52nd BUCCANEER CUP is History!
Tournament Wrap Up
After months of preparation, the 52nd Annual Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Release Tournament was held on January 23 and 24, 2015. The Captain’s Meeting and Party at the legendary Buccaneer Restaurant and Marina has become a gathering place for competition teams to hoist a few drinks, snack on great offerings like bacon wrapped scallops and register for the event. The vibe was congenial and friendly. A first this year was vendor displays with an awesome MTU Series 2000 2600 HP engine on site for inspection courtesy of MTU, FDDA and J&T. The hit of the evening was the display set up by our featured artist, Hank Bufkin.
This year the fishing was on the slow side. Nary a cold front had reached South Florida and lots of sailfish were still further north than the tournament boundary at Fort Pierce, but the competition was some of the fiercest we have seen in any of the previous Buc Cup events. By the end of the Day One with its bumpy seas only 54 releases had been tallied by the field of 26 top flight boats and crews. The Miss Annie, last year’s big winner, and Rambunctious were tied for first place with 1,400 points; the Viking 62 and Good Calls, a 37 Bahama center console, were hot on their heels with 1,200 points. Weez In the Keys, Intents and Krazy Salts were all in striking distance.
If you thought Day One was rough, it was only a precursor to what the teams had to deal with on Day Two. It was howling from the south when they left Fort Worth and Jupiter Inlets and spread out in search of the illusive sailfish. Only 35 would be released that day, but the lead would change many times. Apava broke out of the back of the pack with five releases before noon to take a solid lead after racking up only 2 releases on Day One. The trollers did best in the morning, but as the wind went west and conditions changed the live baiters started calling in releases to the radio room. Good Calls and Miss Annie added a couple more to their total, but Rambunctious popped three in the afternoon moving within striking distance of first.
In the last hour of competition five boats were vying for first place. In the final minutes Apava and the Viking 62 were atop the field with 2100 points and Rambunctious was at 2,000 when they hooked up and lost what would have been the winning fish! Talk about a photo finish. At lines out the leader board showed Apava over the Viking 62 on time, Rambunctious was third, Good Calls was in forth and Miss Annie took fifth. The teams were able to watch the points change throughout the entire tournament as each release was scored thanks to Reel Time Apps. (For complete results click on the Live Scoring tab above.)
The Awards Dinner was back at the Sailfish Club of Florida again this year and was a wonderful event enjoyed by all. Dave Przysinda, Capt. Scott Fawcett and the crew of the Apava went home with winnings totaling over $93,000 and arms full of loving cup trophies and plaques. Congratulations to them and to all the folks that fished the Buc Cup this year, you’re all winners in our eyes for helping us make generous donations to the Recreational Fishing Alliance and the Florida Fish for Life Cancer Charity.