After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, BLACKHAWK, a 76 Viking, took top honors in the 2022 Marina Casa de Campo Open, which concluded last weekend in the Dominican Republic. The New Smyrna, Florida-based team released eight blue marlin and two whites to earn the championship trophy, along with a brand new golf cart from a local dealership. Owner Mike Cannon, Capt. Joe Lyall and the crew also boated a 37-pound dorado for the biggest fish in the game fish division. BLACKHAWKalso won the Open in 2020.
J-Hook tallied four blues and one white to earn second-place honors. Lisa Jillson was named Top Lady Angler and the boat scored an 18-pound wahoo for the top prize in the category. Chaser released three blue and one white marlin for third place overall. In addition to trophies, J-Hook and Chaser also won motor scooters for their showings.
Set at the world-class Marina Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic, the Open is an all billfish release team event. Tuna, dolphin and wahoo are eligible game fish. The tournament is presented by the Marina Casa de Campo and Fly Zone Fishing and was held March 11-13 at the Casa de Campo Resort & Villas.
“The action was slow the first day, but the fishing gods smiled on us the second,” said Tournament Director Robert “Fly” Navarro. “We had a flurry of releases on Day Two, with BLACKHAWK topping the field.
“This was the first tournament since the pandemic, so it was nice to be back in the Dominican Republic,” Navarro added. “Marina Casa de Campo put on another great event, as usual. The staff really does a good job of taking care of the anglers throughout the fishing season.”