Added: Reinaldo Blackshire - Date: 27.03.2022 07:40 - Views: 21971 - Clicks: 2432
Cheering for the underdog is a recurring theme in traditional sports, especially the amateur ranks. Fans connect when a team exceeds expectations because of raw talent, a little luck and the will to win despite the odds. Competitive big-game tournament fishing has its share of underdogs too and for the last 15 years in Bermuda, the Tripleplay team has fit the profile. Only there was one slight twist. Teammates Andrew Dias and Martin Estis never considered themselves underdogs and their subsequent tournament track record definitely backs that attitude.
Just look at the scorecard. With Dias at the helm of his 34 Offsoundings sportfish express and Estis in the chair, Tripleplay caught the largest fish in the Sea Horse Anglers Club Billfish Tournament with a pound blue. That earned the team an entry into the World Cup Tournament, which they won with a grander tipping the scales at 1, pounds.
It was the second largest fish weighed in World Cup tournament history. Tripleplay would go on to win the inaugural Billfish Blast in and it was the only team to catch the largest fish in the Big Game Classic twice with an in and a in In the year history of the Bermuda tournament series, Tripleplay has weighed nine qualifiers, including several daily winners, more than any other team. That's not really surprising, though, since both men started training so early. Before we started in tournaments we were commercial fishermen.
We'd go after tuna, swordfish, yellowtails, wahoo, whatever was in season before we settled into our current careers. Our shift to the competitive circuit took off after I bought my boat in the late s. The men's successful business careers have carried directly over to similar achievements on the sport-fishing circuit. When he got ready to purchase his boat, Dias settled on the Offsoundings, a limited production express built on Long Island, New York.
Powered by twin CAT diesel engines, it was the third boat out of the mold and was destined to become his leisure toy, hence the name Tripleplay. We'd make half-day trips to test the tackle and lure spread. After we had good success raising blues over the pound bracket, it was only a matter of time before we had the big one.
Andrew always said we'd catch our grander in less than five years and was the year. We kept adding tournaments after that, but we didn't just concentrate on the kill division, we released fish too. Typically, we go all in on the different entry levels. Tripleplay was outfitted with a fighting chair and outriggers and Dias increased his tackle inventory a rod at a time.
After winning the World Cup tournament with the grander on a Penn International, he took the winnings and bought all new Shimano Tiagra reels still in use , matched to Capt. Harry's custom bent-butt rods. Although some boats have experimented with live baiting, the majority of Bermuda teams prefer to drag large plastic lures.
Dias was given a hand-em-down Big T lure from another angler and liked it. When another local skipper, Capt. Ian Card, received a large shipment direct from the manufacturer, Dias and Estis were able to pick out a few before eventually ordering more direct. The 1, and fish were both landed on the same battle-scarred Big T Leopard lure. But for some reason our fish really love that African plastic. Estis says the big fish typically hone in on a certain color, although he feels presentation is more critical than appearance. Boat speed has to be spot on, too. One-half a knot can make a big difference.
It all depends on the weather and currents. You have to be ready to make adjustments. How the lure looks as it's moving through the water is the key. The lighter gauge hooks swim better with the lures, they've found. Single hook rigs are sometimes added to the long center rod. The normal pattern on Tripleplay is five rods with lures on the first, second, fourth and fifth waves.
The last line is run way back off the center 'rigger rod. No dredges are used and the team only deploys one teaser, which may be something as simple as an empty rum bottle. Dias is switching to Amelion pound monofilament line this year after losing the junior angler world record Martin's son Jacob was on the rod on the last season when his line brand over-tested.
The strike setting is 8 to 12 pounds of drag. The light mono line connects to longline snaps on the tag lines and it breaks every single time at the same pressure. When we have a knock-down, we can quickly put the line right back in the sock so it's in the exact spot every time.
If the fish comes up and starts jumping again, I may loosen the drag some, but it's all about knowing the angler's capabilities and teamwork. You have to keep the heat on the fish. You can quickly tell the size of the fish by the fight. The ones less than pounds make quick spurts and tire out fast. The and pounders are usually pretty easy as well. It's those between and pounds that are really hard. They are wild, mature fish and it's a totally different fight.
My longest was 1 hour 45 minutes on the If you keep a fish on for more than 30 minutes, it's usually a keeper and most of our fights last a little over an hour with the higher drag settings we use. I can spin Tripleplay quickly if I have to. Last year Martin's son Jacob took over the primary angling duties, shifting dad to first mate chores. Andrew's son Morgan has also been a key angler and team member over the years, along with friends.
We had our hands full already so I wasn't about to offer another lure to it. Dias and Estis both agree local knowledge and their commercial background has contributed to their enviable tournament success rate. We've won tournaments at every one of those locations. It all depends on the conditions. We'll plan accordingly and then go either north or south.
Bermuda offers some of the best shots in the world for catching a grander. It just consistently produces. Will you get the chance for 10 fish a day like St. Thomas or some other places in the Caribbean? But we're not looking for 10 fish. We want to catch the single biggest fish that swims in the ocean.
Dias says he and Estis have a good relationship with the visiting American boats. They've shared tips and techniques and enjoy the camaraderie the tournaments offer. We do like to win, but it's not just about winning. We've shown a lot of boats what we use and we've learned from them too. It's got to be fun. If you're not having fun out there, you need to turn up the music and mix another drink. The focus isn't simply on fun, killing fish and prize money, however. It didn't take long to discern how much these two men respect the giant animals they pursue. Non-trophy fish are gladly released and Dias stated that on the average only 10 fish per season are boated during the tournaments, an inificant amount compared to the commercial by-catch on longlines.
A positive approach is another key element to Tripleplay's consistent success. Estis says the team is always confident it will catch a fat, contending fish if the tackle is set properly and all members execute according to the game plan.A little Bermuda fishing
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