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The 69th annual Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament returns to Cuba

The Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament is one of the oldest big-game fishing tournaments in the world and is considered the “highlight of Cuba’s fishing year.” Running from June 10-15, 2019, at the Marina Hemingway in Havana, Cuba, the tournament invites fisherman from around the world as they set sail along crystal blue, Caribbean waters in search for marlin, tuna and other large deep-sea fish.

Posted on Thu, Jun 6th, 2019 10:38 am by joyoftravel.ca news services

Inspired by his love for the sport of fishing, the legendary author, Ernest Hemingway established the International Billfish Tournament in 1950. The inaugural event featured 36 of the finest fishing boats in Havana, including, Hemingway’s very own, the “Pilar.” Hemingway would go on to win the first three tournaments and would later receive the honour of having his name within the tournament title.

Once you have registered for the tournament, (teams of up to four fishermen are eligible to enter the competition), you will receive an invitation to the welcoming and closing cocktail/dinner parties, a hat, a t-shirt and free docking for you and your crew (including water and electricity). The tournament is scored on International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) rules, with the use of up to a 36 kg (80 pounds) line. The five-day fishing event features prize packages that can be won if competitors meet several contest requirements including, the first catch of the tournament, the biggest tuna, the biggest wahoo and many more!

The tournament not only allows for Cuban locals to show off their rich history and very lively culture but also promotes the protection of the environment and the species within it. In 1997, the tournament adopted new “tag-and-release” rules. The idea is once you have caught and weighed your catch; you must release the creature back into its habitat. This rule alone has saved thousands of billfish and continues to promote and encourage fishing clubs and fishermen to participate in the protection of the surrounding environment.