20th Annual Wahine Fishing Tournament Recap

Some of Hawaii Island’s top women sport fishing enthusiasts were out in force this weekend – nearly 440 participants on 70 fishing boats competing for the biggest marlin (more than 300 pounds) and the most tagged and released fish of the day on Saturday, July 25.

This year the 20th Annual Huggo’s Wahine Fishing Tournament’s theme, “South Pacific Decadence”, was on full display in the costumes donned by participants for the opening night party on Friday at On the Rocks and by the wildly decorated boats that gathered in Kailua-Kona Bay for the traditional water fight prior to the official tourney start at 8am.

[nggallery id=20]

The annual charity fundraiser takes place in the waters off Kailua-Kona each July and proceeds benefit the local charity, Family Support Hawaii. Winning participants do go home with more than just bragging rights, however! This year winning teams competed for more than $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Following 8 hours of fishing, Team “Pointless Sisters” on the sport fishing boat “Medusa” claimed First Place Team Overall with two Pacific Blue marlin caught and released by anglers Lisa Barbas and her mother Jennifer Ching with Captain Lance Gelman at the helm.

Touted as the largest women’s billfish tournament in the Pacific and possibly the world, this year’s three-day event was capped by the awards dinner at Lava Lava Beach Club on Sunday, July 26. Team “Pointless Sisters” was joined by the second place team on board “Raptor”; third place team “Kona Hookers” on the boat “Teresa”; fourth place team aboard the “Five Star”; and 5th place team on “Bite Me 1” on the awards platform this year.

As part of the evening’s festivities, a video celebrating the lives of long-time and much beloved Huggo’s team member Maurice Haggard and Captain Randy Llanes, who was an integral part of the tournament from day one was shown to the delight of all attendees.

“Over the past 20 years, all of us at Huggo’s are proud to have garnered more than $150,000 in donations for Hawaii Island charities and we look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come,” says Eric von Platen Luder, president of the Luana Group of restaurants — Huggo’s, On the Rocks and Lava Lava Beach Club.

Mark your calendars now for the 2016 Huggo’s Wahine Tournament set for Saturday, July 30.

Here are just SOME of the photos we were able to take while out enjoying all the fun!

[nggallery id=19]

Also, be sure to watch this recap of the Wahine Fishing Tournament over the years!