I had the pleasure of being a part of the team that put together the first annual Battleground Bahamas Yellowfin Tuna fishing tournament. With all the planning and months of anticipation, the day had finally arrived. I have to say I had such an amazing experience and got to meet so many people! Seeing all the boats, the fish and everyone having so much fun really made the weekend spectacular.
DAY 1: CAPTAINS MEETING
The fishing tournament was hosted at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club and with such a breathtaking view, it was easy to fall in love with this place. The first day started on Thursday, June 24 with the Captain’s Meeting by the Pool Bar. The display of the First Place Raffle Prize, which was a YAMAHA 125 xtz125cc Motorcycle along with the trophies was a very nice touch to make all the competitors fired up about the fishing tournament.
There was a total of 16 boats that entered with three of them being International Vessels! This was a good thing seeing as how this was the first tournament! I honestly thought to myself that Grand Bahama is making a comeback! The tournament director read the rules and the floor was open for questions after. I got to meet the owners of the Yacht club and all the competitors. The energy was high as teams cheered when their name was called. The organization also gave out Battleground Bahamas Shirts for all competitors.
DAY 2: FISHING TOURNAMENT BEGINS
The first day of the tournament started on Friday with some boats leaving to go out to begin fishing as early as 4 am (so I heard)! The mood was very tense as we all waited for boats to arrive to see what the fish looked like.
The weigh-in began on the Dock of the GB Yacht club at 6 pm until 9 pm that evening. The first three boats that came in didn’t have any qualifying fish. It wasn’t until about 7:45 pm that the boats started coming in one right after the other! This is when all the excitement started! The boats brought up lots of fish to be weighed and one right after the other the crowd cheered. I was too happy to see some BIG TUNA as well as some Wahoo and Mahi Mahi! I felt like I was on an episode of Wicked Tuna The Bahamas Edition.
DAY 3: FAMILY FUNDAY & END OF FISHING TOURNAMENT
On Saturday, which was the third and final day of the event, the festivities began at 1 pm. It was brutally hot that day and I got a bit of sunburn early on. The variety of food was excellent as they had conch salad, conch fritters, gully wash, and fruit smoothies on sale. I thought that was a really good look for visitors because it was “Truly Bahamian”. For the boaters, they had prepackaged meals with chicken or veggie options. I don’t think I stopped moving until almost 9 pm that night where so much was going on. The Sands Tent served drinks such as Sands Light, Sands Pink Raddler among other beverages.
One of my highlights was getting the chance to interview one of the major sponsors, The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board. They really put a lot of time and energy into promoting this event as well as the island of Grand Bahama. You should take a look at their social media @visitgbi. Also, visit their website at www.grandbahamavacations.com for more information.
Immediately after that, the boats starting to come in! I went down to the weigh-in station and began recording the weights of the day’s catch. At 6 pm the stations closed and it was time to tally up the combined weight to declare a winner! At 7 pm the awards began and everyone got closer to the stage to witness. The third-place prize went to Team Murderize, the second-place prize went to Team Waugh-hoo and the first-place prize went to team Yea Ya Sea. All of the winners were happy to go home with prize money.
Then it was finally time for the raffle. I’m not gonna lie but I prayed HARD for that motorbike. I could imagine my summer just riding around town with my hair in the wind. Sadly for me, someone else ended up taking the bike home.
Overall the fishing tournament was a great success. This is definitely an event I would recommend to visitors as well as locals! It was something refreshing to do on the island as well as bringing nostalgia. I remember as a child, Grand Bahama would host some of the best and biggest fishing tournaments. The Battleground Bahamas Team really put together something GRAND and I am looking forward to next year! For more information on the tournament, you can visit their website www.battlegroundbahamas.com or follow them on Instagram and Facebook @battlegroundbahamas.