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Maui Jim Marlin Series Starts in May

For Immediate Release April 25, 2000

The Maui Jim Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series starts a 7 month journey around the State of Hawaii with the Kona Classic Fishing Tournament slated for May 13 & 14. The Maui Jim Series is an 8 stop series of big game fishing competitions that expect to generate a purse valued at $750,000.00.

The first 5 events are presented in Kona in May, June, July and August. The tour hops to Honolulu on Labor Day, then back to Kona and the final qualifying event is on Maui in October. The top five anglers will then be invited to a championship "fish off" staged from a mother ship anchored beneath the pali at wild and wooly South Point on the Big Island. The Series is being filmed for the "X-treme Sports" programming of ESPN 2 and organizers plan to stream video of the action over the world wide web.

The exact schedule is as follows:

4th Kona Classic          May 13 & 14
14th Big Island Invitational            June 15, 16 & 17
13th Firecracker Open July 1 & 2
8th Skins Marlin Derby July 7,8 & 9
2nd August Moon Billfish Tournament August 6 - 12
Okoe Bay Rendezvous XII  Sept.  8, 9 & 10
14th Ho'ole'a Fishing Tournament   Labor Day Weekend Sept. 2 & 3
24th Lahaina Jackpot  October TBA
Maui Jim Championship      November TBA

The Hawaii Conservation Association plans to deploy pop up archival tags on marlin during the Maui Jim Series. For the first time ever, HCA scientists and National Marine Fisheries scientists will be establishing the platform from which to track the actual travel route that the marlin take after being released. Tag and release mortality rates shall also be statistically analyzed in order to answer the many questions posed in attempts to manage the stock of the ocean roaming marlin.

The Kona tournaments were the first in Hawaii to ever pay cash prizes for the tag and release of marlin in tournament situations, and this year's events will feature a slightly higher minimum weigh requirement in an attempt to get tag rates above the existing 78% of total catch, and in order to facilitate releasing larger fish needed to provide stable platforms for the pop up archival tags.

The pop up archival tags (PAT's) attach to the marlin by a tether that is set to detach at a pre-arrange time, between 90 and 120 days after release. The PAT gathers light and pressure data daily while the fish is swimming in the ocean, and when it "pop's up" to the surface after detaching, the device transmits the data to a satellite, and then down to the scientists for extrapolation.

Anglers will vie for prize money in the traditional manner of catching large marlin and bringing them to the dock to be weighed, but each event also features a tag and release division that shall establish a purse for tag and release. In addition, Caterpillar will offer $10,000.00 in one of 100 money bags that the top 6 tag and release teams will try to draw at the end of the season.

Points for the Maui Jim Series Championship will accrue outside of the point system of each individual tournament, and be attributed to individual anglers. Tournaments normally reward teams, so the Series provides extra opportunities for the anglers that fish in multiple events, with or without the same team mates.

The Series shall host a full ESPN film crew at the BIIMT in June, and again at the Championship in November. Some of the PAT's are designed to have popped up between filmings, so the travel routes that the marlin took should be available to present to the world in the second show. HCA also plans to establish an interactive web site for their "Track a Marlin" program allowing interested individuals, scientists and event school children to take part in this cutting edge technology and wildlife research.

Anglers wishing to possibly have their very own marlin tagged and released with one of these devices can take part in the "Lure an Angler to Research" program where they can sponsor the exact tag to be used on their fish. "Lure an Angler" and "Track a Marlin" are being supported by Maui Jim Sunglass Company, Caterpillar engines and Pacific Machinery, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Tropidilla Productions in association with National Marin Fisheries Service and various entities in the Pacific rim scientific community.

Each tournament in the Maui Jim Hawaii Marlin Tournament Series features a different rule format and entry fee structure, so there is a tournament for everyone's price range and fishing style - whether you like to eat every fish you catch or are a tag and release proponent.

All tournaments are open to all interested anglers, however anglers must fish with a skipper on the invitation list of the BIIMT in June held in Kona. Beginning anglers are encouraged to take part, as Kona's professional charter crews can help make the tournament experience gratifying by assisting to build angling skills and expanded enjoyment of a couple of days on the ocean

For more information, contact Jody Bright at Tropidilla Productions  808-327-1440 or via e-mail at tropdil@aloha.net.
For more information on each tournament and reports from last year's tournaments, click on the tournament on the Statewide Schedule.

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