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Now in its 54th year, the iconic Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT) kicks off on Aug. 3, 2013, and continues through August 10 in Kona, Hawaii. For five days, teams fish the famous waters off the Kona coast aboard some of the finest sport fishing vessels, with captains who have built reputations around the world for catching big fish.
Prized and powerful Pacific blue marlin are caught or tagged and released along the Kona coast every day. Occasionally, these famous waters produce a grander, a term for a Pacific blue marlin weighing over 1,000 pounds.
HIBT event headquarters will once again be anchored at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, located adjacent to Kailua Pier.
The public is invited to come to the pier each day at 7 a.m. to watch the boats line up across hstoric Kailua Bay. At 4 p.m., boats return to Kailua Pier with their catch, and spectators can see plenty of scoreboard action as teams weigh in, putting valuable points on the scoreboard.
Fishing action in Kona is expected to be hotly contested this summer. HIBT teams come from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Vanuatu and across the U.S. All eyes will be on Old South Marlin Club Team 4 from North Carolina, which captured the 2012 win and the coveted HIBT Governor's Trophy. The team's cumulative total of 3,150 points ended up in the HIBT history books with the highest winning HIBT score since 2008.