HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
CELEBRATES 55 YEARS OF TOURNAMENT FISHING IN KONA
In 1959, just two days after the Territory of Hawaii became the 50th state, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) launched its first sportsfishing tournament in Kona on Hawaii, the Big Island. Fifty-five years later, this iconic fishing tournament continues to welcome teams from around the world each summer to fish Kona's now famous waters.
Here's an insider's look back for the past 55 years and the groundbreaking traditions started at HIBT:
- A team from Hawaii won the inaugural HIBT in 1959 by out fishing teams from Australia and New Zealand. Kona's tradition of welcoming international fishing teams begins.
- In 1960, women joined the tournament to fish in a one-day preliminary event. Angler Pat Peacock boats a world record 540-pound Pacific blue marlin on 130-pound test line proving to the world, and the fishing community, that women fish.
- By 1977, Captain Myrna Holdredge, HIBT's first female skipper, boats three Pacific blue marlin in one day and her team from Las Vegas wins the tournament.
- Before sustainability entered the lexicon, HIBT was way ahead of the curve when it introduced a pioneering tag and release initiative in 1986. Tag and release awards valuable points to teams that have tagged marlin under 300 pounds and released them back to the ocean.
- Fast forward to last year with HIBT's impressive international competition fielding teams with captains and anglers from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Africa, USA and Vanuatu.
Kailua Pier is an outstanding location to watch the iconic Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament start each morning at 7:30 am as boats toe the start line across Kailua Bay. Spectators can expect to witness the hum of scoreboard action as teams arrive back at the pier with fish flags flying announcing the day's successes. Big fish weigh in at Kailua Pier after the end of fishing every day at 4:30 pm.
The tradition of fishing for big marlin continues this year at the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament from Saturday, July 26 through Saturday August 2 in the calm waters off of Kona. Tournament fishing days are Monday through Friday, July 28 - August 1. Come join us for lots of big fishing tails (tales too).
Kona, Hawaii - This iconic big game fishing tournament built on prestige and
strict International Game Fish Association (IGFA) rules for world records
starts fishing on August 3rd and continues through August 10, 2013 in Kona,
Hawaii. For five days, teams fish the famous waters off the Kona coast
aboard some of the finest sport fishing vessels with captains who have
built reputations around the world for catching big fish. Prized and
powerful Pacific blue marlin are caught or tagged and released along the
Kona coast every day. Occasionally, these famous waters produce a grander, a
term known as a Pacific blue marlin weighing in at over 1,000 pounds. HIBT
is headquartered on Kailua Pier where spectators see plenty of scoreboard
action as teams weigh in at the end of the day, putting valuable points on
the scoreboard. Kailua Pier is also a great place to watch the Tournament
start each morning at 7:30 am as boats line up across Historic Kailua Bay,
returning to the pier at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Fishing action in Kona is expected to be hotly contested this summer. HIBT
teams are expected from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New
Guinea, Singapore, Vanuatu and from across the USA. All eyes will be on Old
South Marlin Club Team 4 (North Carolina) who captured the 2012 win and the
coveted HIBT Governor's Trophy. This team's cumulative total of 3,150 points
ended up in the HIBT history books with the highest winning HIBT score
since 2008. In fact, the Old South Marlin Club Team 4 score now ranks as the
third highest since the tournament began in 1959.
HIBT event headquarters, retail and tournament control will once again be
anchored at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, located
adjacent to Kailua Pier. The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is
underwritten by the generosity of the County of Hawaii Department of
Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The tournament is
further supported in part by KWXX Radio and numerous corporate and community
Primary Contact: Peter Fithian, Founder
Media Contact: Laura Aquino, Current Events
Future HIBT dates:
Saturday July 26, 2014 - Saturday August 2, 2014
Issue 94, 2012
"Each year the HIBT invites highly regarded gamefishing magazines to come to the contest and report their reactions to their readers. This very concise report of the week's activities was written by their editor,Tim Simpson. In our opinion this publication is one of the top magazines in its class anywhere in the world."
Peter Fithian Founder