Byline: The Log Staff
SAN DIEGO — A total of 293 anglers cast their lines for a good cause during the 24th annual Make-A-Wish Tuna Challenge, Aug. 24-25. There were 68 private boats and six charter boats participating.
Teams weighed in a total of 24 dorado, 53 yellowtail, 20 bluefin and one skipjack. One marlin was caught and released.
A post-tournament banquet Aug. 25 at Portuguese Hall included awards presentations, lunch, raffles, live and silent auctions, and a chance to win the grand raffle prize: a new Mazda3 iTouring automobile with SKYACTIV technology, valued at $21,145. The Mazda was won by Sonya Chandler.
The Reel Eze Team took top honors as the tournament’s first-place large boat and high boat overall, with 97.6 points. The top tournament winner was Brian Burke, who took the Richard Thomas Memorial Grand Prize with a 43.6-pound bluefin tuna. Maggie Osburn took the award for top lady angler, with a 39.2-pound bluefin. San Diego Marlin Club took the high club award, with 72.3 points.
“The real catch of the day was the support for our Wish Kids,” said Tuna Challenge Committee member Malaine Hall-Plymesser.
“Even in a challenging economy, the fishing community stepped up for Make-A-Wish — and the support that we got from sponsors, anglers, donors and volunteers was tremendous,” she said. “After 24 years of deep-sea fundraising, the Tuna Challenge event has raised over $2.9 million toward granting wishes in San Diego.”
The Make-A-Wish Tuna Challenge Committee is an all-volunteer group that works tirelessly year-round to make this event a success.
Make-A-Wish San Diego grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, with a goal of enriching the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since its inception in 1983, the San Diego chapter has granted more than 3,000 wishes to children in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
For more information on the organization, visit wishsandiego.org.