After being ravaged by hurricanes, and covid19, and years of neglect, the iconic Walkers Cay in the Northern Abacos is BACK. And those of us who were there tonight to hear Walkers owner Carl Allen speak from the heart and officially open the Walkers Cay Blue Marlin Invitational tonight will be telling future generations…I was there the very first day Carl and Gigi Allen brought Walkers Cay back.
Many of the best fishermen in the world have decended upon Walkers this weekend for the chance to claim serious Blue Marlin bragging rights in the first tournemanet to be held at Walkers in about 20 years that starts tomorrow. And the excitement went through the roof when Carl announced that he’ll write a check for $1 million to the first angler to bring in a “Grander”–a 1,000 pound Blue Marlin. But that is only part of the reason this touranamnemt has attracted some of the best fishermen in the world to come back to Walkers.
The simple truth is many of the teams that were lucky enough to have been invited to this special event–numbers had to be kept low because only the marina is open and construction on the rest of the island isn’t done yet–have a soft spot in their hearts for this small island with a reputation for fun, amazing memories and…very big fish.
Nearly every angler and crew at tonight’s tournament captian’s dinner has a “Walker’s Story” from the glory days of Walkers in the 70s and 80’s. Carl made sure to call out Buck Marlow, “The Legend from 87” who’s been the captain of the Wags for decades and won the tournament in 1987 “on the first day!” he says with a wagish grin. Buck was also the captain for Carl’s late stepdad–who just happened to be Cork Wallgreen of “Wallgreens” and is currently the captain for Carl’s Mom.
Carl was also quick to thank all off the people who have worked so hard to make the Walkers Cay state-of-the-art marina one of the best in the Bahamas. And he has big plans to continue to improve all of the island.
But, since tonight was all about starting off the Walkers fishing season in style, he saved some very special (and funny) words for the legendary captain of the Dutchess--Billy Black–the only fishermen who according to Allen “will always have a slip at Walkers.”
So stay tuned. I’ll be on the Frigate with Carl and his rockstar captain Ian Webber and crew tomorrow. Billy Black and his team on Friday, And hope to join Buck Marlow on Wags on Saturday. This is going to be more than fun! It’s going to be historic.