Ultimately, they decided to roll the $15,000 in prize money over to next year.
“We’re going to make it bigger and better,” Bouley said. “We’re also going to talk to a lot of the fishermen to see what we should do, like maybe go a little earlier in the season and maybe fish overnight so they can get out a little further.”
The good news: the tournament’s designated charity, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, won’t suffer from the results because managing partner Warren Waugh of chief sponsor Lyon Waugh said he will write a check for $5,000 to make good on the tournament’s charitable pledge.
There had been a glimpse of hope around 4:40 p.m. Saturday, when a rumor swept the docks that another boat had seen the Orion out of Gloucester land a fish. But Hale couldn’t confirm it over the radio and it proved to be only rumor when the empty-handed Orion backed into the fuel dock well after the 5 p.m. weigh-in deadline.
Bouley and Hale weren’t alone in their incredulity that no one landed a bluefin. The fishermen were right there with them.
Capt. Myles Daley was tying up the All Risk out of Hyannis about 15 minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline for any boat to either make it to the docks with a fish or at least get to one of the tournament committee boats out on the seas.
As with all the other boats before him, Daley arrived with only his very human crew.
“It’s just crazy,” he said. “These guys in this tournament aren’t slouches. There’s a lot of talent in this tournament. And no one landed one fish? Amazing.
“And here’s what’s really incredible: a lot of these guys grew up here. They were fishing in their own backyard. Just crazy.”