it pays to play! observer information bts leg #1 harbour island, bahamas bts leg #2 bermuda where the granders lurk! bts leg #3 us virgin islands
News Letter - March 2006

MARCH 2006

Hello to Fishermen Near and Far!

Greetings from the Virgin Islands!

Wow, it’s just the end of March and already it's been a busy year! Our operational cycle ends with the completion of the "Boy Scout" tournament in August and it starts up again in early November with the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. In mid-December we drove from Miami to Stuart visiting tackle shops, marinas and we even plastered the boats in the boat yards with brochures. Then in early January we went to the Fort Pierce Billfish Derby and rode along three days with Greg Talbott on his beautiful 'On Line'. What a fun trip that was and we enjoyed seeing the “purist” style of dead bait fishing that goes on there. February came and it was time for the Big Game Room at the Miami International Boat Show. There was a huge showing of fishermen and we met many new prospects and saw lots of old friends. We also sold a bunch of BGR tee shirts (Carey’s art sells!) that helped to pay for our trip. We keep moving - the grass isn't growing on our bottom! These early year promotions are important because it enables us to catch the captains and owners before they plan their summer schedule. Time now to get down to the more serious business of operating world-class tournaments for experienced fishermen!

The “we” I often mention in my newsletters are a loose-knit group of hard working volunteers. Annually we rally to the call to operate three tournaments for the benefit of the VI Council, Boy Scouts of America. No one receives a paycheck - because we operate on the spirit of volunteerism. And after thirty-one years of successful "Boy Scout" tournaments in St. Thomas - we took the show on the road and set up shop in the Bahamas and Bermuda. Much of our success in becoming established on foreign soil was due to our relationship to the Boy Scouts and our pledge to share tournament profits with local youth organizations. By far - the biggest door opener was our longstanding commitment to the release the fish that we catch. Not a single billfish has been put on the dock by our anglers in 18 years! Where is this growth period that we are experiencing taking us? Wherever it wants to go - as long as we can continue to produce a first class product. We plan to develop new youth programs and that takes more funding, so why stop here? We've been approached to operate tournaments in other parts - and a reality/documentary fishing film is in the master plan. You can bank on our mission to remain focused on helping kids, the fish and the sport! A big thanks goes out to our captains and anglers for their continued support – and to our sponsors who are the best you could ask for. Our sponsors help us to create a good bottom line and in return we provide them with valuable exposure to our clients.

Harbour Island Open (HIO) - June 8, 9, 10. This year we are fishing all three of our tournaments just before the full moon. The blue marlin will be snapping! The HIO is advertised as an "Open" tournament, meaning anyone in the area is welcome to join in. There will be a $5000 first place prize, a sizeable Calcutta, good Daily's and nice tackle prizes. The event is based out of the Harbour Island Marina and slips are reserved for our clients. If you plan to partake in this even, please let us know as early as possible because the IGFA observers must be given time to secure the best price for their flight (this is their donation) and we need to book their hotel rooms in advance. Marina manager Sherrill Pletscher will release the slips that are on reserve as soon as your deposit for the tournament is received. By the way, Harbour Island is a beautiful place to bring the family for their vacation. They are guaranteed a great time on the island (including fabulous beaches, snorkeling, horseback riding on the pink sand beaches, etc.) while you are off chasing billfish! This is also the first leg of the Bermuda Triangle Series and the BTS anglers will be meeting to agree on the dollar amount that will be going into their 'series' pot. This means they will also be figuring out their game plan – if you choose the 50 lb. test and a big fish comes along - you risk getting dumped. If you pull out the 80's and 130's, the anglers on the next boat over will be pitching the 50's to all small fish. The BTS was designed to offer many choices, but it all comes down to the team with the most "points" in St. Thomas in August. Sailfish, Spearfish, White Marlin and Blue Marlin earn points in both the HIO and the BTS. To win the Bermuda Triangle Series you must fish two out of the three legs of the series - and one leg must be the "Boy Scout" in STT. Join us for the HIO and if you win... we might see you next month in Bermuda! Need a boat for the HIO? Call us toll free at 1-888-234-7484 or (340) 775-9500.

Bermuda Open (BMO) - July 7,8,9. Anglers travel to Bermuda to capture their “Grander”. Here again, you are fishing a tournament that offers a "point spread" to compensate the anglers who have chosen the lighter test lines. Would you choose to fish 50, 80 or 130 lb. test in the land of monster fish? It depends on how many points you have to make up, how much lead you need to go into the St. Thomas leg with, etc. and the fact that you might raise the fish of a lifetime. Consider this fact… last year's BMO was won by Bob DeGabrielle aboard Bull Tolson's ‘Sea Toy' and Bob kicked butt using the 50's - ending up with 5 blues and a white. This is an "Open" tournament and anyone fishing the area is welcome to join in. Be forewarned though, you will be fishing against some of the best anglers in the sport! Not only will you have the famous Bermuda captains to contend with... you will also have the red-hot Carolina boats to fend off. And for your information - lurking around will be Capt. Ronnie Hamlin who recently announced the release of 124 sailfish (Guatemala) in one day! Will the legendary "Capt. Hook" win in Bermuda? We may get a special pot going on this matter because one of his anglers is Davis Clapp of Team A-Fin-Ity fame. Go to our website at www.abmt.vi under the “Bermuda” button to locate info on the local charter boats. We advise you to contact them now!!

US Virgin Islands Open/ABMT – “Boy Scout” Tournament - August 6,7,8,10. Here the line decision is made for you – we supply you with 50 lb. Sufix "Key Lime". We know after 33 years of record keeping - that it takes 12–14 minutes to catch the average size blue marlin (280 lbs. in the VI) on 50lb. test. This tournament is billed as the "Super Bowl of the Sport" and it’s not to be missed! Spicing it up are the BTS anglers who will be fishing their last leg as a "tournament inside a tournament" for other types of billfish - racking up their final points. On the docks you will see an amazing array of boats.... picture a line up of the who's who of the sport. Last year's event (108 blue marlin released by 38 boats) was won by angler Chester Chambers on the 58’ Bayless 'Vintage' with Capt. Hans Haan at the wheel. Team A-Fin-Ity walked with the BTS "Best Overall" honors and Davis Clapp (aboard Marlin Prince) was also second place angler in the ABMT. BTS Teams finishing in order were Clapp's Team A-Fin-Ity, Talbott's Team On Line and Luis Bacardi's Team Rum Bum.

Checks for all tournaments are made out to: VI Council, Boy Scouts of America. Visit our website at www.abmt.vi to see tournament rules, the recommended hotels and all necessary information. You can also call us toll free 1-888-234-7484 or (340) 775-9500. Email: loveto@islands.vi

Other news coming out of Camp Caribbean:

Very sad to say that Jim Edmiston of El Zorro fame (one of the first to send a mothership operation around the world) and past St. Thomas resident - is in poor health with life threatening cancer. Carol Bareuther (well known writer who fortunately lives on St. Thomas) has profiled Jim's life and fishing career and her article will be up on the ABMT website on April 1st. Jim wants everyone to know that he has lived his dreams and he hopes that you can too. Send us your photos of Jim and we'll post them along with his profile.

We are pleased to announce a three-day BVI tournament planned for early summer. Fishing dates are June 8, 9, 10. The name of the event is the "Caribbean Friendship Cup" and it's going to be a casual, but competitive event. First Prize is $10,000!! $2500 per boat entry. This is the joint effort of fishing clubs in the region and the Government of the British Virgin Islands. Participants will enjoy a BBQ "Liar's Party" (and registration) at the VI Game Fishing Club on St. Thomas and the fishing starts on the North Drop at 8:30 the next morning. A lobster bake on the beach in Anegada the next night - then the next two nights are spent at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour - with the final night's "Awards Dinner" dinner held at the upscale Little Dix Bay, compliments of the BVI Tourist Board. This will be an IGFA rules "Boat" tournament" (1-4 anglers) and we will be using 50 lb. test for all types of billfish (prizes for largest yellowfin and wahoo too). There won’t be any billfish boated unless a potential world record is caught and digital cameras will verify the releases. See the new tournament’s info on our website at www.abmt.vi. Yes, you can expect a Calcutta and Daily's too! Tournament profits will be shared with youth programs in the BVI, Puerto Rico and the USVI. See Tournament Flyer

Welcome Matt Holmes, our new Executive Director of Scouting. Charley Tinsley has moved with his family to his new assignment in Virginia. Thank you Charley for all your help!

Lastly, the ABMT's website at www.abmt.vi will soon incorporate an informative message board. We will be using this as a means to stay in touch with our Board of Captains (BOC) and we will invite sports fishermen around the globe to express their opinions on a variety of subjects affecting the industry. The forum will be monitored for "Boy Scout" behavior and it will be free of any bad will directed toward others. We hope to create a means to unite fishermen and to make their views known. There are a lot of challenges facing the future of our sport and we intend to do our part to help make it better. Good fishing to everyone!

If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, please let me know.

Jimmy Loveland