A year later and the standings are reversed. At the conclusion of the 2021 Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Only Billfish Tournament, Tarheel was the top team. That version was the 62 Bayliss with Capt. John Bayliss at the helm. Bi-Op-Sea, a 59 Spencer led by Capt. Jesse Granitzki came in second.
Fast forward to 2022, the 33rd edition of the largest ladies-only billfish tournament in the world and Bi-Op-Sea was the top boat, followed by Tarheel, only this time in a 46 Scarborough (also owned and run by Bayliss). Bi-Op-Sea emerged atop the leaderboard after scoring 350 points on Sunday.
A double-header on sailfish started the day for Wendy Hayes and Kay Hall, good for 200 points. About 45 minutes later, Danielle Stine whipped a blue marlin to put the team on top. Those would be the only fish the rest of the day, but that score with the early releases proved to be pivotal.
“It was a beautiful day out there, we couldn’t have asked for better,” Stine said back at the slip. Danielle is the wife of the boat’s mate, Chris Stine.
“We were due east in about 70 fathoms,” the veteran mate explained. “We were pulling naked dink ballyhoo on 25-pound main line. It got really wet when we hooked those fish, though. We backed down really hard on ‘em to get the scores.” The other members of the team included Mary Dembosky, Taryn Hall, Claudette Lajoie and Cara Sumners.
Carson Flatt wound in a white and a blue Sunday on Tarheel, while Nancy Brown added a second white for second place overall based on time. John Bayliss, Jr. was the mate. Paige Bayliss, April Piland and Nicole Scotti were the other Tarheel team members. Doghouse (61 Harrison/Capt. Britton Shackelford) earned third-place billfish honors with a tally of one blue marlin and two sailfish for the day.
In the winner-take-all dolphin jackpot division, Alyssa Leary, fishing on Waverunner, a 63 Custom run by Capt. Brian White, captured the largest fish. The 16.2-pounder was worth $57,800 to the team.
Robin Levey was on the rod for the heaviest wahoo of the day. She was competing aboard Freetyme, a 32 Topaz to crank in the 43.5-pound striped speedster. Kenneth Freeman, Sr., is Freetyme’s skipper.
The tuna leaderboard changed constantly Sunday evening, but by the time the scales closed, Pelican and angler Summer Bracher was the winner with a 72.1-pound yellowfin. Arch Bracher is Pelican’s captain and the boat calls Oregon Inlet its home port.
The trophies, checks and individual angler honors were announced at the awards dinner Sunday evening at the Pirate’s Cove Marina. A total of 154 teams and an estimated 950 lady anglers competed in this year’s 33rd annual memorial event.