2022 Tag & Release Competition Winners

Were you selected as a winner for the 2022 season and would like to attend TBF’s International Tag & Release Awards Ceremony? Here’s everything you need to know!

Regardless of whether you plan on attending, email us a photograph and short bio at tag@billfish.org to be included with the ceremony! As a reminder, to accept your award, all captains, anglers and mates must be a current member of TBF.

  1. If you’d like to attend…
    • Event information: 6:00 pm EST on Friday, February 17, 2023, in the Treetop Ballroom at Jungle Island in Miami.
    • Please RSVP for the event by January 31, 2023, by emailing us at tag@billfish.org
    • Winners enter for free, but to purchase tickets for guests, click here.
    • If you’re a captain and would like to acknowledge a mate, email us the name.
    • Remember traffic during the Miami Boat Show can be tough. Plan accordingly.
    • If you’d like to guarantee you sit with friends, consider purchasing a VIP table.
  2. If you cannot make it…
    • Let us know regardless so we can mark you down. Still send us a photo and short bio!
    • If you would like us to ship your award, we’d be happy to do it. Please email the preferred physical address to tag@billfish.org. Award recipients are responsible for the cost of the shipping plus a $25 handling fee.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at tag@billfish.org.

See below for the 2022 Winners!

With 2022 officially complete, it’s now time for The Billfish Foundation to recognize the best within our community during the past year! The anglers and captains mentioned below have contributed absolutely crucial information related to billfish conservation and have been vital to our Tag & Release Program. Since its inception in 1990, the program has grown to accrue nearly 280,000 tag and release records to become the largest private billfish tagging database in the world. In the last year alone, TBF has collected over 6,500 records!

This is only possible because of the efforts of all the conservation-minded captains, anglers, and mates across the globe whose data helps to preserve the sport we love and provides us with an increased understanding of the needs for billfish management.

2022 winners will be recognized at Miami’s Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom on February 17th, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the 2022 International Tag & Release Awards Ceremony. Some of the biggest names in billfishing will be in attendance to collect TBF’s coveted awards. A special thanks to our ceremony sponsors, King Sailfish Mounts and Costa Sunglasses, who together with Boaters ListCasa Vieja LodgeGarmin MarineIGFTO, and Yeti Coolers have made this night possible.

Click here to get your tickets!

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: Mike Sheeder – North Palm Beach, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler: Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  • Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler: Lula Segrave – North Carolina, United States

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

  • Top Overall Release Angler: Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  • Top Overall Release Captain: Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  • Top Overall Release Lady Angler: Laura Jessen – Sarasota, 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 5 in Each Category)

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. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida

Top Overall Tagging Captain

  1. Mike Sheeder – North Palm Beach, Florida
  2. Sean Gallagher – Stuart, Florida
  3. David Cooper – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  5. Newt Cagle – Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

Top Overall Tagging Lady Angler

  1. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  2. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Donna Reynolds – Macon, Georgia
  5. Lula Segrave – North Carolina

Top Overall Tagging Youth Angler

  1. Lula Segrave – North Carolina
  1. Mark Blackbird – Austin, Texas
  2. Carlota Varela – Luanda, Angola
  3. Rafael Abohbot – Luanda, Angola
  4. Johan Millez – Mandelieu, France

Top Overall Release Angler

  1. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Chris Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  5. El Ouafi Ibrahim – Casablanca, Morocco

Top Overall Release Captain

  1. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Newt Cagle – Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
  3. Jason Brice – Miami, Florida
  4. Stuart Simpson – La Lucia Ridge, Durban, South Africa
  5. Zak Conde – São Vicente, Cape Verde

Top Overall Release Lady Angler

  1. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Luena Amaro – Luanda, Angola
  4. Elisa Badillo – Santa Barbara, Guatemala
  5. Lacey Hagler – North Palm Beach, Florida

Top Overall Release Youth Angler

  1. George Straub – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Wyatt Bailey – Huntingtown, Maryland
  3. Emilee Edwards – Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  4. Nicolas Ortiz – Pamplona, Spain
  5. Reese Hatcher – Albany, Georgia

Top Anglers – Tag Category

Top Tagging Angler – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Casey Roohan – Cape May Court House, New Jersey
  2. James Turner – Port St. Lucie, Florida
  3. Kanmair Kleinmoedig – Curacao
  4. Page Robertson – Wilmington, North Carolina
  5. Watson Caviness – Wilmington – North Carolina

Sailfish

  1. Carl Lindner – Peebles, Ohio
  2. Shelby Callison – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Danny Vaughan – Florida, United States
  4. Lucas Waddell – South Florida, United States
  5. Nicolas Pariset – Paris, France

Swordfish

  1. Samuel Urbain – Sainte-Maxime, France
  2. Thomas Thompson – Waller, Texas
  3. Tyler Cruitt – Gulf Shores, Alabama
  4. Blake Rogers – Port Aransas, Texas

White Marlin

  1. Laurent Sahyoun – Casablanca, Morocco
  2. Casey Roohan – Cape May Court House, New Jersey
  3. James Turner – Port St. Lucie, Florida
  4. George Robinson – North Palm Beach, Florida
  5. Page Robertson – Wilmington, North Carolina

Top Tagging Angler – Pacific

Black Marlin

  1. Chad Beaudry – Telluride, Colorado

Blue Marlin

  1. Chad Beaudry – Telluride, Colorado
  2. Jerry Reynolds – Macon, Georgia
  3. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  4. Kathleen Wyatt – New Braunfels, Texas
  5. Scott Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida 

Sailfish

  1. Fin Gaddy – Manteo, North Carolina
  2. Tom Paul – West Palm Beach, Florida
  3. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  4. Jill Yates – Riviera Beach, Florida
  5. Donna Reynolds – Macon, Georgia

Spearfish

  1. Chad Beaudry – Telluride, Colorado

Striped Marlin

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

Top Tagging Angler – Indian

Black Marlin

  1. Guy Littlefair – Stanley Point, New Zealand

Blue Marlin

  1. Mike Mason – Victoria, Seychelles
  2. James Stamatis – Victoria, Seychelles
  3. Christine Jumeau – Seychelles, Seychelles
  4. Malan Horak – Victoria, Seychelles

Sailfish

  1. Bomber Farrell – Alyangula, Australia
  2. Kelly Farrell – Alyangula, Australia
  3. Christine Jumeau – Seychelles, Seychelles
  4. Jeremy Barnett – Alyangula, Australia

Top Captains – Tagging Category

Top Tagging Captain – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Watson Caviness – Wilmington, North Carolina
  2. James Turner – Port St. Lucie, Florida
  3. Gordo Heldewier – Willemestad, Curacao
  4. Sean Dooley – Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  5. Chris Mowad – Pensacola, Florida

Sailfish

  1. Richard Peeples – Palmetto Bay, Florida
  2. Rogerio Matos – Luanda, Angola
  3. Iain Nicolson – Merseyside, Angola
  4. Tom Hinterschied – Pompano Beach, Florida
  5. Shawn Albury – Tavernier, Florida

Spearfish

  1. Vince Riera – Alcudia, Balearic Islands

Swordfish

  1. Nick Stanczyk – Islamorada, Florida
  2. Rudy Urbain – Sainte-Maxime, France
  3. Adam Peeples – Fort Walton Beach, Florida
  4. Wes Haizlip – Galveston, Texas
  5. Blake Rogers – Jonesboro, Arizona

White Marlin

  1. Christian Benazeth – Auch, France
  2. Watson Caviness – Wilmington, North Carolina
  3. Bill Davis – West Palm Beach, Florida
  4. Sean Dooley – Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  5. James Turner – Port St. Lucie, Florida

Top Tagging Captain – Pacific

Blue Marlin

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  2. Lance Hightower – Macon, Georgia
  3. Sean Gallagher – Stuart, Florida
  4. KJ Robinson – Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  5. Takahiko Hagiya – Ibaraki, Japan

Sailfish

  1. Mike Sheeder – North Palm Beach, Florida
  2. Lance Hightower – Macon, Georgia
  3. David Cooper – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  5. Spencer Johnson – Corpus Christi, Texas

Spearfish

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Striped Marlin

  1. Sean Gallagher – Stuart, Florida
  2. Newt Cagle – Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina
  3. David Cooper – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  5. Rick Carney – Palm City, Florida

Top Tagging Captain – Indian

Black Marlin

  1. Wes Jones – Exmouth, Western Australia
  2. Bomber Farrell – Alyangula, Australia
  3. Darryn du Plessis – Victoria, Seychelles

Blue Marlin

  1. Darryn du Plessis – Victoria, Seychelles
  2. Batian Craig – Nairobi, Kenya
  3. Clare Carter King – Salalah, Oman
  4. Wes Jones – Exmouth, Western Australia

Sailfish

  1. Bomber Farrell – Alyangula, Australia
  2. Wes Jones – Exmouth, Western Australia
  3. Darryn du Plessis – Victoria, Seychelles
  4. Perry Rosalie – Victoria, Seychelles
  5. Ryan Kleinschmidt – Alyangula, Australia

Top Anglers – Release Category

Top Release Angler – Atlantic

Blue Marlin

  1. Neil Ezell – Clearwater, Florida
  2. Mark Faulkner – York, Great Britain
  3. Harris Huddle – New Bern, North Carolina
  4. Nathan Holoboff – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  5. Emmet O’Brien – Cape Verde 

Sailfish

  1. Kanmair Kleinmoedig – Curacao
  2. Shelby Callison – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Dawn Samuels – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  4. Jacob Lepera – Boynton Beach, Florida
  5. Larry Lottenberg – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

White Marlin

  1. El Ouafi Ibrahim – Casablanca, Morocco
  2. Harris Huddle – New Bern, North Carolina

Top Release Angler – Pacific

Striped Marlin

  1. Gray Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Camila Ingram – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Chris Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  5. Luena Amaro – Luanda, Angola

Sailfish

  1. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Peter Myers – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  3. Elisa Badillo – Santa Barbara, Guatemala
  4. Chris Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  5. Trey Wills – Vienna, Virginia

Black Marlin

  1. Jesse Hill – Burleigh Heads, Australia

Blue Marlin

  1. Laura Jessen – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Kathleen Wyatt – New Braunfels, Texas
  3. Chad Beaudry – Telluride, Colorado

Top Release Angler – Indian

Blue Marlin

  1. Aaron-Lyle Manes – Victoria, Seychelles – Tie
  2. Hayley Dellar – Exmouth, Western Australia – Tie
  3. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Western Australia

Sailfish

  1. Josh Welch – Cottesloe, Australia
  2. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Western Australia
  3. Matt Lyons – Exmouth, Western Australia
  4. Mark Evans – Baldivis, Australia
  5. Guy Littlefair – Stanley Point, New Zealand

Black Marlin

  1. Deb Foster – Exmouth, Western Australia
  2. Guy Littlefair – Stanley Point, New Zealand

Top Captains – Release Category

Top Release Captain – Atlantic

Sailfish

  1. Dean Panos – Pembroke Pines, Florida
  2. Doug Covin – Jupiter, Florida
  3. Mike Hunter – Hobe Sound, Florida
  4. Gordo Heldewier – Willemstad, Curacao
  5. Cody Rubner – Stuart, Florida

White Marlin

  1. Stuart Simpson – La Lucia Ridge, Durban, South Africa
  2. Jeffrey Heyer – Natucket, Massachusetts
  3. Brent Gaskill – Harker’s Island, North Carolina
  4. Gordo Heldewier – Willemstad, Curacao

Blue Marlin

  1. Zak Conde – São Vicente, Cape Verde
  2. Stuart Simpson – La Lucia Ridge, Durban South Africa
  3. John Logan – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  4. Brent Gaskill – Harker’s Island, North Carolina
  5. Kevin Deerman – Galveston, Texas

Top Release Captain – Pacific

Blue Marlin

  1. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  2. Tracy Epstein – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  3. J. Robinson – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Striped Marlin

  1. Newt Cagle – Sullivan’s Island – South Carolina
  2. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Robert Reed – Stuart, Florida
  4. David Cooper – Jupiter, Florida

Sailfish

  1. Jason Brice – Miami, Florida
  2. Ben Horning – Sarasota, Florida
  3. Mike Sheeder – North Palm Beach, Florida
  4. Tony Carrizosa – Florida, United States
  5. David Cooper – Jupiter, Florida

Black Marlin

  1. Jesse Hill – Burleigh Heads, Australia

Top Release Captain – Indian

Blue Marlin

  1. Darryn du Plessis – Victoria, Seychelles – Tie
  1. Randy Bradley – Cudjoe Key, Florida – Tie
  1. Eddy Lawler – Exmouth, Western Australia 

Sailfish

  1. Wes Jones – Exmouth, Western Australia
  2. Calvin du Plessis – Malindi, Kenya
  3. Neville Kent – Exmouth, Western Australia

Black Marlin

  1. Wes Jones – Exmouth, Western Australia
  2. Neville Kent – Exmouth, Western Australia

Top Youth Anglers

Tag

11 – 12

  1. Mark Blackbird – Austin, Texas

13 – 15

  1. Lula Segrave – North Carolina

16 – 17

  1. Carlota Varela – Luanda, Angola
  2. Rafael Abohbot – Luanda, Angola
  3. Johan Millez – Mandelieu, France

Release

11 – 12

  1. Wyatt Bailey – Huntingtown, Maryland

13 – 15

  1. Reese Hatcher – Albany, Georgia

16 – 17

  1. George Straub – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Emilee Edwards – Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  3. Nicolas Ortiz – Pamplona, Spain

Regional Competitions

Gulf of Mexico Marlin Tagging Competition

Top Tagging Angler

  1. Keith Richardson – Lafayette, Louisiana
  2. Tim Peterson – Palacios, Texas
  3. Cooper Yancey – Collierville, Tennessee
  4. Kambel Luttrell – Gulf of Mexico
  5. Erika Heule – Friendswood, Texas

Top Tagging Captain

  1. Chris Mowad – Pensacola, Florida
  2. Kevin Deerman – Galveston, Texas
  3. Terrell Miller – San Antonio, Texas
  4. Chase Johnson – Sumrall, Mississippi
  5. Jimmy Crochet – Foley, Alabama

Top Tagging Lady Angler

  1. Christina Thompson – Waller, Texas
  2. Erika Heule – Friendswood, Texas

Top Tagging Captain, Blue Marlin

  1. Chris Mowad – Pensacola, Florida
  2. Kevin Deerman – Galveston, Texas
  3. Terrell Miller – San Antonio, Texas
  4. Jimmy Crochet – Foley, Alabama
  5. Wes Haizlip – Galveston, Texas

Top Tagging Angler, Blue Marlin

  1. Keith Richardson – Lafayette, Louisiana
  2. Tim Peterson – Palacios, Texas
  3. Christina Thompson – Waller, Texas
  4. Cooper Yancey – Collierville, Tennessee
  5. Erika Heule – Friendswood, Texas

Top Tagging Captain, White Marlin

  1. Terrell Miller – San Antonio, Texas
  2. Luis Perez – Covington, Louisiana
  3. Chris Mowad – Pensacola, Florida

South Florida Sailfish Circuit

Top Tagging Angler

  1. Carl Lindner – Peebles, Ohio
  2. Danny Vaughan – Cutler Bay, Florida
  3. Shelby Callison – Jupiter, Florida
  4. Lucas Waddell – South Florida, United States
  5. Dawn Samuels – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Top Tagging Lady Angler

  1. Shelby Callison – Jupiter, Florida
  2. Dawn Samuels – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  3. Megan Johnson – North Palm Beach, Florida

Top Tagging Captain

  1. Richard Peeples (Private) – Palmetto Bay, Florida
  2. Shawn Albury (Charter) – Tavernier, Florida
  3. Tom Hinterschied – Pompano Beach, Florida
  4. Mike Hunter – Hobe Sound, Florida
  5. Daniel Kubiak – Jupiter, Florida

Hawaii Regional Competition

Top Tagging Angler

  1. Chad Beaudry – Telluride, Colorado
  2. Kathleen Wyatt – New Braunfels, Texas
  3. Aaron Rokstad – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  4. David Andersen – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Top Tagging Captain

  1. Tracy Epstein – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  2. KJ Robinson – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  3. Mike Dakil – Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  4. David Borges – Kona, Hawaii
  5. Chuck Wigzell – Kona, Hawaii

Top Tagging Lady Angler

  1. Kathleen Wyatt – New Braunfels, Texas

Please note that your membership must be current as of February 14, 2023 to receive your award