EASTERN Province (red team) came second in the U16 juniors’ division for the South African Deep Sea Angling Association (SADSAA) Junior Bottom Fish Nationals hosted by Port Alfred River and Ski-boat Club for Eastern Province Deep Sea Angling Association (EPDSAA) in a six day event with junior teams from provinces all over South Africa taking part.
Winning the competition for U16s was the team from Southern Cape consisting of Barend Boshoff, Henrico Scholtz and Morne Crouse, while third place was awarded to Gauteng.
It was the first time that a bottom fish nationals was held in Port Alfred and saw eight U16 teams and seven U19 teams consisting of three anglers partake in each on fifteen local boats throughout the competition in a catch and release point system. Bag limits and size limits were strictly enforced if fish were weighed.
The competition is calculated on a point system and a variation on species. Each angler had to take a photograph of a fish caught, depending if it is the accepted size and have it measured, weighed and witnessed by the boat gillies and skippers.
Last Sunday saw the contest briefing and boat draw while the actual lines hit the water from Monday through to Friday.
Winners of the juniors U19 this year are the junior SADSAA team (junior Proteas) consisting of Hanno Terblanche, Wade Tiran and Renco Myburgh.
Second place for U19 went to KwaZulu-Natal and third place to Mpumalanga.
At the prize giving, SADSAA vice-president Phillip Marx said: “If it were not for your love and dedication to our great sport this tournament would not be taking place. I trust that all of you realise that this is the beginning to one day possibly gaining your Protea colours.”
The junior anglers enjoyed a week with optimal weather conditions except for rough seas on Friday which forced fishing to be limited to one hour on the last day. Mothers watching from the pier held their breath as their children navigated out to sea through the river mouth in choppy waters.
In a safety measure, the skipper of one of the boats that experienced some engine problems made a call to offload his crew to another boat while at sea.
Captain of the EP U16 red team, Logan Hurn said the competition went really well. “It was tough, but we enjoyed it.”
The U16 skippers’ winners are: bronze Peter Kemp, silver Neil Nelson and gold Wayne Gerber. The U19 skippers’ winners are: bronze Richard Donaldson, silver Warren Rachman and gold Theuns Joubert.
“The skippers are the unsung heroes of this sport. To all skippers who put up their boats, thank you,” said [Marx].
“I had such a pleasure observing these juniors, the way they conducted themselves on the boat and the effort they put into their fishing was impressive,” said Joubert, who decided to donate R2 000 to KZN and Mpumalanga after being the skipper for both these teams.
The winning SADSAA team manager, Jaco Hendriks, donated their prize money of R6000 to the Eastern Province development as there is not much funding for growing junior development.
“The juniors are the future of this sport in South Africa and thank you to all the parents for allowing them to fish in this competition. Thank you to the Port Alfred River and Ski boat Club chairman for the use of your premises. SADSAA is alive and well. Fishing is alive and well and is in good hands with this SADSAA council,” Marx said.
Anglers, association members, as well as friends and family enjoyed the camaraderie of a closing ceremony last Friday evening, and a spitbraai prepared by Mike Kenny afterwards.
“We would like to thank EP and Port Alfred River and Ski-boat Club tournament committee, weigh master and his helpers and members who have put this tournament together. Thank you for your time and enthusiasm,” said EPDSAA chairman Martin Gierz.
Read full story in this week’s TotT.