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Anglers getting ready to chase big ones

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2011-06-09

Deep sea fishermen are going through the checks and double-checks on rods and reels this week, preparing for the June 17th ~ 20th Samís Cup 2011 tournament.

Sponsored by the Ryukyu Islands Sport Fishing Association, the annual event will be sending dozens of anglers into waters off Okinawa in search of the Ďbig oneí that will bring trophy honors. The weekendís excitement begins with a Captainís meeting at Samís by the Sea by Okinawa Marine on the 17th for a last minute review of the rules.

Fishermen Ėand womenóare vying for a variety of trophies from boats that will hit the waters bright and early Saturday morning the 18th. Samís Cup 2011 is a B.Y.O.B. tournament, meaning everyone must bring his or her own boat. Boats are welcome, and charter boat captains and crews can be listed as guests. Itís a non-profit tournament now in its seventh year, serving as the gateway for all other big game fishing tournaments in Okinawa and mainland Japan.

Last yearís winning Haya team will be back for Samís Cup 2011, and organizers expected to meet or exceed the record 41 teams registered for last yearís tournament. More than •1 million in prizes will be awarded to winners of this yearís tournament.

Fish must be taken using rod and reel, and must be 10kg or heavier. All qualifying fish species over 10kg qualifies for point accumulation toward total team weight. Itís a 36-hour fishing tournament, starting from the Ginowan Marina Center buoy at 6 a.m. Saturday the 18th. Fishing is open throughout the weekend, with fish catches required to be at the weigh-in station not later than 6 p.m. Sunday. Tournament organizers note that fishermen who have a hit by 3:59 p.m. Sunday must call it in before 4 p.m., then allowed until 6 p.m. to land the fish and two hours more to return to the weigh-in station.

The weigh-in station closes at 8 p.m. Festivities and awards ceremonies take place Monday the 20th, starting at 7 p.m., at Samís by the Seaís patio. Special rules apply at the patio, organizers say, since it is a B.Y.O.B. event. As such, participants are welcome to bring their own beverages, but are encouraged to share them with other crews. Fish stories will be welcomed, but complaints will not be tolerated, the organizers emphasize.

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