Hout Bay hosts successful Tuna Derby

Boats coming back to the marina aftter a long day on the water duing last weeks Two Oceans Tuna Derby. This years event saw a number of clubs from around the country and as far as the Netherlands taking part. PICTURE: GARY LATEGAN

Hout Bay-based Atlantic Boat Club hosted the 15th annual Two Oceans Tuna Derby, last week.

This year, the event attracted 29 entries long before the start of the tournament, with 140 entered anglers. Entries came in from many different clubs across the country, as well as an international team from the Netherlands.

Regarded as one of South Africa’s most prestigious sport fishing tournaments, the tournament has an interesting history.

During the late 1990s it became evident that Hout Bay had a world class fishery on its doorstep. And that explains why participants kept coming back. The idea of travelling to the deep to catch a tuna up to a class of 100kg with stand-up gear on rod and reel was now a reality as many a tuna commercial pole boat had seen this size fish swimming in their chum lines next to their vessel, and so anglers and boat owners started to plan and get the correct gear prepared for this daunting task.

The first derby only witnessed the winning fish weighing 62kg. In the years that followed the dream of the Tuna Derby became a reality as fish in the 80kg to 90kg range were caught, and the rest is history.

In Cape Town, any boating event is at the mercy of the wind and the waves – too much wind or too much swell makes sports fishing impossible.

This year, the south-easter howled for the whole week of the originally-scheduled fishing dates from Monday November 5 to Saturday November 10, pushing fishing out to November 13 and 14.

Chris Shield, a Hout Bay resident and the Two Oceans Tuna Derby organiser since the tournament’s inception 15 years ago, had entertainment, food and lucky draws lined up for the entrants every night at Atlantic Boat Club. Also, Greg Bertish of the Little Optimist Trust gave an inspirational talk on one of the evenings.

Two challenging days of fishing were held, yielding some impressive catches from the 32 boats that headed out onto the water.

The winning boats were:

1st:Silver Fox, with total entered catch at 153.45kg, skippered by Heinie Strumpher (winning a Yamaha-powered ski boat with a trailer)

2nd: Xtreme 1, with total entered catch at 148.80kg, skippered by Bosman Swanepoel

3rd: Real Time, with total entered catch at 143.30kg skippered by Izak Pieterse.

Top catches were:

1st:Justin Karan, fishing on Reel Therapy, with a 91.85kg Yellowfin.

2nd: Izak Pieterse, fishing on Real Time with a 87.50kg Yellowfin.

3rd: Tarryn Hemmes fishing on Seasons, with a 87 kg Yellowfin

Top 2 Lady Anglers:

1st: Judith Roetman, fishing on Xtreme 1.

2nd: Tarryn Hemmes, fishing on Seasons.

The Two Oceans Tuna Derby is an event that Hout Bay can be proud of.

Visitatlanticboatclub.co.zaor email tunaderby@atlanticboatclub.co.za formoreinformation.