2019 Tag & Release Awards Ceremony Recap | The Billfish Foundation

2020 Tag & Release Competition Award Winners

2019 Tag & Release Awards Ceremony Recap | The Billfish Foundation

winners of the 2019 International Tag & Release Competition

Each year The Billfish Foundation recognizes the best of the best in the billfishing community to acknowledge the significant effort they contribute to our Tag & Release Program and billfish conservation. Since its inception in 1990, the program has accrued over 260,000 tag and release records, becoming the largest private billfish tagging database in the world. In the last year alone, TBF has collected over 6,000 records! The information gathered through tag and release efforts is invaluable to increase our understanding and better our management of billfish and preserve the sport we love. This is only possible through the efforts of conservation-minded captains, anglers, and mates across the globe.

Winners will be recognized at our first ever Virtual Tag & Release Awards Ceremony on Facebook Live, February 12th, 2021 at 6pm EST. To get everyone in on the fun, much like our 2020 Virtual Gala, we will also have a virtual auction this year – link to follow! We also want to thank our 2020 Tag & Release program sponsors: Casa Vieja LodgeCosta SunglassesGarmin, Yeti Coolers, King Sailfish Mounts, and International Gamefish Tournament Observers. Please note that all winners must be active members of The Billfish Foundation to receive their award. Below, an asterisk denotes a membership that is currently expired or will be expired at the time of the awards ceremony. Anglers and Captains can become a member or reup their membership at www.billfish.org/become-a-member.

We are pleased to announce the following winners of the international tagging competition:

  • Top Overall Tagging Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Captain: Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler: George Straub – Jupiter, Florida

In the release category of the international competition, we had the following winners:

  • Top Overall Release Angler: Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  • Top Overall Release Captain: Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  • Top Overall Release Lady Angler: Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  • Top Overall Release Youth Angler: George Straub – Jupiter, Florida

Below are the top five winners in each category of ocean, by species, and region.

Overall Winners

Top Overall Tagging Angler:

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  4. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  5. Christian Hampl – Doral, Florida

Top Overall Tagging Captain:

  1. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Ben Horning* – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  4. Patrick Price – Jensen Beach, Florida
  5. Bobby McGuinness* – Golfito, Costa Rica

Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler:

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Geri Christman – Fair Oaks, California
  4. Kumie Saegusa* – Yokohama, Japan
  5. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida

Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler:

  1. George Straub – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Hefner Appling – Port Aransas, Texas
  3. Colton Wyatt – Hakalau, Hawaii
  4. Owen Bryant* – Riviera, Texas (tied for 4th)
  5. Nicolas Ortiz* – Pamplona, Spain (tied for 4th)

Top Overall Release Angler:

  1. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Mike Brauser – Lighthouse Point, Florida
  4. James Breen* – Newport News, Virginia
  5. Taylor Bills – Gold Coast, Australia

Top Overall Release Captain:

  1. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  2. Jason Brice – Miami, Florida
  3. Dean Panos* – Pembroke Pines, Florida
  4. Tim Popfinger* – Pompano Beach, Florida
  5. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida

Top Overall Release Lady Angler:

  1. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Brenda Moore* – Texas
  4. Connie O’Day* – Pearland, Texas
  5. Shelley Smith* – Newport, North Carolina

Top Overall Release Youth Angler:

  1. George Straub – Jupiter Florida
  2. Chloe Cofer – Carolina Beach, North Carolina

Top Anglers

Tag

Top Tagging Angler – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Dana Foster – Pensacola, Florida
  4. Byron Nidd* – KZN, South Africa
  5. Glenn Straub* – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Sailfish

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Jacob Lepera* – Boynton Beach, Florida
  4. Meggin Patterson* – North Palm Beach, Florida
  5. Dawn Samuels – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Swordfish

  1. Samuel Urbain – Sainte Maxime, France
  2. Christina Thompson – Waller, Texas
  3. Bill Hunt – Waller, Texas

White Marlin

  1. Peter Cherasia – Rumson, New Jersey
  2. Darren Helwig – Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
  3. Shelley Smith – Newport, North Carolina
  4. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  5. Nick Rauco* – Toms River, New Jersey
Top Tagging Angler – Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. Richard Worrell* – Charlotte, North Carolina

Blue Marlin

  1. Chad Beaudry* – Telluride, Colorado
  2. Guy Arrington* – Houston, Texas
  3. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  4. Kumie Saegusa* – Yokohama, Japan
  5. Chris Jessen – Sarasota, Florida

Sailfish

  1. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Christian Hampl – Doral, Florida
  3. Chris Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  4. John Henry David – Neptune Beach, Florida
  5. Maximilian Hampl – San Jose, Costa Rica

Spearfish

  1. Chad Beaudry* – Telluride, Colorado

Striped Marlin

  1. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Geri Christman – Fair Oaks, California
  3. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Katie Kosich* – Newport Beach, California
  5. Ichiro Takahashi – Tokyo, Japan
Top Tagging Angler – Indian Ocean

Blue Marlin

  1. Hayley Dellar – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish

  1. Mike Mason* – La Misere, Seychelles
  2. Christine Jumeau* – Seychelles
  3. Jo-Ann Riley – Bulgarre Australia (tied for 3rd)
  4. Jeremy Barnett* – Alyangula, Australia (tied for 3rd)
  5. James Gorham – Dampier, Australia (tied for 3rd)

Release

Top Release Angler – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Mike Brauser – Lighthouse Point, Florida
  2. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Danie Schoemann
  4. Kanmair Kleinmodig – Curacao (tied for 4th)
  5. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida (tied for 4th)

Sailfish

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  3. Jacob Lepera* – Boynton Beach, Florida
  4. Billy Carson – North Miami, Florida
  5. George Robinson – North Palm Beach, Florida

White Marlin

  1. Harris Huddle – New Bern, North Carolina
  2. Mike Brauser – Lighthouse Point, Florida
  3. Shelley Smith – Newport, North Carolina
Top Release Angler – Pacific Ocean

Black Marlin

  1. Taylor Bills – Gold Coast, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Chad Beaudry* – Telluride, Colorado
  2. Kristian Peterson* (tied for 2nd)
  3. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida (tied for 2nd)
  4. Christian Hampl – Doral, Florida (tied for 2nd)

Sailfish

  1. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Brenda Moore* – Texas
  3. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Mike Broadbent* – Ocala, Florida
  5. Rich Edwards*

Spearfish

  1. Chad Beaudry* – Telluride, Colorado

Striped Marlin

  1. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  3. James Breen* – Newport News, Virginia
  4. Chloe Cofer – Carolina Beach, North Carolina
  5. Katie Kosich* – Newport Beach, California
Top Release Angler – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin

  1. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Australia

Sailfish

  1. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Australia

Top Captains

Tag

Top Tagging Captain – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Scooter Porto – Gulf breeze, Florida
  3. Jim Brasher – Tequesta, Florida
  4. Myles Colley – Pensacola, Florida
  5. Terrell Miller – San Antonio, Texas

Sailfish

  1. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Patrick Price – Jensen Beach, Florida
  3. Iain Nicolson – Merseyside, Angola
  4. Stephen Brexel* – North Palm Beach, Florida
  5. Fernando Duarte* – Luanda, Angola

Spearfish

  1. Vince Riera* – Alcudia, Balearic Islands, Spain

Swordfish

  1. Rudy Urbain* – Sainte Maxime, France
  2. Jeffrey Wilson – Galveston, Texas
  3. Adam Peeples – Fort Walton Beach, Florida
  4. Chase Fulton* – Islamorada, Florida

White Marlin

  1. Rich Barrett* – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Jake Farley – Saint Michaels, Maryland
  3. Bill Davis* – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (tied for 3rd)
  4. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida (tied for 3rd)
  5. Todd Smith – Newport, North Carolina (tied for 3rd)
Top Tagging Captain – Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. Tim Richardson – Bangalow, Australia
  2. Craig Denham* – Bongaree, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  2. Shane O’Brien* – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  3. Ben Horning* – Sarasota, Florida
  4. Yoshihiro Suzuki* – Yokohama, Japan
  5. KJ Robinson* – Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Sailfish

  1. Ben Horning* – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Bobby McGuinness* – Golfito, Costa Rica
  3. Chris Workmon* – Savannah, Georgia
  4. David Salazar* – Palmetto Bay, Florida

Spearfish

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  2. KJ Robinson* – Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Striped Marlin

  1. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  2. Casey Carter*
  3. Yanagi Takaharu – Hyogo, Japan
  4. Julio Cota* – Norridge, Illinois
  5. Chris Workmon – Savannah, Georgia
Top Tagging Captain – Indian Ocean

Black Marlin

  1. Dean Wilson* – Broome, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Leigh Freestone – Exmouth, Australia (tied for 1st)
  2. Darryn du Plessis* – Dubai, UAE (tied for 1st)

Sailfish

  1. Bomber Farrell – Alyangula, Australia
  2. Darryn du Plessis – Dubai, UAE
  3. Perry Rosalie* – Victoria, Seychelles
  4. Randy Bradley* – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  5. James Gorham – Dampier, Australia

Release

Top Release Captain – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Tim Popfinger – Pompano Beach, Florida
  2. Bertrand Bouchard* – Port Gentil, Gabon
  3. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Tim Richardson – Bangalow, Australia
  5. Gordo Heldewier – Willmestad, Curacao

Sailfish

  1. Dean Panos* – Pembroke Pines, Florida
  2. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Patrick Price – Jensen Beach, Florida
  4. Travis Ralph* – Tequesta, Florida
  5. Bill Davis* – West Palm Beach, Florida

White Marlin

  1. Brent Gaskill* – Harkers Island, North Carolina
  2. Tim Popfinger – Pompano Beach, Florida
  3. Todd Smith – Newport, North Carolina (tied for 3rd)
  4. Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida (tied for 3rd)
Top Release Captain – Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. Jason Hedges* – Kingscliff, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  2. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  3. Jason Brice – Miami, Florida
  4. Bobby McGuinness* – Golfito, Costa Rica
  5. Kenneth Ross* – North Palm Beach, Florida

Sailfish

  1. Jason Brice – Miami, Florida
  2. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  3. Efrain Rizzo* – Palmetto Bay, Florida
  4. Bobby McGuinness* – Golfito, Costa Rica
  5. Richard Crosby* – San Antonio, Texas

Spearfish

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Striped Marlin

  1. Scott Jones – Coral Springs, Florida
  2. Victor Julio Lopez Pizarro* – Carolina Beach, North Carolina
  3. Julian Liquidano* – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  4. Richard Crosby*- San Antonio, Texas (tied for 4th)
  5. Casey Carter* (tied for 4th)
Top Release Captain – Indian

Black Marlin

  1. Neville Kent – Exmouth, Australia
  2. Matthew Worrell – Coral Bay, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Calvin du Plessis – Malindi, Kenya

Sailfish

  1. Calvin du Plessis – Malindi, Kenya
  2. Neville Kent* – Exmouth, Australia

Top Youth Anglers

Tag

11-12

  1. Colton Wyatt – Hakalau, Hawaii

13-15

  1. George Straub – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Owen Bryant* – Riviera, Texas (tied for 2nd)
  3. Nicolas Ortiz – Pamplona, Spain (tied for 2nd)

16-17

  1. Hefner Appling – Port Aransas, Texas
  2. Shay Clemons* – Orange Beach, Alabama

Release

11-12

  1. Chloe Cofer – Carolina Beach, North Carolina

13-15

  1. George Straub – Jupiter, Florida

 

Regional Competitions

Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition

  • Top Overall Tagging Angler: Dana Foster – Pensacola, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Captain: Scooter Porto – Gulfbreeze
  • Top Tagging Angler, Blue Marlin: Dana Foster – Pensacola, Florida
  • Top Tagging Captain, Blue Marlin: Scooter Porto – Gulfbreeze
  • Top Tagging Captain, White Marlin: Spencer Johnson* – Port Aransas, Texas
  • Top Tagging Lady Angler: Lisa Foster – Pensacola, Florida

South Florida Sailfish Circuit

  • Top Tagging Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Tagging Captain, Private: Mark Pagano – Jupiter, Florida
  • Top Tagging Captain, Charter: Patrick Price – Jensen Beach, Florida
  • Top Tagging Lady Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Tagging Junior Angler: Decker Patterson* – North Palm Beach, Florida
  • Top Release Angler: Jacob Lepera* – Boynton Beach, Florida
  • Top Release Captain, Charter: Dean Panos* – Pembroke Pines, Florida
  • Top Release Captain, Private: Travis Ralph* – Tequesta, Florida
  • Top Release Lady Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Release Youth Angler: George Straub – Jupiter, Florida

Cape Verde Regional Competition

  • Top Overall Tagging Angler: Byron Nidd* – KZN, South Africa
  • Top Overall Tagging Captain: Stuart Simpson* – La Lucia Ridge, South Africa

Hawaii Regional Competition

  • Top Tagging Angler: Chad Beaudry* – Telluride, Colorado
  • Top Tagging Captain: Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  • Top Tagging Junior Angler: Colton Wyatt – Hakalau, Hawaii
  • Top Tagging Lady Angler: Kathleen Wyatt – Hakalau, HAwaii