Cap Cana Shootout 2016
Story by: Art McDonald
Cap Cana Shootout
Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
June 20-26, 2016
As Yogi Berra said… “it ain’t over until it’s over!” – and, truer words couldn’t have been more prophetic in this year’s Cap Cana Shootout. 13 IGFTO Observers checked into the beautiful Punta Palmera resort on Tuesday, June 21 st, an exquisite facility in a beachfront environment with all the amenities one could hope for.
The bite in Cap Cana had been building for weeks with reports of boats going out and getting 5-7 shots a day at both White and Blue Marlin leading up to the actual Tournament dates. It was apparent the fish were there…….. Problematic, was the boats weren’t! For whatever reason, several boats dropped out of the event that had verbally committed to fish the Shootout – some due to unsettled weather the weekend before, some had moved north to other venues – and there were the usual mechanical issues that always seem to plague entrants. When the smoke cleared on the Tuesday opening party, there were only 6 boats participating. Saying that…. These were some of the best captains, anglers, and crews on the circuit, so anything could happen.
Day One, it was Amazing Grace that took the early lead, at 1,050 with 2 Blue Marlin and a White , over Harry Sargeant’s Black Gold (2 Whites – 420 pts.), Bandolera (2 Whites – 420 pts), and Pink Lady (2 Whites – 410 pts.).
Amazing Grace held onto the lead on Day 2 with a Blue Marlin, but both Black Gold and Auspicious chipped away with 2 Blue Marlin each.
Auspicious took over the lead on Day 3 with 3 Blue Marlin and 2 Whites (1,440 pts.) for a total approaching the final day of 2,270 to Amazing Grace’s 2,090, with Black Gold in 3rd place with 2,070 points. It was anybody’s ballgame at that point. Remember what Yogi said…….
On Day 4 Amazing Grace released a White Marlin minutes after “lines in” was announced and re-took the lead…………………… briefly. Here Come The Boys from Florida, as Black Gold released a Blue – then another an hour later to forge into the lead. In the afternoon, Black Gold solidified their lead with, yet, ANOTHER 2 Blues and a White for an outrageous 4 Blue Marlin/1 White Marlin day to win the event by 1,030 points with Neil Orange and Mike McCarthy each scoring 1,440 overall points - Neil taking the Outstanding Angler Trophy by about 2 hours over Mike. Final tally had Black Gold with 3,920 pts., Auspicious in 2nd place with 2,890 pts., and Amazing Grace third with 2,300 points. At the end of the Shootout all participating boats had released billfish with an impressive average of 7.5 billfish releases per boat.