The Barbados Game Fishing Association (BGFA) is responsible for all game fishing events in Barbados and has firmly established itself as one of the premier Associations or Clubs in the Eastern Caribbean. We have played a leading role in encouraging other fishing associations in the region and, today, we have an active and enjoyable relationship with our contemporaries in Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua and, most recently, Dominica, St. Vincent and Guadeloupe.
The BGFA practices conservation in all of its events either by minimum weight or length and encourages tag and release with pain of penalty for landing undersized fish.
The Island now boasts one of the premier marine facilities in the Eastern Caribbean at Port St. Charles, where Customs and Immigration also have offices.
The Objectives of the BGFA are as follows:
- To promote and encourage the art of Rod and Reel fishing.
- To organize and supervise game fishing tournaments or suitable occasions throughout the year.
- To accumulate data and keep records in connection with fish and fishing.
- To promote and encourage conservation of fish and marine life.
The BGFA has approximately 130 members. The annual subscription is Bds$150.00 ($US75.00). All are welcome. Our financial year runs from July to June, and the Annual General Meeting is held in June.
The Barbados Game Fishing Club, as it was first known, was founded in mid-1961 by a group of enthusiastic anglers. Among them were the late Dennis Atkins, former West Indies Cricket Captain, the late Richard Nicholls, Attorney-at-Law, the late Keith Murphy, the late Jim Kellman and others, who saw the fishing potential around Barbados and sought to have organized tournaments guided by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) rules and regulations to which we still adhere.
Initially there were 6-8 National One-Day Deep Sea events staged between January and April each year. As the years passed, it was realised that, between May and December the Club was inactive. To encourage the social activities and to accommodate those anglers who either did not fish in the deep sea events or could not expose themselves to the sun for health reasons, the Club introduced a number of inshore night events (5.00 pm to midnight) in open boats fishing for Goggle-eye, Crevalle (Jack), Snapper, Sennets and other small inshore fish. These events proved to be extremely successflul and well attended. The BGFA has also introduced a number of Barracuda and Wahoo Fun events between November and January, from 5.00 a.m. to 12 noon.
At about this time, the Club changed its name from the Barbados Game Fishing Club to the Barbados Game Fishing Association (BGFA) which allowed us to be affiliated to the National Sports Council. The BGFA is also affiliated to the IGFA and the Deep Sea and International events are guided by the Rules of the IGFA.
The culmination of our efforts has been the BGFA International Tournament, which was started in 1990 and is known today as the Sagicor/Mount Gay Rum International Tournament. This attracts regional boats and anglers from Europe, U.K., Canada, North & South America. The two main sponsors have supported us for many years and this is one of the reasons that we have reached the point where the Sagicor/Mount Gay Rum International has been accredited as a Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship qualifying event. This allowed us to send a team in 2003 to Cabo, San Lucas, Mexico.