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News: Events

Big Ones at the Billfish 15000

The biggest marlin in 24 years, all the dates, rules and a few surprising facts about one of the biggest billfish events in South Africa as this year’s Billfish 15000 kicks off at sunrise on 11 November

October 2019

Over 11790 anglers on 2785 boat 425,200 hours over the last 32 years. It’s time for one of the biggest events of its kind in the world. The annual Billfish 15000 is on 11–15 November 2019.

This follows successful welcome and registration on 10 November:

Registration at Billfish 15000 fishing competition 2018 by Nauti-Tech Suzuki



Teams from all over the world – Finland, Wales, Italy, Australia, England, Hawaii, Zimbabwe, Azores, Namibia, Germany, Canada and Swaziland – join local South African anglers in taking part in the Billfish 15000.

Launch event at Billfish 15000 fishing competition in Sodwana 2018 by Nauti-Tech Suzuki

The name of the game is going after billfish. But note: It’s strictly catch and release.


The tournament works on a points system. And all catches of billfish work strictly on tag and release. The tournament actively contributes to fish species data collection for the Oceanographic Research Institute. Even information on any game fish caught during the competition is fed back to the research teams.

And the competition has produced some big fish in past years. The biggest black marlin ever caught during the Billfish 15000 was a 375kg whopper in 2000. Another 351kg specimen was caught in 2010.

OET BillFish and game Fish Boat Fishing Competition Sodwana Bay by Nauti-tech Suzuki


One of the most unique things about the tournament is that past statistics show that teams have been very successful in catching a wide variety of sailfish species in the competition. Indications are that most boats catch as much as five different species on the first day of the comp. Let’s hope this points to more very successful fishing this year.

Fishing Competitions November 2018 BillFish 15000 Sodwana Bay by nauti-tech suzuki


Interesting fact: The competition started in 1987 when it got its name from the total amount of prize monies. There were 60 competing boats that year, and the grand prize was R15000 in cash. Today prizes total in the R millions and usually include a new boat for the winning team.

Today, the competition works on an invitation-only basis, with invitations extended to various ski-boat clubs. A committee is appointed to go through every entry to ensure that only the best of the best compete in every year’s tournament.

Catching Dorado in Sodwana: Parctice day at Billfish 15000 fishing comp by Nauti-Tech Suzuki

What will 2019 hold? Let’s wait and see.


Hosts: Dorado Ski Boat Club
Venue: Sodwana Bay | KZN
Dates: 11–15 November 2019
Contact: | +27 (0)79 635 4116 | +27 (0)82 654 8542

Fishing at Sodwana, Billfish 15000 by Nauti-Tech Suzuki

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