The International Billfish Tournament (IBT) turns 65.
The IBT is the longest consecutively held big game fishing tournament in the world.
The tournament is hosted by Club Nautico de San Juan in Puerto Rico, takes place October 15-21. Longevity is far from the IBT’s only claim to fame.
Over the past decade alone, organizers have maintained a cutting-edge vibe to this event by introducing elements like hotspot metrics to identify water qualities consistent with a good bite, critter cams in coordination with the National Geographic Society for research purposes, conservation conscious rules for 30-pound test line only, and most recently, a mobile app to track real-time bites, hook-ups and releases during the tournament.
This year, the new twist is a date change. The October IBT dates were purposely chosen to take advantage of a trio of plusses. Those include a perfectly full moon, warm water temperatures and a diversity of billfish. This time of year, fish swim through the world famous “Marlin Alley,” a mile-and-a-half deep trench located off the island’s north coast.
“In October, anglers will be able to hook different billfish species such as blues, whites, and sails, rather than just blue marlin, which are more prevalent in September,” says Salvador Egea, Jr. He’s the IBT chairman for the third year. Visiting anglers have a unique opportunity to fly in and fish on a different boat each day. There are also nightly parties, all for one set price.
by Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating Magazine, September 2018