The Barta Blue Marlin Classic sportfishing tournament, which was held for the seventh time last month, topped the $1 million mark in total cash raised for charity.

Held on Walker’s Cay in the Bahamas from April 24 to 26, the tournament, which is run by its founder, Tred Barta of Southampton, hosted 96 boats this year and raised approximately $350,000 in entry fees and sponsor donations. During its history, the tournament has raised a total of $1,027,000, according to Mr. Barta.

All the proceeds from the tournament—no prize money is awarded to winners—goes to the International Game Fish Association’s youth program, which funds a fishing summer camp and outreach program for inner city and underprivileged children.

The tournament, which Mr. Barta started in 1996, targets blue marlin and has grown into the IGFA’s premier all-release event. None of the marlins hooked are killed. Contestants may fish only with fresh real bait rigged with a single hook; no artificial lures are allowed. All scoring is on the honor system.

“This is the tournament everyone said nobody would want to fish,” Mr. Barta said. “This year, we had to turn down over 200 boats that wanted to enter.”

Mr. Barta’s 12-year-old son Hunter, a sixth-grader at Southampton Intermediate School, won this year’s junior angler division by catching and releasing an estimated 375-pound blue marlin aboard his father’s boat, Makaira.

—MICHAEL WRIGHT

Issue Date: The Press 05/22/03

Copyright The Southampton Press

SOURCE: http://archive.southamptonpress.com/shpress/030522/sports/sports02.htm