Two Oceans Marine Tuna Derby 2012
The recent Tuna Derby held at the Atlantic Boat Club in Hout Bay (which took place 5th to 10th November 2012) saw a lot of monster tuna landed by a horde of wind-battered but cheerful anglers and, although the weather wasn’t perfect, the competition turned out to be a booming success. Leisure Boating takes a look at what went down, and of course, what came up, at possibly the most successful Tuna Derby ever!
Much of its success is of course owed to the generous sponsors, who include Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing, Yamaha, Furuno, Cummins SA, The LookOut Deck Restaurant and Atlantic Boat Club. The derby was well supported with 31 boats and 160 anglers registering. All participants had a fantastic opening and closing function on the Monday and Saturday evenings – kindly sponsored by The LookOut Deck Restaurant who provided the tasty fillet steak and boerewors rolls, which proved to be an absolute treat for all.
The weather call for day one was ‘a go’ and the entire fleet launched at 05h00 sharp. The sea conditions were very pleasant, enabling most of the boats to get into some good catches of tuna.
The notable fish on the first day were all Yellowfin tuna and the first fish to the scales was an 86 kg caught on Cpt Sea. This fish remained the heaviest for a while until Beluga weighed in a great fish of 88.5 kg caught by Gary Fourie. The heaviest and only Longfin of the day came from one of the sponsor’s boats, Two Oceans – a good fish of 24.9 kg caught by Kobus Potgieter.
As the day’s fishing started to draw to a close, there was talk that the boat Obsession (a 28’ Magnum WR manufactured by the sponsors Two Oceans Marine, and skippered by the experienced Dave Christie) had a very to the scales. Once at the scales, the fish had to be hauled up the gantry on the pulley system by three staff members – a strong indicator that it might just top the scales! Eventually, after much huffing and puffing, the weigh master steadied the beast and a huge roar erupted from the gallery as the needle swung to an incredible 109.95 kg! Dave Christie was ecstatic that he had finally broken the 100 kg mark and the monster fish remained the heaviest of the day. big fish onboard and was on its way in to the scales. Once at the scales, the fish had to be hauled up the gantry on the pulley system by three staff members – a strong indicator that it might just top the scales! Eventually, after much huffing and puffing, the weigh master steadied the beast and a huge roar erupted from the gallery as the needle swung to an incredible 109.95 kg! Dave Christie was ecstatic that he had finally broken the 100 kg mark and the monster fish remained the heaviest of the day.
It must be noted that prior to the 100 kg fish, all others weighed during the day weighed in the high 80 kg’s – but no other broke the 90 kg mark. The benchmark had been set and anglers were keen to beat the record, but once the daily prizegiving ended it was announced that the following day, Wednesday, was a ‘no go’ due to the inclement weather conditions predicted. Thursday’s conditions remained dreary and the day was also called off, much to the misery of the eager anglers. With everyone raring to get out into the deep in pursuit of a 110 kg fish, all boats left the harbour at 05h00 on Friday the 9th as the weather conditions had finally improved. After a good day on the water, all boats returned to harbour and all eyes were on those boats that had reportedly landed some very big fish. The first of these was from the boat Tuna Cat Cha (a 32’ Magnum WR from the Two Oceans yard) skippered by Etienne Braun, one of the Breco Seafoods sponsors, with what looked a ‘buster’ that should weigh near the 100 kg mark at least. After weigh-in, it was recorded at 93.25 kg and was now in second position.
Next at the scales was the Two Oceans vessel skippered by Mark Delany with a very large fish caught by Mark himself; a 94.10 kg beauty, which meant they were now in second. Another Two Oceans boat, Voluptuous, skippered by Shaun Hill, arrived at the scales next. A very large tuna was visible on their deck and the gathered anglers all estimated it to be around the 100 kg mark. But once up on the scales, groans could be heard from the spectators as the fish, caught by Gareth Decker, fell short of the 100 kg mark and weighed in at 95.9 kg, but it meant that he took over the second spot. Several other large fish made it to the scales during the next hour, all with expectations of beating the monster of day one, but unfortunately to no avail. Four other fish weighed in over the 90 kg mark but none heavy enough to beat the top three.
The boat Witch Craft was next to weigh with what looked like yet another ‘big one’ that surely must get close to 110 kg. Unfortunately for the angler Dave Edgar (who, incidentally skippered his vessel to a gold medal during the recent Tuna Nationals with a world record Yellowfin of 106.75 kg caught on 10 kg line – as reported by Leisure Boating in the June/July 2012 edition), it weighed in at 97.5 kg putting him in second, which at least beat his personal best. Then, along came Obsession, still holding onto the lead at that stage and about to weigh another absolute beast. Smiling from ear to ear, Dave Christie heaved up the gigantic Yellowfin onto the scales. Another roar went up from the crowd as the scale read 102.3 kg! As day two drew to a close, Dave Christie held first and second position with the only two fish over 100 kg! Going into the third fishing day, Saturday, the weather was perfect and all the boats knew that they had one last shot at catching that elusive big one. The 11h00 call-ups revealed that a few boats had landed some goodsized Yellowfin and, understandably, no estimated weights were disclosed. The 13h00 call-up didn’t give up any further clues, with the exception of a couple of extra Yellowfin reported from a few more boats.
As all waited eagerly at the weigh-in station, it had been ascertained that the leading four boats at this stage, namely Obsession, Witch Craft, Two Oceans and Voluptuous all had ‘big’ Yellowfin onboard and that a few other boats had also landed some very nice sized fish. Two Oceans weighed in first and managed a Yellowfin of 97.35 kg caught by Mark Delany – now putting him fourth overall.
Next was the boat Jaguar. Unfortunately for the angler Richard Levi (the SA Protea 20/20 cricketer) – who has not hit a 100 for some time now and therefore garnered everyone’s support in reaching this milestone whilst fishing rather than on the cricket field – the fish tipped the scales at 95.65 kg, putting him in sixth spot overall. Not bad for a guy that had never caught a big Yellowfin tuna before! Lady Ella brought their fish to the scales. The guys heaved the pulley system with the fish caught by Byron von Bonde only to witness the scale register 94.65 kg. There were a further 10 fish weighing in over the 90 kg mark during the course of the last day’s weigh-in which closed at 18h00, but none could beat the 109.95 kg beauty of the first day. Nevertheless, with two tuna over 100 kg (or over 220 lbs as our American counterparts would say), 15 tuna in the 90 kg class and 32 tuna in the 80 kg class – all caught on 80 lb tackle, just shows what a world class fishery this Hout Bay venue is.
Other notable achievements were two lady anglers catching their personal bests, Tarryn with a fish of 81.65 kg and guest Halina with a fish of 78.35 kg. Many individual anglers (too many to mention) also managed to land their personal bests during the tournament and we at the club are proud of each angler’s performance. With three days fished out of the possible five, the prizegiving was held on Saturday evening. The Atlantic Boat Club (ABC) organising committee once again managed to put everything together in their usual professional manner and the function was a tremendous success.
With the major sponsors already mentioned, ABC also would like to thank all the other co-sponsors that contributed so generously towards the prizes, without your valued support we would not be able to enhance the prize list. All the ABC staff and members must be commended for assisting in making this derby a memorable occasion. Without your generous assistance we would never be able to put on such a great show.