Kingfish takes the crown!

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16th Annual Guinjata Sports Fishing Club Bonanza

The annual Guinjata Bonanza, hosted by Guinjata Sports Fishing club in the idyllic setting of Guinjata Bay in the Inhambane province of Mozambique, took place in the first week of June. It is a special competition for all the anglers, many of who only fish this competition annually and it also boasts the biggest prize haul of all competitions held in Mozambique. This year saw the 16th Bonanza get off to a festive start with a welcome braai on the beach for all the sponsors who had made the trip to enjoy the occasion as well as use the opportunity to promote their trade to the anglers and their entourage. This is always a cheerful occasion and without the sponsors none of this would be possible.

After registration and an extremely informative interactive talk by the Bartho Brothers on Sunday afternoon regarding tactics, actions and lure colour, there was a quick briefing session on Sunday evening before most anglers snuck off to prepare for an early start the next morning.

As the year’s have passed and the competition has matured into its new format, it has become the most challenging competition format to tackle. Unlike other competitions where the species is evident or scoring relies on how many you can catch, this competition relies on a calculated strategy regarding your target species and the prize goes to those who execute the correct strategy best. In the past three years the main prize had been won by an impressive Yellowfin tuna on one occasion and a Wahoo on the others. There were, however, several species that could tip the scales more than the two Wahoo that had won previously, and the Big Tuna were ominously absent the previous year.

Some have called the new format a bit of a lucky draw, but after four years and with enough data to examine the results, the list of past winners boasts mainly teams that compete with a solid strategy and it is usually the same teams that end up in the top 10 species spots year after year. Far from a “lucky dip”, the top prize in this competition must be earned and the anglers that win it can be proud of their achievement and the company with whom they share this top honour.

Dark green, dirty water had washed in close to the coastline and covered all the coastal fishing grounds out past the 100m mark for the extent of the fishing area. Many believed this to be a bad sign but would soon be proved wrong. The anglers were lined up and raring to go early on Monday morning. The launching crew got all 66 boats into the small surf within 30 minutes of first light from where they scattered in all directions…

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