Recently I had the pleasure of putting together an Australian team to compete in this years Samoa "SIGFA" International Game Fishing Tournament, held in early May each year.
I arrived on the Sunday morning. By lunch time, I was at the beautiful Le Vasa Resort enjoying the tournament briefing and opening ceremony. The Samoans take their fishing seriously with the tournament being officially opened by the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoli'ai Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. The tournament started at 8am sharp on Monday. Sixty anglers in eighteen boats lined up in Apia harbour for the shotgun start. You guessed it, the Prime Minister pulled the trigger.
BANG! What a day it was. An absolute fishing bonanza. Yellowfin, Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, GT's and Doggies. Lot's of them. This set the scene for the whole five day tournament. Each day saw Marlin and Sailfish being tagged or captured. Day two saw the run of of Yellowfin and Mahi Mahi intenseify, creating a sea of green and gold as they attacked our lures from dawn to dusk. Day three was the "Ladies Tournament". A sensational day on the water with all participating ladies really enjoying the action. On day's four and five the Yellowfin hit with a vengance, the wahoo got bigger and boats that were just part of the mob were given their chance to jump the leaders. This made for a very exciting finish to a very special week of fishing. By the end of that last day, I had lost count of the number of Yellowfin weighed in that were over 50kg. There definitely weren't many under!
It wasn't just the fishing that made the week special. It was as much the welcoming hospitality and generosity of our Samoan hosts. At the conclusion of each day the SIGFA club would put on a fantastic BBQ on the harbours edge. Lots of good tucker and plenty of "Valima". The Sushimi was "to die for" and that local brew is real tasty. This would be followed by daily prize givings and lots of partying.
In the wash up, first place went to Team PFF from American Samoa, second place to Team LEP from NZ and third Place to team Troppo from Aus. Team Troppo also took out the Tag & Release section. A truly "international" line up. As big Dave Loughnan said as he turned to me upon taging his first marlin "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life". He was right, but I'd extend that moment to include the whole week!
Thanx SIGFA. Thanx Samoa, See ya next year. I wouldn't miss this for quids. On Ya's...Hoppo
For Further information on Charter Fishing in Samoa or how to take part in next years SIGFA International Game Fishing Tournament 11th to 17th May 2008 please contact us or go to SIGFA's official web site