As the angler responsible for catching and releasing a blue marlin estimated to weigh about 300 pounds during day two of the Walker’s Cay Invitational, Dawn Samuels helped her team aboard the Princess Lily climb the leaderboard. But since she’s also a member of a passionate group of talented female anglers fishing this year’s tournament, she also climbed the “Best Female Angler” leaderboard too.
“I just love to fish,” she said after the adrenaline of her first blue marlin catch and release (and the boat’s second blue of the tournament) wore off. “We do about six tournaments a year but I’d do one every weekend if I could.”
Recently the Florida native has fished tournaments in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, but this is her first trip to Walker’s.
“I love being part of the female angler competition,” she said as we steamed back to the marina after time expired on day two, “but I don’t like to watch the leaderboard.”
And that’s probably a good thing because shortly after her catch and release was called in on the radio, Nicole Scotti aboard Triple S also reported catching and releasing a blue as well.
Other anglers in the running for best female angler honors include Shelley Smith from the Triple S, Sarah Ricks aboard El Cazador, Whitney Thomas aboard Mine Time II, and 13-year-old Sarah Rieger. However, they all currently trail Michelle Keeney aboard Marlin Darlin who sits at the top of the leaderboard with one blue and one white catch and release to her credit. The final day action for best female angler promises to be one to watch.
Meanwhile, the competition in the other categories is as hot as it is the female angler category.
The team aboard Reel Pushy snatched the overall lead from El Cazador when they caught and released their third blue marlin of the tournament at 11:12 am. El Cazador kept pace by catching and releasing their third blue at 12:11pm but trail Reel Pushy on time. Blue Angel is currently in third.
The docks at Walker’s are buzzing. The final day of competition on the water is shaping up to be a classic. And advance reports say Carl Allen has something very, very special planned for the awards dinner on Saturday night.
Follow along with tournament updates on our social channels or by downloading the Walker's Cay Invitational app for real-time leaderboard updates!