Miss Billfish Application
2013 Billfish T-Shirts

The 56th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament
Saturday August 8, 2015 - Saturday August 15, 2015

Bob Herkes

HIBT mourns the sudden loss of our long-time friend, supporter, announcer and Billfish Bull author, Bob Herkes.

HIBT Day 5 Fishing Results - Final Standings

CHINA SEA WOLF CLUB WINS 55TH HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT

Henry Chee Award To Kevin Nakamaru

KONA, HAWAII (August 1, 2014)—“Stop fishing, stop fishing, stop fishing,” rang out from tournament control at exactly 4:30 pm for the fifth and final time this week, and that broadcast closed the 55th running of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. It’s been an eventful week of fishing and the final day of this venerable five-day tournament kept anglers, captains and crews trolling for valuable points right up to the last stroke of the clock.

The 2014 HIBT Governor’s Trophy for first place goes to China Sea Wolf Club in an impressive first tournament showing with a total of 1,986 points. Boating the largest Pacific blue marlin of the tournament, China Sea Wolf Club scored big and continued to put points on the board all week. With several teams in contention for the tournament lead, China Sea Wolf Club angler Liu Ming was able to tag and release an estimated 250-pound Pacific blue marlin on 50-pound test line midday securing the win for this rookie team.

Team Friends of Kenya moved up the leaderboard from third place to hook a solid second place finish by putting up much needed points with team captain and angler Mark Allen tagging an estimated 250-pound Pacific blue marlin.

Japan’s Olympian Dream Fishing Club captured third place. Earlier in the week team angler Mari Arakawa garnered her place in the record book by boating the largest Pacific blue marlin ever caught on 50-pound test by an HIBT women angler.

“HIBT extends heartfelt thanks to the entire Big Island community for such gracious hospitality and aloha bestowed on our guests. HIBT teams come to fish Kona’s famous waters from near and far. This year’s tournament brought together teams from around the world who will return to their hometowns with fishing tales that will long be remembered,” said HIBT founder Peter Fithian. “We had some spectacular catches, great sportsmanship and a hefty increase in ahi.”

Northern Lights Tops Charter Boat Standings

Captain Kevin Nakamaru of the Northern Lights, a homegrown Kona skipper, will be added to the coveted list of Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament Henry Chee Award recipients. The perpetual Henry Chee Award was established in 1965 to honor the charter boat captain upon whose vessel the most number of billfish points have been scored at HIBT. The award’s namesake, a pioneer fishing captain who set an unprecedented number of gamefish catch records, helped establish the Kona coast as a world-famous fishing destination.

This is Nakamaru’s first win and he is a second generation HIBT winner. His mom, Judith Nakamaru set not one, but two HIBT World Records in 1975 and 1976 with her major ahi catches.

Kona Seafari’s Captain David Bertuleit took second and High Flier’s Captain Guy Terwilliger came in third.

Next year’s 56th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is scheduled from August 8 through August 15, with fishing days starting on Monday, August 10 through Friday, August 14, 2015. Anglers and teams are invited to apply for entry as a full tournament is anticipated. Learn more at www.hibtfishing.com.

The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is underwritten by the generosity of the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and numerous corporate and community donors.

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament winners.

55th HIBT FINAL STANDINGS

LEADERBOARD POINTS

China Sea Wolf Club 1986

Team Friends of Kenya 1425

Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1129

Game Fishing Club of South Australia 1050

Port Vila Sport Fishing Club 1027

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS

Kevin Nakamaru, Northern Lights 2027

David Bertuleit, Kona Seafari 1650

Guy Terwilliger, High Flier 1386

Tim Hicks, Illusions 1229

David Unger, Nasty Habits 825


HIBT Day 4 Fishing Results

CHINA SEA WOLF CLUB JUMPS INTO FIRST WITH LARGEST BILLFISH OF TOURNAMENT, SO FAR

Kona, Hawaii (Thursday, July 31) – At the strike of 4:30 pm, Hawaii time, HIBT radio control closed Day Four of the 55th Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament with its signature “Stop fishing, stop fishing, stop fishing”. Thirty-three HIBT teams and captains brought in their gear and headed for Kailua Pier. Fishing is getting hotter and tag and release points keep adding up.

Thirty minutes before the official end of Day Four, China Sea Wolf Club, fishing aboard 39-foot High Flyer, hooked up just north of Kailua in an area called Juliet. Angler Ji Xinhua fought a hard fight and was well rewarded as he boated a 664.8-pound Pacific blue marlin. As the fish was brought out of the boat to be weighed at the Kailua pier, cheers and shouts of excitement rang out from nearby spectators. China Sea Wolf Club is now planted firmly in first place leading into tomorrow’s final day of fishing.

Right behind them, Team Friends of Kenya, fishing aboard 47-foot Nasty Habits weighed in a 394-pound Pacific blue marlin. Team captain and angler Mark Allen caught this marlin using 50-lb test line. Teammate Mark Smith tagged and released an estimated 275-pound Pacific blue marlin earlier in the afternoon.

The morning was quiet in comparison but certainly deserves a look at. First tag and release was called in just after 9am by Old South Marlin Club–Pacific Rim. Fishing aboard the 41-foot Kona Seafari, veteran angler Steve Gunther tagged an estimated 140-pound Pacific blue marlin in 32 minutes, adding points to the scoreboard.

Australia’s Queensland Game Fishing Association, fishing aboard the 41-foot Bite Me 6, hooked-up in an area called Lima. Angler Doug Sauderson was able to tag and release an estimated 135-pound Pacific blue marlin in 40 minutes, putting more points on the board for this spirited team.

Olympian Dream Fishing Club continued its fishing streak when team captain and angler Yasuhiko Kagabu hooked up, fishing aboard the 46-foot Foxy Lady. Kagabu tagged and released a Short nose spearfish in three minutes continuing to put points on the board. Not to be outdone, teammate Mari Arakawa boated and weighed-in a 123 pound ahi. In 2012, this experienced woman angler won the HIBT Dudley C. Lewis Award for the highest individual women scorer.

But today’s story does not end there. At press time the 49-foot Maggie Joe with Japan Game Fishing Club Association-Team Bonita is still hooked up and fighting a fish.

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates Angler Ji Xinhua

2014 HIBT Day Four Standings

LEADERBOARD POINTS

China Sea Wolf Club 1686

Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1129

Team Friends of Kenya 1125

Port Vila Sport Fishing Club 1027

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club-Team 3 950

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS

Kevin Nakamaru, Northern Lights 1327 *captain name corrected

Guy Terwilliger, High Flier 1386

Tim Hicks, Illusions 1229

David Bertuleit, Kona Seafari 900

David Unger, Nasty Habits 825

 

HIBT Day 3 Fishing Results

JAPAN, VANUATU AND CHINA VYING FOR HIBT LEAD

Kona, Hawaii (Wednesday, July 30) – As Day Three of the 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) came to a close, scoreboard points have been posted by every country – but not by every team. And every point counts as HIBT passes the midway point in this five-day marathon. The new moon is on the horizon and HIBT officials predict the next two days of tournament fishing will be busy. In fact, this year’s HIBT outcome may very well come down to the wire at close of fishing on Friday, August 1 at 4:30 pm.

Just after today’s noon roundup, the 2011 HIBT returning champions Port Vila Sport Fishing Club of Vanuatu made its move on the scoreboard. Fishing aboard the 47-foot Northern Lights, team captain and angler Andrew Neill tagged and released an estimated 275-pound Pacific blue marlin in 47 minutes. A little more than an hour later, Neill hooked up again and this time boated a 470.5-pound Pacific blue marlin in an impressive 42 minutes.

When asked about his day at the Kailua Pier weigh scale, an excited Neill stated “The year we won, we scored all our points on tag and release. We have been competing at HIBT for four years now and this is our first boated marlin. It was a tough fight, but I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s what we came here for.”

With today’s one-two punch, Port Vila Sport Fishing Club shot up the leaderboard and captured the number two spot in a tight race separated by just two points from leader Olympian Dream Fishing Club of Japan.

Other notable HIBT action included Old South Marlin Club–Pacific Rim angler Amy Gunther who tagged and released an estimated 140-pound Pacific blue marlin in just under 25 minutes. She is the first on her team to put points on the scoreboard.

The Ahi Division has been active this week and another two teams, China Sea Wolf Club angler Liu Ming and Perth Game Fishing Club –Team 1 angler Peter Maier, boated ahi today.

HIBT teams rotate among Kona’s world-class fishing fleet all week long by boarding a new boat each morning. Cumulative billfish points are tallied separately for captains and crewmembers and the prestigious Henry Chee Award is given to the HIBT captain and crew that score the highest number of billfish points. This trophy honors Henry Chee, Kona’s pioneer charter boat captain who set an unprecedented number of game fish records, helping make his favorite fishing grounds – the Kona Coast – world famous. His legend lives on in the memories of the Kona charter fleet. The Richard Boone Award is also awarded each year to the HIBT captain and crew receiving the highest rating by the teams.

Recent Henry Chee Award winners include:

2013 Silky Captain John Bagwell and crew Tobin Hudgins and Dave Benso

2012 Marlin Magic Captain Jason Holtz and crew Brian Toney

2011 Marlin Magic II Captain Marlin Parker

2010 Foxy Lady Captain Boyd DeCoito

It promises to be an exciting HIBT finish, as anglers, boat captains and crew continue to map out their fishing strategies over the next two days.

The 56th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is set for August 8-15, 2015

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates Angler Andrew Neill

2014 HIBT Day Three Standings

LEADERBOARD POINTS

Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1029

Port Vila Sport Fishing Club 1027

China Sea Wolf Club 600

Hui Hai Hong Jin Club 550

Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club Team 1 50

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS

Mat Bowman, Northern Lights 1327

Tim Hicks, Illusions 1229

David Bertuleit, Kona Seafari 600

Kerwin Masunaga, Rod Bender 600

Captain Brian Wargo, Bite Me 2 550

 

HIBT Day 2 Fishing Results

JAPAN’S DREAM TEAM BOATS LARGEST HIBT FISH EVER CAUGHT ON 50 POUND TEST LINE BY A WOMEN AND LANDS ATOP THE LEADERBOARD

Kona, Hawaii 
(Tuesday, July 29, 2014) – Not only did Mari Arakawa of Japan’s Olympian Dream Fishing Club boat a 622.6-pound Pacific blue marlin that powered her team to the top of the leaderboard on Day Two of the 55th Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT), she also landed herself in the tournament’s record book. 

Fishing today aboard Illusions, the veteran angler hooked up just after 10 a.m. and after a four-hour fight, Arakawa landed HIBT’s largest fish ever caught on 50-pound test line by a woman. “This is my first catch in this year’s tournament. She was such a strong fish, but not too strong for me,” said the diminutive angler. “It took me over four hours, but the time went by very, very fast.” 

In 2011, Arakawa fought another 600-pound Pacific blue marlin for three and half hours before losing it at leader. This time, it was her fight to win. Olympian Dream Fishing Club’s members have fished all over the world, but they now prefer Kona’s fishing grounds, the experienced fishing fleet of captains and crews and the secure location.

“Arakawa’s catch today really underscores the tenacity and skill of the women who fish the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament,” said HIBT Founder Peter Fithian. “Not since the early ‘60s has a women weighed in such a large fish, and on 50-pound test, well that’s one for the record books here at HIBT.”

Reports from the teams on Day Two of this five-day iconic tournament indicate the fish are enjoying summer feeding with two notably quick hook-ups. Just 15 minutes into Day Two of HIBT fishing and Japan Game Fishing Association – Team Bonita, fishing aboard Bite Me 2, hooked a Pacific blue marlin estimated at 200 pounds and 12 minutes later anglerHirofumi Shigeta tagged and released the fish, scoring valuable points for his team. Laguna Niguel Billfish Club #3angler Martin Firestein was next up on the scoreboard and he took only five minutes to tag and release his estimated 110-pound Pacific blue marlin fishing aboard Northern Lights. 

Veteran angler Mari Arakawa with her HIBT record 622.6-pound Pacific blue marlin caught on 50-pound test line

2014 HIBT Day Two Standings

LEADERBOARD POINTS

Olympian Dream Fishing Club, Japan 1029

China Sea Wolf Club 600

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Team 1 300

Malibu Marlin Club 300

Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club Team 1 300

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club –Team 3 300

Team Friends of Kenya 300

Japan Game Fishing Association-Team Bonita 300

Old South Marlin Club-Tarheels 300

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS

Illusions 1029

Rod Bender 600

Bite Me 2 550

High Flier 300

Humdinger 300

Kona Seafari 300

Miss Mojo 300

Northern Lights 300

Topshape 300


HIBT Day 1 Fishing Results

START FISHING, START FISHING, START FISHING! 55th HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT GETS UNDERWAY CHINA TOPS DAY ONE SCOREBOARD

Kona, Hawaii (Monday, July 28, 2014) – The roar of charter boat engines rang out across Kona’s Kailua Bay as Day One of the 55th Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) got underway at 7:30 this morning with its legendary “Start fishing, start fishing, start fishing!”

Just after the noon round-up, fishing aboard the 35-foot Rod Bender, China Sea Wolf Club reported two Pacific blue marlin were tagged and released. Angler and team captain Shen Wei tagged an estimated 200-pound Pacific blue marlin in just under 30 minutes. Ten minutes later, teammate Ji Xinhua tagged his Pacific blue marlin estimated at 175 pounds, propelling China Sea Wolf Club to the top of the scoreboard.

Four teams from China are making their HIBT debut this year. Speaking through an interpreter, Wei said, “We are lucky to be here in Kona! In China, we don’t have this kind of fishing, it’s very exciting.”

In all, 33 teams from Australia, China, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Vanuatu and across the United States are competing in this marathon five-day tournament.

Ahi had the anglers and charter boat captains on alert throughout the day. Old South Marlin Club Team #1 (HIBT Team #6) hooked up and after fighting nearly six hours, boated a 170-pound ahi. On the flip side, angler Bob Hill with Game Fishing Club of South Australia fishing aboard Nasty Habit brought in a whopping 209-pound ahi in just 29 minutes. Rounding out today’s ahi catch, Broome Fishing Club Team Billistic boated a 142.5 pounder and Old South Marlin Club Tarheels boated a 140 pounder. Given the size of the ahi boated today, tournament directors are confident big marlin are lurking in the calm waters off the Kona Coast.

By the end of Day One, five countries have points on the scoreboard: Australia, China, Kenya, New Zealand and USA. “As the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament welcomes anglers from around the world, we are reminded how great the fishing is here and how Kona’s reputation is well known around the world,” stated Peter Fithian, HIBT Founder.

Note: To preserve the thrill of big game fishing for future generations, HIBT teams do not boat Pacific blue marlin under 300 pounds. Teams are awarded points for their catch and these billfish are tagged and released.

The prestigious five-day Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament continues through Friday, August 1, 2014.

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 and numerous corporate and community donors.

Miss Billfish Nicolette Noelani Palacol congratulates HIBT Leaders CHINA SEA WOLF

HIBT Day One

LEADERBOARD POINTS

China Sea Wolf Club 600

Laguna Niguel Billfish Club Team 1 300

Whangaroa Sport Fishing Club Team 1 300

Team Friends of Kenya 300

Old South Marlin Club-Tarheels 300

TOP CAPTAIN STANDINGS POINTS

Rod Bender 600

High Flier 300

Humdinger 300

Kona Seafari 300

Topshape 300



HAWAIIAN INTERNATIONAL BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
CELEBRATES 55 YEARS OF TOURNAMENT FISHING IN KONA

HIBT Invitation

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 donors.

Primary Contact: Peter Fithian, Founder
email:

Media Contact: Laura Aquino, Current Events
email:

Future HIBT dates:
Saturday August 8, 2015 - Saturday August 15, 2015


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


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