The SADSAA Tuna Nationals 2013, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Hosted by Atlantic Boat Club and Western Province Deep Sea Angling Association, this year saw nine provincial teams entering the SADSAA Tuna Nationals at Hout Bay. Orange Free State Deep Sea Angling and Northern Gauteng Deep Sea Angling Association fielded a team for the first time in many years.
They were joined by EPDSAA and BDSAA – last year’s gold medallists with Frank Scholtz the new world record holder for Yellowfin tuna with a 106,75 kg fish on 10 kg line. The rest included SCDSAA, WPDSAA, ZDSAA, MDSAA and lastly the SADSAA Team captained by Dale Hattingh, David van Zyl and Marius Coetzee. The venue was set and the hospitality of the fairest Cape was waiting for our provincial anglers at Atlantic Boat Club. The host club put together a magnificent fleet of boats and we wish to thank the skippers for taking time off work and their families to enter and skipper their boats in the premium fishing nationals on the SADSAA calendar; as well as all our sponsors, for without them a tournament such as this would certainly not be possible. This year’s Tuna Nationals saw a few decent-sized Yellowfin again as well as many large Longfin tuna (Albacore). Good fun was had by all the teams during their stay in Hout Bay. On Monday night, with the opening of the competition, all the teams were welcomed by David Boers, chairman of Atlantic Boat Club and Lee Wiid, chairman of WPDSAA.
As Chris Shields, ABC tournament convenor conducted the boat draw with Tessa de Kock, the camaraderie among the anglers was evident with friendly banter flying around and challenges being laid down. With the weather looking good for the week, the two SADSAA selectors, Chris Jacobs and Ted Horn, were to evaluate anglers on different boats every day. Teams readied themselves for the long day off the Canyon and the impending battle with the worldrenowned Cape Yellowfin tuna, using just 10 kg line!
Cape Town has a premium Yellowfin fishery where it’s not uncommon for three anglers to simultaneously battle it out with three Yellowfin all over 50 kg in weight – doing the ‘tuna tango’ in unison and ultimately causing sweaty brows, achy muscles and screaming reels.
Day One greeted the anglers with excellent weather and saw a combined total of 30 Longfin landed with an average weight of 18 kg, while eight Yellowfin were successfully reeled in. As always there were stories of the ‘big one’ that got away and anglers battling for three to four hours with these huge creatures of the deep.
On Day Two, SCDSAA, with Marius Lammers, boated the second biggest Yellowfin while Marius Coetzee from the SADSAA Team caught the biggest Yellowfin, weighing in at 65.85 kg. 42 Longfin were caught, the biggest one landed by Dale Hattingh, weighing in at 27.9 kg while 22 Yellowfin tuna were caught. These numbers and the sheer size of the species caught, showed again what a pristine tuna fishery we have here in Cape Town.
As the last day dawned, the anglers were suffering from fatigue and aches due to the previous days’ rigours and the last fishing day saw only 18 Longfin hauled from the depths. At the prize giving the SADSAA team claimed the gold medal, the SCDSAA Team took silver and the ZDSAA Team went home with the bronze.