Live-bait team wins Jupiter Billfish Tournament for the first time

It has been a long-standing debate in the Jupiter Billfish Tournament: Should teams troll with dead bait to win 300 points for each sailfish released or fly kites and dangle live baits, Palm Beach style, to score 200 points for each release?

This year, for the first time in the six-year history of the Jupiter Billfish Tournament, the live-bait team on Doing it All won the two-day event, with 39 releases and 7,800 points.

On the first day of fishing Jan. 12, the trollers had the advantage, tournament director Courtney Bowden said. The sailfish bite was north over the reefs off Martin and St. Lucie counties, an area long dominated by dead-bait trollers.

“By day two, the game changed for the live-baiters,” Bowden said. “It goes to show it can be anyone’s win, despite the point difference, depending on the bite.”

The Doing it All team — Daryl Deka, Mark Lamb, Rick Burton, Alex Burgess and Joe Ferrulle — found the sails both days around balls of bait fish in 60 feet of water about 3 miles north of St. Lucie Inlet.

Doing it All released 22 sails the first day and 17 the second day, working their sweet spot. Their two-day total beat 38 other boats in the tournament.

Miss Annie finished second, with 7,400 points, followed by Outlaw, with 5,700.




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