“Aaliyah Marlee” reels in victory in 1st Dorado Rodeo

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 32            August 16, 2007

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With a combined weight of 49 pounds, the catch reeled in by the Marin’s edged out the competition, making them champions of the first ever Dorado Rodeo.

The big winners are Enrique Sr. and Ricky Jr. of “Aaliyah Marlee”. Ricky also won the Junior Angler award.

Second place in the Calcutta prize went to “Sly Dog”. Top female angler Shery was part of this team as well.

The Tuna Champ prize was given to “Vamos Azul” captained by Jorge Varela.

Young Brian was more than happy to clamber up and help set up the ropes for the scales for the last weigh in! We’re sure to see him at other fishing tournaments ready to offer his help!

Twelve boats lined the dock at Ambergris Divers on Sunday, August 10th, to participate in the first ever Dorado Rodeo which was spearheaded by the San Pedro Game Fish Association. At the end of the one day competition, “Aaliyah Marlee” reeled in the biggest catch and got first dibs to take the crown and grand prize of the competition. As per usual, The Sun was on hand to catch all the highlights.

    The competition rules read that anglers had from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to fish. 5:00 p.m. marked the end of fishing and required all boats to reel up the lines and head back for shore. All fish had to be called in before they were brought in to the weigh station, failure to comply would face disqualification. The minimum weight for a qualifying Dorado was 10 pounds and the score was allotted using a point system. Every pound would be equivalent to one point.

    The Dorado is one of the greatest fighting game fish in the entire world. This extraordinary jumper combines the swimming habits of a salmon with the ferocity and predatory instincts of a tiger shark. The Dorado’s body is a combination of yellow, gold, orange and black which produces spectacular flashes when it jumps under the gleaming sun. The Dorado’s beauty and ferocity of fight, together with its explosive jumps provides almost unequaled excitement and is the perfect challenge or extreme test for any type of fisherman. First and second place was determined by the largest sum of three fish. Like in past fishing escapades, the place to be was at the beach bash at Caliente’s beachfront where spectators, fish enthusiasts and officials stood by the weighing station anxiously awaiting the boats to come in. At the end of the day’s competition, the winners were announced.

    The 2007 Dorado Rodeo champion went to “Aaliyah Marlee” captained by Enrique Marin who took the crown with his combined catch of 49 pounds. Apart from the “victory trophy” and bragging rights, the winner’s received great cash prizes and we say Congrats! The Tuna Champ prize was given to “Vamos Azul” captained by Jorge Varela who fished the biggest tuna weighing 5.5 pounds. Junior and Female Angler went to Enrique Marin Junior (14 years old) aboard “Aaliyah Marlee” and Shery aboard “Sly Dog”, respectively. Aaliyah Marlee also won the Calcutta prize with a combined total of 71 pounds, Dorado and tuna fish. Second place in the Calcutta prize went to “Sly Dog” with a combined weight of 47.5 pounds of both Dorado and tuna.

    The San Pedro Game Fish Association is a newly formed association of fishermen and for fishermen. The SPGFA is made up of like-minded anglers - both amateur and professional - and their aim is to be a medium for awareness of fish conservation, education, and industry promotion. The SPGFA is a medium to further promote Ambergris Caye and Belize as a top sport fishing destination in the world. But, most of all, the SPGFA, hopes to be a space for all fishermen, locals and visitors, to share their fishing stories and their fishing expertise. The upcoming fishing challenge is slated for September 10th, 2007 and all anglers are invited to participate for yet another amazing fishing adventure. We say kudos to the SPGFA, participants and supporters for making the first Dorado Rodeo a ‘splashing’ endeavor.

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