Not every fishing tournament features the happy tournament host (and owner of the island) “buzzing” the fleet with his own personal seaplane as boats make their way back to the marina. But then again, fishing tournaments at Walker’s Cay have always had a special meaning for owner Carl Allen. And thanks to the hard work of him and his team, the legend of Walker’s Cay continues to grow as the Second Annual Walker’s Cay Blue Marlin Invitational got underway today.
“It’s absolutely thrilling to have a world-class tournament out here again,” said Allen at the close of day 1. “We have 39 boats competing this year. And I’m excited to report that the fleet caught and released 30 billfish. Half of them were blue marlin. And this is just the first day.”
Conditions were perfect and the overall standings after day one have three teams tied for first with 1200 points apiece. Captain Paul Alderman aboard El Cazador said, “We caught and released two blue marlin. We caught some tuna too. We might even have been in the lead in the tuna division if we didn’t have a shark bite off most of it before we got it in.”
The team aboard Reel Pushy also caught two blues worth 1200 points. “We had some good bites in the morning, but we caught both blues in the last hour,” Captain Chris Workman said. “They both seemed to be about 250 pounds or so.”
Meanwhile, the team aboard Big Stick “Caught one early at 8:30 or so,” says Captain Owen Van Bever. “And we caught our second at about 3:30. It was a great.”
“The fish are here,” Allen adds. “We already have had more fish caught and released on the first day than we did during the entire tournament last year.
And with a boat list that includes the always competitive Viking 80 Catch 23, top-ranked pro-golfer Dustin Johnson’s custom-built Just Chillin, and a strong fleet of new and returning teams, the Walker’s Cay Invitational is already becoming one the premier tournaments in the Bahamas.
The early success of the event is even more impressive since many of buildings on the island have yet to be completed. “It’s been tough with all the storms and Covid,” Allen adds, “And things have been slower than I would have hoped. But we’ve made a ton of progress this year. We have plenty of fuel, power and water. And the island is more beautiful than ever.”
Allen is also understandably proud of the positive impact rebuilding Walker’s is having on the local Bahamian community too. “We need to do our part to help get people back to the Bahamas so we can help these people continue to recover and also move forward.”
And this tournament is just getting started. Stay tuned.
Follow along with tournament updates on our social channels or by downloading the Walker's Cay Invitational app for real-time leaderboard updates!