For as long as I can remember, all the way through my early-30’s, I’ve spent my life adventuring with my brothers. At first it was building forts, riding motorcycles, going to the beach, sailing to Catalina, fishing for Calicos, and then later it became traveling to Baja, Indonesia and Samoa to surf, diving and fishing for large pelagic species of fish. But then, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, my youngest brother Kirk up and left this planet.
Within a couple of weeks of his passing, I started putting together the “Kirk McNulty White Seabass Spearfishing Tournament.” I knew I wanted to carry on his name and attaching it to something he loved and cared about was important to me. When Kirk passed away he was captaining a sport fishing boat out of Haleiwa, Hawaii. Shortly before that he had spent a year in New Zealand and Vanuatu as a fishing guide on the small cruise ship, Island Passage. When hunting fish, Kirk enjoyed rod and reel fishing, but what he really loved was being in the water with the fish and being challenged on their level.
This year marks the second year of the contest. In 2014, Paul Hugoboom won the inaugural contest with a 72.70lb. white seabass, the only fish caught over 70 lbs. There were 65 participants, with 10 fish taken. So far this year there are more than three fish over 70lbs and eight fish on the board with a month left in the tournament. We are expecting even more large fish to be caught as the white seabass become more active in May.
The proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the King Harbor Ocean Enhancement Foundation in Redondo Beach, California, which is one of 13 white seabass grow-out facilities supported by Hubbs-Seaworld in Carlsbad, CA. Their combined efforts help to improve the white seabass population on our coast, which has declined 90% in the last 50 years due to pollution and over-fishing. The program has been nurturing and releasing white seabass in local waters for almost 20 years, releasing hundreds of thousands of juveniles into the Pacific annually from San Diego to Santa Barbara.
A $10 entry is required prior to spearing a fish and you can register at www.HookBuzz.com The contest runs through May 31, 2015. Fish can be caught anywhere along the Baja and California coast. Verification details can also be found on www.HookBuzz.com
Winners of the contest will be chosen from the spear-fishermen who capture the top three biggest fish and the prizes are fitting to Kirk McNulty’s life, as 1st Place includes a Coronado Islands Dive with Guardian Charters, JBL Reaper 100cm Speargun, Electric California Prize Pack, Pelican Products and much more.
An awards ceremony will be held at BodyGlove/Dive N’ Surf in Redondo Beach, CA June 14, from 1-4pm where the prizes will be awarded to the top spear-fishermen and products from the sponsors will be raffled off to the public.
Sponsors confirmed as of April 26 have supplied over $3000 in prizes and gear from Electric California, Pelican Products, Body Glove/Dive N’ Surf, Guardian Charters, Celestron Binoculars, Dark Seas, Fish 101 Restaurant, Salty Crew, SpearingForum, Reefrunner Gear, Spearing Magazine, JBL Spearguns, Riffe International, HippyTree, Diff Eyewear, Watermans Sunscreen, Daryl Wong Guns and Wilmington Iron Works.