Contributor Archives: Natalie Muccillo

A One Million Dollar Catch

Want to know what winning over a million dollars feels like? Ask the boys from the boat Tiger Spirit. Although their blue marlin was not the biggest in the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament a couple of weeks ago, we don’t think they are complaining about the 14 lb differential between their blue marlin and the marlin caught by the winners of the tournament, Bad Medicine.

“It earned a whopping $1,162,842 since it was the only fish entered in all three daily $5,000 and $10,000 jackpots. Tiger Spirit owner Ned Wallace of Newport Beach, California, has been a long-time participant in the Black & Blue, but this is the first time his team has scored the tournament’s top cash prize.”

Not a bad day at the office for the boat Tiger Spirit.

Bad Medicine had a great run at this tournament also, reeling in a 409 lb blue marlin to kick off the first day of fishing netting them $394, 090.

This tournament never fails in the thrills and excitement category, and tournament Director Wayne Bisbee knows this competition brings a great experience for anglers every year. “Even second place can win a million bucks in the Black & Blue. So thanks to all our anglers and crews, plus our fantastic sponsors, we are the big enchilada of sportfishing. We’re the World Series, Super Bowl, and Triple Crown all rolled into one wet–and wild–ride.”

All quotes and pictures are courtesy of

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¡Salud! Chupacabra Takes Big Purse in Cabo

The docks of Cabo San Lucas were buzzing with competitors who turned out October 11-15 for the 13th Annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament. The big winner of this event was Team Chupacabra, who reeled in a 543 pound blue marlin, pictured here. There isn’t anything quite like seeing those numbers flash up on the ScaleMaster Scoreboard and knowing you got the big catch of the tournament, right guys?

“Chupacabra’s blue marlin also won the team, including Capt. Jesse Scarbrough, mate Bobby Cline, and anglers Mike Mullen, Robert Cline, Timothy Donnelley, Horace Barge and Michael Thompson, tourney honors of Largest Blue Marlin, Days One through Three Daily Marlin Jackpots, and the Winner-Take-All Marlin Jackpot to bring Chupacabra’s total tournament prize money to $364,764.25. The team also holds a unique distinction of being one of few teams to fish every year of the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament.”

We are sure these numbers got the blood pumping for these fishermen. 42 boats competed in the tournament, catching and releasing 2 black marlin, seven blue, 16 striped marlin, and 26 sailfish.

Stats, quotes, and pictures are all courtesy of

Posted in IWS Scalemaster | 225 Comments

California Billfish Series: Slow Fishing, But Successful Tournament Series

California Billfish Series

After a last minute change in venue, the Zane Grey Invitational, the first tournament to kickoff the California Billfish Series presented by Typhoon Polarized Optics, began with a move to Dana Point.  The striped marlin everyone was looking for weren’t biting off Catalina.  The decision was made, and everyone in the tournament agreed, it was the right call.  Shark’s Parlour was the victor in this tournament, taking close to $80,000 in prize money.


“The team on Shark’s Parlour, including Jim Sloan, Tom Sloan, Eric Hermann, Bryce Hermann, Rick Triguiero and Jesse Henry took the lead on Day One and held the position the entire event.”

Fishing continued on Catalina Island on September 18-20 with the Catalina Classic and the Avalon Billfish Classic running simultaneously.  Fishing was tough for all of the participants, and with no one landing a fish; a decision had to be made as to what to do with the prize money.

“With no fish caught in these two events, Hussainy decided to roll the prize money over to the 2012 events and give back all of the optional jackpot cash minus the tournament’s operational cut. It was either that or fish for one more day. It was a popular decision with the participants.”

Despite the lack of bites, overall the tournaments were successful and the new owners were praised for a job well done.

Quotes and pictures courtesy of

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CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING FOR RECORDS: Where there’s a will, there’s a way

While catch and release is mandatory in the All-Tackle Length program, many anglers are making sure their line class and fly rod record catches swim away healthy too! Mark and Charlotte Sampson of Maryland, USA, are avid shark anglers and together hold 12 light tackle and fly records with shark species alone – many of which have been released alive.  Realizing that they must protect the species today in order to fish it tomorrow, the Sampsons have used their ingenuity to develop various methods and devices to accurately weigh their record catches and conform to IGFA Regulations.

Bahamian boat builder and angler Colin Rose shares the Sampsons’ sentiment and has perfected a system of landing, weighing and tagging 90+kg (200+lb) tiger sharks that he submits for light tackle line class records.  He uses a custom-built tripod that supports a certified IWS ScaleMaster II and a heavy-duty cloth harness attached to a pulley system to weigh the fish.  After the weight and the length/girth measurments are recorded, the shark is tagged and gently lowered and released back into the water.  The entire process takes no more than a few minutes.

Increasing numbers of anglers are getting creative to protect the fish they love to catch,and the Sampsons and Colin Rose are two of many examples of anglers catching fish for records and still successfully practicing catch-and-release.  To learn about these catches and to check your catch and release ideas with the IGFA before weighing a potential recordfish, please contact Records Coordinator Jack Vitek at 954-924-4246 or

Reprinted by permission ofthe International Game Fish Association from Vol. 74 No. 5 Sept/Oct 2011 ofInternational Angler Magazine.

Posted in IWS Scalemaster | 355 Comments

IGFA 2011 Oceanside Pier Kids’ Fishing Derby

Photo courtesy of

Recent news out of Oceanside, CA says that the junior anglers are eager to get their lines in the water.  The IGFA 2011 Oceanside Pier Kids’ Fishing Derby, held a couple of weeks ago, entertained entrants ages 6-15, and was nothing short of fantastic.  Many of us in the fishing community would agree that a Saturday of fishing is probably something we look forward to the most, but these kids do a wonderful job of bringing us back to the pure joy of this sport.  They provided free equipment and lunch for the 109 entries as well as their parents.  The IGFA supplied an atmosphere that welcomed many kids who will undoubtedly be a new generation eager to enter the world of fishing.

“Although the fishing was a little slow, the anglers, many who were fishing for the first time, managed to pull in a nice variety of SoCal.  The winners were: 6-year-old Carlos Cruz, 7-year-old Emily Dipitro, 8-year-old Kathryn Oh, 9-year-old Riley Bryant, 10-year-old Angel Flores, 11-year-old Elvis Rivera, 12-year-old Claire Christy, 13-year-old Mikey Pugh, 14-year-old Edward Dizon, and 15-year-old David Hernandez (who was the grand champion in 2010). The Grand Champion this year was Mikey Pugh. Each of the winners received a new rod and reel, an autographed copy of Pier Fishing in California, and a beautiful IGFA certificate.”

Quotes and pictures courtesy of

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