atlantic caribbean blue marlin big game sport fishing tournament

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Here we go again...Capt. Jimmy gets an idea and right away he starts rallying the troops! We've seen this before when the Big Game Room at the Miami Intl. Boat Show was created - when the Bermuda Triangle Series (BTS) and Spanish Main Series (SMS) were dreamed up - and when the desire to create a quality fishing magazine named On The Edge came about. And too... lets not forget our favorite, the Marine Vocational Program (MVP). Well standby, because this time we're giving birth to a project that will attract thousands of visitors to our shores, providing St. Thomas with a huge off-season boost! Properly done, Marlin Fest will continue to grow over the years and will bring about many lasting memories.

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  • Marlin Fest on St. Thomas will have similar characteristics to other festivals as there will be food booths, arts and crafts displays and of course there will be live music filling the air! The big difference is that 'Marlin Fest' will be staged at the same time as the ABMT "Boy Scout" Tournament - possibly the most prestigious blue marlin tournament in the world! Imagine the beautiful boats backing in with their flags flying high and a crowd of cheering supporters there to meet them. Now add into the picture the Full Moon of August rising over St. Thomas and wala - you have the perfect setting for a world-class party!

    click to enlarge photo First Steps - A committee (separate from the existing tournament committee) must be formed and made up of business owners and community volunteers. Tourism must be invited to partner with us and sponsors must be approached. From the start MF needs a strong foundation built under it as the intent is to become an annually staged event.

    Next, we need to understand our client base and then develop activities that will entertain a variety of interest. For example it's guaranteed that we residents will look forward to Marlin Fest each summer... and it's a good bet that many of our off-island friends will schedule future vacations around it. Tourists who coincidently arrive during MF will view it as an unexpected bonus to their vacation and they'll be seen dancing behind the Moko Jumbies, enjoying party time in the islands!

    Envision the creation of a "Fishing Convention" atmosphere. The Big Game Room on the Water! The fact that Marlin Fest is scheduled at the same time as the USVI Open/ABMT or "Boy Scout" provides everyone connected to the sport (conservation groups, engine and tackle manufacturers, boat builders, etc.) with two perfectly good reasons to "meet up" here during the tournament. One... many of the movers and shakers (both pros and owner/consumers) of the industry will be in attendence - The second and possibly more important reason is because Marlin Fest provides an excuse to enjoy a week of fun in the Virgin Islands! Along with discounted hotel deals, MF attendees will be able to pre-purchased scheduled activities that'll keep them busy all week! No sitting around the docks waiting for the boats to back in! Wouldn't this a great time for a board or sales meeting, top employees perk or a membership gathering?

    Activities - click to enlarge photo In the MF crystal ball we someday hope to announce Jimmy Buffet in concert! Unbeknown to many folks, St. Thomas boasts of an 1,100 seat, semi-covered amphitheater. It's named the Reichhold Center for the Arts. It's located adjacent to a beautiful white sand beach named Brewers Bay and next to the manicured grounds of the University of the Virgin Islands. It is possibly the perfect setting on this planet for a full moon concert! Maybe Jimmy won't make it this year, but who knows, we've seen him perform in a small St. Thomas tavern in the past!

    Other activities that are being created specially for fishermen include a welcome party at Paradise Point and a day trip up to the 'Soggy Dollar Bar' located on Jost Van Dyke, BVI. And how about this for fun... Our 2 day "Wet N' Wild" Center Console Billfish Tournament! Fishermen, keep checking this website for the fun activities that are being planned for you.

    Big too will be our free to the public Red Hook 'Jump Up' (Aug. 17th.) which will include a "Taste of the VI" (booths with popular restaurants featuring a variety of delicious foods), a huge arts and crafts display and continous live music on the stage. Red Hook will be jamming and folks will be jumping up to the music!

    So stay tuned everyone... don't miss out on Marlin Fest 2013! The fun "package" of activities and a choice of resort specials will be announced on this site. Call the ABMT office at 340-775-9500 (email: for information. Give us a call if you live on St. John or St. Thomas and would like to volunteer time to help make this project a huge success!

    June 30, 2013. April - May - June. It has been a busy three months of meetings upon meetings and development work. A logo was designed to tie the 40 year old ABMT "Boy Scout" Tournament in with advent of Marlin Fest. The design depicts the ABMT's well known blue marlin overlaid on the island of St. Thomas and icons of the various activities to be enjoyed were added. Simultaneously, web pages were developed to announce (locally and off-island) the advent of Marlin Fest and since posting, hundreds of readers have already been to the website! Then knowing that to be successful we must enlist the co-operation of the community and our local Government, we held a meeting with members of the Dept. of Tourism, the Hotel Association and the Department of Public Safety. Best part to announce... all are onboard and have pledged their support!

    Volunteers to sit on or to head up committees are now being recruited - and the publicity for the event is being stepped up. We already have signups for the Wet N' Wild' (2 day center console tournament) and the vendors (restaurants, arts and crafts, etc.) and entertainers are starting to line-up for the 'Jump Up' (Aug. 17th.) planned for Red Hook. What has not come together as yet is the planned concert. Jimmy B was contacted (thanks to a friendly) but he will be busy in Baltimore. We have other well known's in the works - but as of this date, nada to announce. T-shirts, mugs and first-annual MF items are being ordered and a bunch of meetings planning meetings lie ahead! Everyone pray for good weather... the really good news is that the marlin are biting!!

    Wed, March 13, 2013 Great meeting with powerful players in attendance! Entertainment News: Reichhold Concert night (Aug. 16, 2013) - Both Jimmy Cliff and Jimmy Buffet have been contacted and we are awaiting information on their availability and costs. For the Red Hook stage it's been determined that we will allow the musicians to run their own show. The food feast will operate for one night the first year of MF and vendors will rent their tent from the Boy Scouts for a $200 donaton to the BSA. The US Coast Guard has been asked to operate one of the two bar locations that are planned (one in each parking lot) and Mary Beth reports that she has the 1st. Annual 'Marlin Prince Open' (golf tournament) under control - prizes are being accepted from sponsors. Vendors competing for the "Best in the Islands" food contest (big prizes) should reserve their space by calling Jimmy at 340-775-9500. Layout schematic (vendor tents and bar) has been contributed by Cool Jill. Needed are MF volunteers who will collect prizes for all contest. Speaking of contest, it has been decided that Linquest Beach will be the location for the Beach BBQ and Bikini contest. Remember, Marlin Fest is a week of activities! The STSA (public pool) will have the exclusive MF parking/shuttle concession (let's help them out!). Yep... MF 13 is taking shape - Next meeting will be at 6:30 Wednesday, April 3 at Fish Tales.

    Wed, January 30, 2013 Meeting was held at Fish Tales. It's time for volunteers to start joining the committee of their choice. Too early to provide fixed details but activities being planned are Concert, Golf tournament, BVI Bitter End w/Soggy Dollar Excursion and Seafood Feast. Next meeting will be held 6 p.m. Wed. Feb. 6th. Fish Tales.

    Wed, January 16, 2013. Good meeting and great pizza! Mary Beth Kopko of Marlin Prince volunteered to take on the Golf tournament which will run Aug. 21st. the 'lay day' of the tournament. Kelly Olive of Fish Tales declared her interest in serving on the food and beverage committee as did others.

    Friday, Dec. 15, 2012. Entire mailing list of volunteers were sent good news! Marlin Fest is now approved to use the Red Hook Shopping Mall for events. With this new approval and the long standing cooperation of American Yacht Harbor, we now have a safe, off the road area to stage the event. The green light to start the detailed planning process has been given and there is plenty to do! The next MF volunteer meeting will be held on Wed. January 16th at 6 p.m. AYH Marlin Deck. Be prepared to break off into different committees such as food and beverage, public safety, clean up, building (stages, etc.), entertainment and event promotion. The first year will be the hardest... but it will be rewarding to see thousands of folks having fun while the Boy Scouts and other community programs are benefiting. Stay tuned!

    click to enlarge photo

    Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. First meeting was called to announce the creation of Marlin Fest! In attendance were: Mary and Mike Falk, Michelle Cervo, Pattie Phelan, Robynn Moorhead, Lance Maanum, Lesley Comissiong, Liz Zimmermann, Monique Sibilly Hodge, Andy Courteau, Sue Boland, Christie Meagher, Luke Furnas, Mark Hume, Joe walling, Glen Melbourne, Cindy Gallant, David Williams, Jimmy Loveland and Shelly Delaney. Committees are now being formed and everyone is welcome to join in! Fine looking group and all hard workers! Click on photo to enlarge.