By Marlana Maxwell
The “Scales for Tails Fishing Tournament” to benefit the Abaco Shelter was hosted by Scotland Cay for the second year in a row. This year’s event was organized by Tournament Chair, Kelly Wissing and Event Organizer, Marlana Bethel.
The Tournament kicked off Sunday, July 3 at 6:30 as anglers and spectators met in the Lagoon for a captain’s meeting and were treated to a slow cooked BBQ. Captain’s buckets and swag were handed out to the teams and rules were reviewed as the anglers signed up to compete. In spite of the fact that lines were to be in the water at 6amthe next morning the crowd stuck around to enjoy good food and music and get a little pre-tournament ribbing in.
The Tournament was a huge success and doubled in size from the first one held in July 2015. The final amount raised for Abaco Shelter was $5300. These funds will go towards the purchase of new fencing material to complete the interior pens for the Shelters furry residents.
Bright and early Monday, July 4 the anglers headed out to compete in both fishing and diving categories. Weigh in was at 4 p.m. and as the competitors and spectators gathered the excitement grew to see what the anglers brought to the table. There were some nice sized hogfish brought in by one of the diving teams, a good size Wahoo, and even a verified Blue Marlin tag.
Anglers, judges, and spectators met in the lagoon at 6:30 that evening to enjoy a good old fashioned cook out in anticipation of the awards ceremony. The junior anglers were named first with the prize going to Jr. Team Privasea II (Johnny and Chase Loos and Kiara). Johnny Loos was awarded “Top Angler” for his catch of three Snapper and two Dolphin. The awards continued with a tie for 3rd place going to “Back Pay” (captained by Henry Sands, crew Brod Boyd) and “Broke Down” (captained by Alex Whaley, crew Suzi Whaley and Dave Lippman).
The second place winner was “Downwind” (captained by Steve Gallagher, crew Joe Gerardo).
The first place winners were “Privasea II” and they remain the reigning champions from last year (captained by John Stephens, crew John Loos, Maketa Loos, Stephanie Stephens, and Justin Miller).
The night ended with not one, but two beautiful firework displays.
The organizers would like to thank their sponsors beginning with Old Salt Fishing Foundation, Don Ray Gear, Abaco Inn, Orchid Bay Marina, Audrey and John Slevin, Marlee Mason and Letitia McKibbon. Thanking The Harwoods and Longmans for transportation provided for Tournament Coordinator and The Hunts for their hard work gathering awards.
The Abaco Shelter does not receive funding from government and relies solely on fundraising and the generosity of donations. The Shelter is in need of new volunteers and would welcome any assistance from local or visiting persons. You can contact them at www.abacoshelter.org or like them on Facebook “Abaco Shelter”.
The 3rd Annual Scales for Tales Fishing Tournament is planned to be held July 3 and 4, 2017.