IN its short tenure since launching as an independent entity in April, the new Port Alfred Rock and Surf Club has grown tremendously and boasts a 97.2% release rate.
The club held its first prize-giving and end of year function on Friday evening at the Port Alfred River and Ski boat Club (PARSC), with chairman Gary du Randt conducting the proceedings and welcoming the members and their spouses as well as sponsors to the formalities.
Du Randt said over the past seven years since the club (formerly affiliated to PARSC) has installed the catch, measure and release system, members had caught 3 981 fish, weighing 5 892.2kg. This year the new club caught 517 fish with a weight of 645.2kg over 19 species.
“We have made a difference to the stocks of the ocean and helping in our little way,” he said, adding that the club currently holds a 97.2% release rate.
He said that things were going well and members have grown from 28 to just under 70.
This year, no fewer than 15 competitions were fished, excluding the Eastern Province fixtures. Next year the Round Robin schedule has been adapted to accommodate anglers who want to fish socially as well. There will be 11 formal round robin outings, eight social competitions and four extra “spirit competitions”.
In his chairman’s report, Du Randt said that some of the club members were performing well on the national rock and surf circuit. Neil van der Linde won the SA championships and also won the international Gus Kohler Tournament in Namibia, representing the President’s A side. Greg Baxter represented the President’s A side and were the top team in the tournament. Gerhard Guse will be representing Protea senior men’s and Melissa du Randt will be representing the senior ladies in Namibia this December. Darian Keeton will be representing the SA Masters at the same tournament.
“Phenomenal achievements, all from a little town like Port Alfred,” Du Randt said.
Before dinner was served the prizes were awarded for outstanding fishing this year. Some anglers like Maudia Wright, Adrian Bezuidenhout, Terry Stewart and Dave Kemp raked in the trophies and prizes.
Stewart received the Kevin Heny trophy for biggest bronze bream which weighed 4.1kg and also submitted the most weight in fish, 124kg. Wright caught the biggest blue eyed JB of 1.5kg and won the Rock and surf trophy. Scott Knight won the Dop du Preez trophy for heaviest white mussel cracker of 4.9kg. Ben Keeton received the John Dempers trophy for heaviest non edible which he weighed in a ragged tooth shark of 36.4kg. Stewart also received the PAHS centenary trophy for heaviest edible, a poenskop, of 5.5kg and the Bucklands Game Reserve trophy for heaviest fish released in a competition, a kob of 5.2kg.
In the species competition, Stewart was first, Bezuidenhout second and Wright third. Joshua de Vos was recognised as the most improved junior angler and received the Wollie Wolmarans Trophy.
The Brian Hill Ladies’ Champ trophy was awarded to the top lady angler, Wright with 22.7kg of fish caught. Melissa du Randt was second and Josi Hilliar third. The Masters Champion for the year was Bruce Amos with 26.6kg while Don Murray was second and Don Fryer third.
Andrew Bartlett’s team received this year’s wooden spoon while Darian Keeton’s team came in first place in the round robin prizes. The top five individual anglers for the year were awarded to Stewart in first place as club champion, Bezuidenhout as the runner-up, Darion Keeton in third, Dave Kemp in fourth and Paul Knight in fifth place. The Tienie Lindeque Shield was given to the sportsman of the year, Neil van der Linde.
Special thanks were given to Clare Keeton who made a great effort to upcycle plastic items to make quirky and inspiring décor.
Don Fryer received recognition for his role as social convenor and Brendan Marais for keeping the bar stocked. “A great way to hold the club together with friendship and camaraderie,” Du Randt said.
“To all the fishermen, thanks for joining the club, sharing your knowledge and helping to further the sport of fishing in every way. The way in which the Round Robins are fished with good spirit and competitiveness shows that we are doing something right,” he said.
“Thank you to all our sponsors. Without all of you, this evening would not be the success that it is.”