BILOXI, MS (WLOX) –
Several Biloxi boat captains are still beaming from being recognized on regional and international levels. Captains Jay Trochesset, Kenny Barhanovich, Adam Ladnier, and First Mate Alex Soto came back from a big weekend in Florida with huge honors.
“It’s mind boggling,” said Jay Trochesset, captain of the Silver Dollar III.
Kenny Barhanovich, captain of the Miss Hospitality, agreed, “It’s hard to soak in right now.”
The two, combined, have more than a century of charter boat fishing experience between them. Jay Trochesset and Kenny Barhanovich now have their names permanently enshrined in the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Hall of Fame.
Gulf Coast Billfish Classic Director Bobby Carter nominated the two for the honor a year ago. They entered a pool of 200 other nominees from around the world. An IGFA representative came to Biloxi and interviewed Barhanovich and Trochesset last April.
Carter received a call during the summer from the representative, Carl Anderson. “He was very impressed with both of them and he said, ‘If you had to choose one, which one would you pick?’ I said, ‘Carl, don’t even go there,'” said Carter.
Carter told the rep that it was either both or neither. He said it didn’t take long to hear back from the IGFA. Both Trochesset and Barhanovich were receiving the Tommy Gifford Award and being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The first two from the northern Gulf, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
According to Carter, the honor was not just about taking people fishing. It was about how the two captains helped restore the coast back after multiple disasters.
“We’re survivors and I guess we got rewarded for our efforts,” said Trochesset.
For Trochesset, fishing has always been in his blood. “Being around here you get the salt in your veins,” he said. And now, he has something to show for his years of hard work.
Barhanovich said the honor took him completely by surprise. “This wasn’t even considered on my bucket list. It was unbelievable. It had me so nervous being around so many people that were affiliated with the fishing industries,” said Barhanovich.
Now that the nerves have subsided, Barhanovich and Trochesset say they’re still on cloud nine. “I’m not touching the ground right now,” said Barhanovich.
The IGFA usually only inducts five captains worldwide into the hall of fame. This year, there were six, including Trochesset and Barhanovich.
Captain Adam Ladnier and First Mate Alex Soto came back to Biloxi with top honors in the Billfish Foundation’s White Marlin tagging competition.
Ladnier is a second generation boat captain. He and Soto staff Tony Petro’s boat, the Southern Miss. They entered the 2015 Billfish Foundation’s tagging competition for the Gulf and came out on top in one category. Ladnier and Soto received the top honors for tagging the most white marlin during the competition.
According to Ladnier, this was something he didn’t see coming. “Some of the guys we fish against are the best of the best and I mean there’s a lot of good competition out there,” he said.
His First Mate agreed. He said, although he enjoys what he’s able to do everyday, it is hard work. “It’s an honor. We work hard, really, and people think it’s just a pleasure but it’s hard work really and I think it’s good for Biloxi and good for this part of the Gulf,” said Soto.
Captain Ladnier and his mate, Alex Soto, tagged five white marlin to take home the title.
The Billfish Foundation’s ceremony was held Friday night, in Miami, Florida. The IGFA ceremony was held Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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