A first by any angler, tags first TBF Royal Slam in a year
Above: Completing the Second Royal Slam on Sept. 12, 2014 with Capt. Bouncer Smith. Photo courtesy of Scott Nichols.
On September 12, 2014, angler Scott Nichols caught, tagged, and released a 200-pound swordfish to cap off his worldwide journey to become the first person to achieve two Billfish Royal Slams in a single year. Over the years, more than one hundred anglers have accomplished the most prestigious achievement in billfishing – the Billfish Royal Slam. Recognition by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) for the Royal Slam requires the successful capture of nine different species of billfish in a lifetime, but many anglers have done it within a year. Nichols is the first to achieve two Royal Slams of the required species in a given year and the first to tag a Royal Slam with TBF tags within that time period.
Beginning the journey in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic on September 21, 2013 aboard the Get Lit, Scott tagged his first blue marlin and then released another blue the following day, starting his quest for two royal slams in a year. From there he headed to Miami Beach where he knocked off his first swordfish with Capt. Bouncer Smith and then headed to Cabo to catch two striped marlin. Fishing in his home waters off of Stuart, Florida in February of 2014, Scott released an Atlantic Sailfish and then headed to Los Suenos, where he released the needed Pacific sailfish for both slams. He then took a trip out to Kona, Hawaii and checked off two spearfish and a Pacific blue marlin with Capt. Chip Van Moles. Swinging back through Cap Cana, Scott caught a needed white marlin aboard the Sea Check and tagged another white on the Sandman with Capt. Scott Leon.
With the end goal in sight, Scott shot across the pond to Exmouth, Australia, where he fished with Capt. Josh Bruynzeel aboard the On Strike. Closing the book on the first Royal Slam, Scott tagged a Pacific sailfish, two black marlin, and a Pacific blue marlin and left only one swordfish to complete the second Royal Slam. He headed back to South Florida where he fished once again with Capt. Bouncer Smith on Bouncer’s Dusky 33 where he successfully tagged the final swordfish on September 12, 2014, completing the second royal slam.
The journey across the world came down to the wire with only eight days to go, but Scott pulled it off and became the first angler to catch two Royal Slams in a year and the first person to tag a Royal Slam with tags from The Billfish Foundation in a single year. To see pictures of the journey and copies of his certificates, check out the photo gallery.
Article re-posted from Marlin Magazine – please click here for original article.