July 23, 2021
When it comes to world-class fishing destinations, it’s pretty hard to compete with Walker’s Cay about 90 miles east of Stuart, Florida. “I’ve been going to Walker’s Cay since I was a kid,” says Carl Allen who bought the island in 2016, and is in the process of rebuilding after it was destroyed by a hurricane and abandoned since 2004. “And I’m still amazed that I ended up being the guy that’s bringing it back to life.”
To celebrate the opening of the new state-of-the-art marina, close to 40 highly motivated fishing teams gathered May 26-29 to compete in The Walker’s Cay Blue Marlin Invitational Fishing Tournament.
“I’m so proud of our team who worked so hard to get the marina ready for this tournament,” Allen said at the captain’s dinner held the night before the tournament began. “And honestly, we weren’t sure we were going to make it in time. But, seeing the marina full of boats like it used to be, and seeing the smiles on the faces of people who love Walker’s as much as I do is incredibly special.”
Allen wasn’t the only one who got a bit emotional. Legendary Walker’s Cay fishing captain Billy Black and his soon-to-be-wife Karen were overjoyed to be back. So were all the other captains and crews that were able to score a coveted invitation to what was one of the most exclusive fishing tournaments of the year.
The Walker’s Cay Blue Marlin Invitational also attracted big names like #1 ranked golfer in the world Dustin Johnson who competed aboard his custom-built Just Chillin. He and his team ended up on the podium after three action-packed days where 26 blue marlin were caught. Nearly all were released.
No team had a better tournament than Captain Russell Sinclair’s Bayliss 77 Wave Paver. They won Top Overall Team and Top Captain and Crew honors. Boat owner JR Davis claimed Best Angler honors. He also brought in the biggest fish of the tournament—a 508-pound blue marlin—that was caught on the first day and christened the new and improved Walker’s Cay gantry.
As each boat slowly motored out of the marina, the highly energetic Allen was there to wish everyone a safe journey back home. Allen said his team has big plans to make the marina better than ever. They’re working to add state-of-the-art accommodations including a pool and spa and even some bungalows at the opposite end of the island.