Alternating L-R, from the top are: Trio of organisers – Chris Boyd, Amanda Pace and Andy Quinn; Gregory Town Harbour; Harry Wilson receiving runner up prize at the after party awards ceremony ; Andy Quinn, Basel Johnson, & Chris Boyd weighing the winning fish; From left to right, Charlie Thompson, Derrick Thompson, Andrew Thompson – Overall winners; Mariano Digiovanni receiving 1st place for “Land” division.
(Eleuthera, Bahamas) – Reviving an event which, according to the organisers, had been hosted in Gregory Town sometime during the 1970’s, the trio of Amanda Pace, Chris Boyd and Andy Quinn – all winter residents, brought back the ‘Gregory Town Fishing Tournament’, during the weekend of Saturday, February 13th, 2016.
“A couple of years ago we had thought about it, and put it on the back burner, then finally decided we wanted to do it”, said Chris, as he talked about getting the fishing tournament going again in the picturesque seaside township, just south of the Glass Window Bridge.
“It takes a lot of work to organize, but I thought we pulled it off well,” he added. Dubbed a ‘crazy fisherman’ from the Jersey Shore in the U.S., Chris said that a friend who had bought a lot in Eleuthera about 15 years ago told him that he had to come down and see this place. A year later he did, also bought a lot, and has been coming down during the winters ever since. “I love to fish here,” said Chris.
Andy, who originally came to Eleuthera to surf about 20 years ago, bought a house near Surfer’s beach and is now retired. Also from the Jersey Shore in the U.S., he comes down all the time, and is here he says for much of the year. “It occurred to me that this is a perfect place to have a fishing tournament. It’s got everything you need, including a nice bar here now as headquarters, where we have the party at Unca Gene’s, and Amanda said to us this year, you guys have been talking about this too long, let’s do it,” explained Andy.
Amanda, whose parents own The Cove house tucked next to the bay front in Gregory Town, has been visiting the island since childhood she said, and agreed with Andy that this weekend in February is a great one for the tournament event. “Fishermen are here, usually the weather is good, and it’s the President’s Day holiday weekend.”
Nineteen (19) fishermen took part in this year’s tournament, paying a registration fee of $10, and vying for prizes awarded for; the heaviest fish caught by hook and line from shore, the heaviest fish caught by hook and line from a boat, heaviest fish speared, and largest amount of lionfish caught by any method. There were winners in both the shore and sea categories, however, according to organizers, no spearfishing or lionfish hunting was done due to the turbidity of the water during the event. Prizes included donated cases of beer, swag bags with t-shirts/hats/sunglasses, and trophies.
An after party and awards ceremony was held on Saturday evening at Unca Gene’s, with a fish fry, music and additional raffle fundraising. All money raised this year, said the organizers, would go to supplies for the Gregory Town Primary School. The plan is to continue with the tournament as an annual event each February, with a Gregory Town based charity as the beneficiary.
1st Overall Winner for “Sea” division:
Boat: No Name
-Andrew Thompson, Gregory Town
-Derrick “Bones” Thompson, Gregory Town
-Charlie Thompson, Gregory Town
44.5 lb Amber Jack, 45″ long
2nd Place Winner “Sea” Division:
Boat: Olivia G
-Harry Wilson, Gregory Town
-Kevin Brosnahan, Gregory Town
-Corey Mahoney, Lewes, Delaware
-Carrie Mahoney, Lewes, Delaware
6 lb Barracuda, 32.5″ long
3rd Place Winner “Sea” Division:
Boat: No Name
-Edgar Seligman, Gregory Town
-Scott Brockman, Stone Harbor, New Jersey
-Thomasino Thompson, Gregory Town
-Gerald Cartwright, Gregory Town
1st Place Overall Winner “Land” Division
Mariano Digiovanni, Michigan