Oak Bluffs selectmen approve return of Bluewater Classic tournament

A chart-topping 180-pound bigeye tuna brought it in late Saturday afternoon by the crew of Mulberry Canyon is hoisted up and weighed in. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Oak Bluffs selectmen unanimously approved the return of the Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic at their regular meeting last Tuesday. The tournament will be held July 22 to 25.

Harbormaster Todd Alexander told selectmen that last year’s inaugural event was well run and there were no problems. A total of 25 boats entered the tournament last year.  Mr. Alexander said he’d been informed by tournament organizer Damon Sacco, owner of Castafari Sport Fishing, that he expected at least 40 boats to compete this year.

The Oak Bluffs Bluewater Classic is sanctioned by the International Game Fishing Association, and will operate on a points system. Species that will accrue points are bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, swordfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and marlin. Marlin will be catch and release only. Sharks will have no point value.

Selectmen were also informed that last year, the tournament sponsors donated $3,850 to the Island Autism Group and $9,700 to Massachusetts General Hospital for colon cancer research.

“It’s a great substitute from the previous tournament,” selectman Kathy Burton said, a reference to the Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament, which ended with the accidental death last January of organizer Steve James.