All hands on deck

With their new nonprofit status, the Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament reduced the entry fees and simplified calcuttas, making the event even more attractive to offshore fishing fans. This year’s tournament takes place August 15-20 and is based at the Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.
Last August, the crew aboard Capt. Rob Mahoney’s Viking 66 Sea I Sea pocketed $175,400 for reeling in 15 billfish overall—releasing 11 white and four blue marlin—throughout the three days of fishing. The 68 Bayliss Uno Mas mounted a serious challenge on the last day with the crew and Capt. Tommy Lynskey releasing 11 billfish, including five on Friday to earn second place honors and a sum of $117,840.
A total of 56 teams and 425 anglers participated for $468,000 in prize money and released 322 billfish during the week, including 239 white marlin, 39 blue marlin, 32 sailfish, and 12 spearfish. Who’s going to take home first place honors this year?

Ladies only
Participation continues to grow for Bahia Marina’s annual Poor Girls Open, a ladies-only billfish release tournament held August 17-20 that benefits breast cancer research. Last year’s tournament off of Ocean City, Maryland, saw 100 boats with Reel Joy’s winning crew releasing nine fish. Anglers also reeled in wahoo and dolphin as well as a 149-pound tuna caught by Nora Warren on Maverick.
Capt. Steve Harman started the tournament as a way for locals to have a fun, affordable competition while raising money for an important cause. The Poor Girls Open has donated over $100,000 to the American Cancer Society in the last three years alone. Plenty of charter opportunities are available for non boat-owning participants or those not local to the area.

What’s out there
End-of-season pricing is typically the best time to find a bargain, and if you’re looking to buy, “The Tar Heel State” is holding a couple of solid events to see what’s on the market this month. More than a dozen marine dealers representing over 40 manufacturers will display remaining 2015 and new 2016 models at the Carolina Fall Boat Show & Sale at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, August 19-21. Admission for all three days costs $7. The following week (August 26-28) brings the Charlotte Convention Center’s first Mid-Atlantic Fall Boat & RV Show and Sale, where attendees may preview 2017 models and browse a full lineup of family sport boats and personal watercraft for sale.

A holiday on the bay
Australia-based Mariner Boating Holidays will cruise the Chesapeake Bay waters August 20-September 2. Setting sail from Annapolis, the itinerary mostly features stops on the eastern shore of Maryland and ends with a leisure day in Baltimore followed by a peaceful night at anchor on the Magothy River.
The company has held two yacht rallies so far this year: one amid the French Riviera and the other traversing Sweden. Next year’s planned rallies include visits to Cuba, Croatia and Greece among other compelling destinations. The key qualification for joining the rally is “a desire to see yourself on the deck of a sailboat in one of the world’s great travel destinations.”

By Christopher Knauss, Southern Boating Magazine August 2016