The First Blue: An Interview with Youth Angler Riley Overstreet

The First Blue: An Interview with Youth Angler Riley Overstreet

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Those of you who have been lucky enough to catch a blue marlin, think back to that experience. Think back to that time you wrangled a species responsible for centuries of art and sport. Think back to the scythe-shaped dorsal fin piercing the seas, the shouts of the crew, water spilling over the transom. Electrified in neon and dancing across the swell, that fish made you work for that flag.

During Memorial Day weekend’s Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament, that pivotal moment happened for one of our Gov Cup anglers. With his dad at the helm and his mom on the camera, 13-year-old Riley Overstreet of the Tighten Up released his first blue marlin, earning the top youth angler award and third overall in the tournament.

Riley, no stranger to the Gov Cup, has consistently proven himself to be a fierce competitor. He’s not one to waste time with unnecessary fluff. He’s direct but polite, young but mature. He fights hard and plays to win, all while being eager to learn and absorb the skills of others around him.

For this week’s post on The Teaser, we reached out to Riley to chat about his first blue marlin, the next species on his list, and fishing with his mom, JoAnne, and dad, Kevin. In his natural, to-the-point professionalism, he gave us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a kid destined for a long laundry list of sportfishing accomplishments. Take a look:

You just caught and released your first blue marlin! What was the fight like?

“It was fun. It was exciting.  I was very happy.”

How did you feel once you released the fish?

“Happy that I just caught my first blue. I was tired.”

How did you and the rest of the Tighten Up crew react when you found out your blue marlin earned you third place at the 52nd Annual Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament?

“A lot of hugs and high-fives!”

Now that you’ve released a blue marlin, what’s the next fish species on your list?

“Either another blue or a white.  A stripe or black would be nice on our next trip to Costa Rica too.”

What’s it like fishing with your mom and dad?

“It is fun. They let me catch all the fish.  I like how my dad is teaching me to rig bait and help on the boat more than I used to.  Cleaning the boat is not so much fun.”

What are you most looking forward to at the Carolina Billfish Classic, the next tournament in the Gov Cup?

“Catching more billfish and throwing axes.”

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After talking with Riley, we also reached out to his parents to get their take on the experience. 

How did you feel when you watched Riley catch his first blue marlin?

JoAnne – “I could barely breathe until we touched that leader. I prayed. I prayed A LOT!  I was up top, I was down bottom, I was inside, I was outside.  I couldn’t sit or stand still.  And I was trying to get good video as well.  I literally had tears as we celebrated after the release. We had an awesome crew on board that day that made this experience so memorable to us as a family.”

Kevin – “I really enjoyed being able to captain the boat as Riley caught his first blue.” 

Video courtesy of the Tighten Up

Congratulations to the Tighten Up team, and, of course, to Riley! You’ve caught your first blue - now on to the next! We have no doubts that you’ll battle many more.

Now that..that’s what it’s all about, folks! Stay tuned for more from The Teaser next week.


The Teaser is a series dedicated to showcasing the stories of the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series and its lively community. The Gov Cup was created several decades ago to encourage the conservation of ocean resources through the tagging and release of billfish. Learn more here.

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