IGFA Puerto Rico Representative Jaime Fullana
Jaime Fullana was born in Puerto Rico and fell in love with fishing in 1955 when he was only 12 years old. “I was born to fish,” Jaime states. “My love of the sport has only increased over the years.” In 1958, Fullana’s father bought a 30’ Owens boat, and they began venturing offshore. At first, they missed many fish but Jaime finally caught a 449-pound blue marlin and was hooked for life. “Back then, we learned by trial and error. There were no fishing magazines to learn from and no internet to share experiences,” stated Fullana. “We didn’t even know we would need a flying gaff!” But thanks to guidance of captain Mike Benitez who shared some tricks of the sport, Jaime, his father and his two brothers quickly caught up.
After becoming one of the first Board of Directors at the Asociacion de Pesca Deportiva of Puerto Rico, Fullana helped to establish an island-wide tournament to popularize the sport and educate anglers about IGFA angling rules. Meanwhile, at Club Nautico de San Juan, Jaime supported efforts to release all billfish below 200 pounds at the club’s International Billfish Tournament, two years before The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) came into effect. In 1987, 86 blue marlin were released at the International Billfish Tournament, a ‘first’ at the time. Fullana served as president of the Asociacion de Pesca Deportiva from 1988-1994, during which time he worked to establish new catch-and-release rules for the entire island of Puerto Rico.
Always an adventurer, Jaime went on his first trip to target giant bluefin tuna in Bimini at the age of 18, which sparked a fire that took him to billfish hotspots around the world like Cancun, Dominican Republic, St. Thomas, Anguilla, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Cabo San Lucas. Most of those trips were done on his own and with his own boat Bolita. While on one of those fishing trips in 1994, Jaime completed the IGFA Royal Billfish Slam for releasing nine different billfish species. Fullana was one of the first to encourage the use of circle hooks in Puerto Rico, after visiting Guatemala and observing what angling friend and IGFA Hall of Famer Tim Choate had successfully implemented.
At 78 Jaime is still fishing together with Johnny “Cuban Johnny” Fulgueira at the helm and his dedicated crew on board Bolita Too. Jaime is proud to have recently been appointed to the Rules and Recognition Committee of the Central American & Caribbean Regional Council of the IGFA.
“Jaime loves teaching people everything that took him years to perfect,” says IGFA Representative Ricky Lefrac. “I am fortunate to be one of his pupils and fishing partners.”
The IGFA is proud to have Jaime as part of the IGFA family and we appreciate the great work he has done over the years to help promote sport fishing and ethical angling practices.