Experience the Action with ACY
Whether setting a new record, battling for a tournament title or racking up the numbers for the fun of it, the ACY fleet is renowned worldwide for its bluewater achievements.
Scroll down to experience recent accomplishments by ACY's talented fishing teams.
Postcards from Paradise
These incredible photos were sent by the globetrotting team of Terry and Bonnie Stansel aboard the 80′ PATRIOT. They were midway through a two-year jaunt through the South Pacific where the fishing has proven to be nothing short of amazing.
A Chance Encounter in the Gulf
Benjamin Moll, a mate on the Edison Chouest Offshore 240′ offshore supply vessel ALLIE CHOUEST, was on deck between shifts working in the Gulf of Mexico when he spotted an impressive-looking sportfisherman with a pale yellow hull landing tuna near an oil rig. Having spent plenty of time at Brewer Plymouth Marine in Plymouth, Massachusetts, run by his father Tim Moll, Benjamin instantly recognized the boat as belonging to the American Custom Yachts fleet. He grabbed his camera and captured this fascinating image of the ACY72 YELLOWBIRD with a flaring rig in the background. A productive day for all, YELLOWBIRD Captain Cameron McDowell reported capturing some nice yellowfin that day. To view more of Moll's work, visit his insightful blog about the life on the water, New England Waterman.
CHACH Makes History
ACY fleet boat CHACH has had some memorable seasons on the water over the years, but this past year has topped all others. In April, Team FREEDOM was invited for a day of fishing aboard the CHACH in the Dominican Republic with Captain Dave Dalfo at the helm and Matt Coppoletta running the cockpit. It turned out to be a day of fishing like no other. Angler Dino Chouest had some business to attend to, so he turned the duties over to his 15-year-old son Alex. Already a seasoned angler, Alex was intent on pitching his own baits with no assistance from the crew. FREEDOM Captain Albert Miller chronicled the events in articles published in Marlin, InTheBite and Billfish magazines. Miller wrote: "As Captain Dave teased the fish in, Alex tossed the pitch and readied himself for the assault, which came three times and in quick succession. It was done as quickly as it started. He had only a couple of minutes to reflect before another fish gave him a chance. This time he smoothly pushed the drag to strike and the circle hook found its mark, allowing him to catch the fish. With the skill of a veteran angler, he never missed on the pitch again for the rest of the day! By midmorning we were 3/4, and then shortly after lunch, 4/5. By mid afternoon Alex had achieved his personal best day angling and was approaching the best day of blue marlin fishing he had ever been involved in." The intense action continued, and by late afternoon Alex was 7/9, tying the boat's record for a single day of fishing." Miller describes what occurred next: "After a miss on a rigger and a few anticipation-filled minutes, Alex was back in the chair coaxing the swivel out of the water as the fish angled toward the surface. While Captain Dave had the CHACH pinned in reverse, Matt grabbed the leader on our eighth blue of the day!" Alex had not only earned a new boat record for the CHACH, but also a place in the history books rivaled by few anglers of any age. But, perhaps the most important accomplishment was stated best by Miller: "One thing for sure is that Alex, on that day, claimed a spot in his family's fishing legacy that makes everyone very, very proud." The next day, Alex was joined by his nine-year-old brother, Max, who released his first blue marlin aboard CHACH. There is no doubt that these two brothers are destined to make an impact on the future of sportfishing. An equally impressive Chouest family milestone was reached near the end of the St. Thomas fishing season with angler Damon Chouest releasing his 700th career Atlantic blue marlin, and Team CHACH racking up 114 for the season. On top of this remarkable achievement, Damon was recognized as the runner-up angler in the 2012 USVI Open/Atlantic Blue Marlin Tournament with CHACH winning the shootout on the final day.
FREEDOM Turns on the Heat
Team FREEDOM has been red-hot on the water since winning the 33rd Annual Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament last spring out of Port Lucaya, The Bahamas. The ACY65 FREEDOM, captained by Albert Miller with crew members Jimmy Brasher and Tommy Farella, took top boat honors in this prestigious tournament with Ross Chouest named top angler, releasing a blue marlin, three white marlin and three sailfish. In late May, Captain Albert guided FREEDOM to victory again in the Cajun Canyons Billfish Classic out of Venice, LA, weighing in a monster 744-pound blue marlin – the third largest ever caught off the Louisiana coast. FREEDOM continued its quest in the Fourchon Oilman's Tournament in July, fishing out of Golden Meadow, LA with ACY head honcho Dom LaCombe at the helm. Team FREEDOM earned top bluewater boat overall with two blue marlin releases, along with the second place billfish release award; first, second and fourth place awards for yellowfin tuna; and second and third place awards for blackfin tuna. Anglers in Fourchon included Damon Chouest, Buster Hawthorne, Lee Bouziga and Reggie Ledet, assisted by crew members Carlos Hernandez and Matt Coppoletta.
BLACK GOLD Takes BVI Tourney
With a finish that was truly "down to the wire," Team BLACK GOLD clinched their victory in the last few minutes of the final day of the 2012 BVI Billfish Tournament out of Virgin Gorda. After releasing two blue marlin earlier in the day, BLACK GOLD reported that they were hooked up again at 2:01 p.m. Unlike the earlier blues, this one, estimated at over 600 pounds, required a bit more time and effort to subdue. Angler Harry Sargeant fought the big blue for one hour and forty minutes before releasing the fish with only nineteen minutes remaining on the tournament clock. This was BLACK GOLD's eighth blue of the three-day tournament, placing them solidly on top of the leader board.
C'EST LA VIE Upholds Family Tradition
Following a long-held family tradition that began over three decades ago with Edison Chouest captaining the original C'EST LA VIE with grandsons Dino, Damon and Ross in the cockpit, the new ACY90 C'EST LA VIE returned to Louisiana in late July to fish the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo. This time it was Ross, his nephew Alex Chouest and family friends in the cockpit with Captain Albert Miller at the helm. The new C'EST LA VIE rekindled the family tradition with Ross lassoing first place with a 541-pound blue marlin and Matthew Bourg taking top honors in the tag and release category for blue marlin and yellowfin tuna.