Gray Ingram’s 63-foot Ricky Scarborough, Big OH, scored the highest number of points in the required three of the Spanish Main Series (SMS) five legs to win Best Boat. The series takes anglers to some of the hottest fishing destinations in the Caribbean.
The SMS’s kick-off Venezuela Open, held within the La Guaira International Shootout, April 9 to 12, saw Team Big OH take a first for both the leg and series with the release of 12 blue marlin, 3 sailfish and a white marlin for 1000 points. Big OH’s Kevin Paul was the highest scoring series angler. His prized booty? A black coral encased gold doubloon inset with an emerald created by the late famed Bernard Passman and appraised at $30,000.
Brooks Smith’s Team Uno Mas (800 points) finished this opening leg second, followed by Carlos Garcia’s Team Peje (600 points) third and Rod Windley’s Team Gulf Rascal (400 points) fourth.
Series anglers who win one of the legs of the SMS, says Jimmy Loveland, series director, “will receive a pendant. Wins on successive series legs earn anglers an emerald that is placed in one of the five settings on the coin. The goal is to eventually win each leg so that the pendant is filled with five emeralds. This is something that only the best anglers in the world will do.”
Leg two, the Dominican Republic Open, took anglers to beautiful Cap Cana from May 16 to 18. Team Gulf Rascal fished solo this leg, seeing one blue and two white marlin in the spread on day one, but no releases. Come day two, angler Doug Caddell made two of the three white marlin releases for the day and went to bed with visions of the prized Passman coin dancing in his head. But come day three, Caddell and fellow angler, Phillip Napier, were neck and neck with two white marlin releases apiece – Caddell ahead on time – when 25 minutes before lines out Napier’s left short went down and he went up on the scoreboard as the leg winning series angler with three white marlin releases. This feat earned him the coveted coin.
The release of seven white marlin in the Dominican Republic leg moved Rod Windley’s Team Gulf Rascal, captained by Capt. Billy Borer, into the SMS lead with a total of 1400 points. Big OH moved to second with 1000 points, and Team Uno Mas and Team Peje remained third and fourth with 800 and 600 points, respectively.
Team Big OH was back for leg three – the Wild Card leg held this year in the British Virgin Islands’ of Anegada and Virgin Gorda, August 9 and 10 – and won it with the release of six blue marlin. Big OH angler, Kevin Paul, was again high man on the totem pole and picked up a second emerald to add to the coin he earned in Venezuela.
Team Gulf Rascal finished this leg second, Team Peje third, Nicola Pierini’s Team Somoya fourth and Team Uno Mas fifth.
Series standings after leg three, Team Gulf Rascal first with 2200 points, Team Big OH second with 2000 points, Team Peje third with 1200 points, Team Uno Mas fourth with 800 points, and Team Somoya fifth with 400 points.
Team Big OH won again at leg four, the USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin or ‘Boy Scout’ Tournament fished out of St. Thomas August 13 to 17, with the release of seven blue marlin.
However, it was angler Tommy Green aboard Somoya that took the top angler prize for this leg with the release of three blue marlin. Green won the Passman gold coin.
Series standings after leg four saw Team Big OH jump into the lead with 3000 points, followed by Team Gulf Rascal with 2800 points, Team Peje with 1600 points, Team Somoya with 1200 points and Team Uno Mass with 1200 points.
The SMS fifth and final leg, the Boqueron Open, was fished out of St. Thomas due to economic reasons. Again, Team Gulf Rascal was the solo team to play, making them the only team to fish all five legs. Day One, anglers Rod Windley and Phillip Napier both scored one blue marlin release. Day Two, Napier released his second blue, putting him in the lead for the leg’s coin, a feat he held to the end even though angler Doug Caddell released a blue marlin on Day Three.
“I had a great time fishing this series,” says Gulf Rascal owner, Windley. “I’ve never been to Venezuela or the Dominican Republic before and we enjoyed the fishing in both places.”
Official 2008 SMS results: Team Big OH wins by scoring the most points in three of the five legs. Team Gulf Rascal finished second (3800 points, 5 legs); Team Peje third (1600 points, 3 legs), Team Uno Mas fourth (1200 points, 3 legs), and Team Somoya (1200 points, 2 legs).
“It has been decided that the 2009 'Wild Card' leg will be held in St. Maarten,” says Loveland.
Other changes for the 2009 SMS series: $25,000 Per Team - Winner Take All!
“Anglers, place your team's name in the hat early and let's go fishing where the fish are,” Loveland invites.