The Samoa International Game Fishing Association “SIGFA” has once again held a sensational international tournament out of the port of Apia. The first week of May saw 30 boats holding 140 anglers from 5 countries compete for a brilliant array of trophies, cash and prizes. For the second year in a row, 10 boats (White Pointers) and their crews were shipped up from New Zealand to compete, compliments to the tournaments major sponsor Pacific Forum Line. The tournament was blessed with sunny days, light winds, glassy seas and terrific fishing. Seventy (70) blue marlin were hooked over the five days of competition, with the vast majority being tagged and released. Only two fish were weighed, the largest 156kg. This is a fantastic result for SIGFA, who must be congratulated on their commitment to our environment and the future of our sport. Lot's of other big fish were also brought in and weighed, to the delight of the large crowds gathered at the weigh station within our beautiful marina. Yellowfin Tuna to 65kg, Mahi Mahi to 17kg, Wahoo to 24kg all kept the weigh master on his toes at the end of each days fishing. There were some good dogtooth tuna and large trevally also. Top honours went to the Kiwi boats. “Brave Heart” took out the open division, while “Because” got the nod for Tag & Release. The Aussies fishing aboard “Pure Indulgence” managed 3rd in T&R and 5th overall. With teams from all over the Pacific and the Samoa charter fleet now boasting lots of great skippers and dedicated game boats such as the 35ft Bertram “Pure Indulgence”, the 43ft Cabo “Southern Destiny” the 30ft Ocean Master “Black Pearl” and the 30ft White Pointer “Fua II, along with a good array of smaller 26ft Kingfishers, the tournament is really starting to prove itself as the premier tournament of the Sout Pacific. As always SIGFA put on a terrific show, with plenty of great fishing and a tremendous amount of onshore festivities helping to ensure all had a fantastic time. Next years tournament will once again be held over five days in May Sun 9th to Sat 15th. It would be terrific if we could get a few more Aussie teams over to help us give the Kiwis a real run for their money.
For the very first time, the Pago Pago Game Fishing Club held their international tournament the week after the SIGFA tournament. Their idea was to give visiting international anglers the opportunity to fish two international tournaments within the one trip to the Samoa islands. It was a ripper!!! Virtually every international team competed in both tournaments. The sight of a dozen game boats from all over the Pacific making the 80nm journey across the high seas from Apia (Samoa) to Pago Pago (American Samoa) was all inspiring. The colourful scene of traditional dancers, musicians and singers as they welcomed our arrival in Pago Pago was absolutely beautiful and was indicative of the warm and friendly days to follow. Incredibly, the weather was the complete opposite to the week before with incessant rain, blustery conditions and high seas. However, this did not interrupt the fishing. In fact, considering the conditions the fishing was fantastic!! Plenty of good fish were weighed and lots of marlin tagged and released. Twenty five international teams competed over the two and a half days of the tournament. Over twenty marlin were tagged and released and one weighed (another fantastic result for the environment). Heaps of Yellowfin to 60kg, big mahi mahi and plenty of monster wahoo were also weighed. This time it was the Kiwi ladies who took out the majority of the open prizes. “Fantastic”!! Samoan boat Southern Destiny skippered by Chris Donato took out the Tag & Release division. Peter Crispin and his Pago Pago mates need to be congratulated on holding a fantastic tournament under difficult conditions. A tremendous time was had by all anglers with the overwhelming majority declaring “we'll be back next year”.
As a matter of very fishy business, both tournaments will again be held back to back starting on Sunday May 9th next year . If you are one of us anglers who likes a bit of competition or if you have a bunch of mates who might like fishing a unique tournament right smack bang in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fishsamoa.com and I'll fill you in on all the details.
Capt Greg "Hoppo" Hopping