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Venezuelan International
Super Slam 2006

SNIPER WINS SUPER SLAM 2006 IN
DRAMATIC COME FROM BEHIND VICTORY

The team fishing aboard 56’ Paul Mann, Sniper, with Captain Mike Merritt, staged a dramatic come from behind victory at the all-release 2006 Venezuelan International Super Slam held September 29th to October 1st by releasing two grand slams with 3 blues, 2 whites and 2 sails, propelling them from 9th to 1st place on the third and final day of the event in a fleet of 25 boats!

“We actually started our move to the top by hooking a blue just before lines out at the end of the second day giving us a grand slam for that day with a total of two whites, five sails and the blue” said Captain Mike Merritt. “The momentum just carried on to the next day” concluded Captain Merritt with a big grin on his face as he and his team comprised of anglers Jimmy Bayne, Mike Sandusky and Carl Beale of Virginia plus Ed Frock from Pennsylvania received a small fortune in cash, prizes and elegant sculpture trophies for their victory.

Not to be outdone, the team aboard Bandolera, from Puerto Rico, after winning the “Boy Scout Tournament” in St. Thomas the month before and finishing day two at the top of the leader board, came in second just 300 points behind the winners. In third place was the Viking factory team from New Jersey lead by company president Pat Healey, fishing aboard their new impressive Viking 74. “There were so many catches among the leaders during the final two hours of the last day that we were unable to declare a definite winner until just before the awards banquet held that evening at the popular Caraballeda Golf & Yacht Club” commented tournament director Rick Alvarez. “It was just too close to announce over the radio at lines out, but having to wait till we received the official catch reports from the observers and crunch the numbers made for a very exiting finish” Alvarez pointed out. When it was all said and done the fleet of 25 boats had amassed a three day total of 333 billfish releases with 32 blues, 171 whites and 133 sails including 21 grand slams.

In the individual angler category the high point angler was Jorge “Pollo” Muro, of Venezuela with 2,900 points fishing aboard Sound Machine, followed by Tommy Hill, of Puerto Rico with 2,800 fishing aboard Sandy, and in third was Mike “Dewey” Price, from Ft. Pierce, Florida who competed aboard Vintage. All three received Mustad Silver Hook trophies and some very nice prizes from Pompanette, Leeward Rods, Gameface Gear, Island Lures, American Custom Yachts and Sperry Top Siders presented by the ever present lovely Solera Beer girls.

Visit www.intlbillfishtourns.com for complete scoreboard and picture gallery of the Super Slam and mark your calendars for the upcoming Lucky 13th edition of the prestigious International La Guaira Billfish Shootout scheduled from March 21st to 26th, 2007. The Shootout, which holds the world record for most blues in a tournament with 256 releases in 1999 will become the first leg of the new tournament series The Spanish Main followed by Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, USVI, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Boqueron, Puerto Rico. Stay tuned for more information on the series.