WOW! Check out the Heaviest Fish at the Covid 19 Tuna Bonanza in Gordon’s Bay
One of the first big comps after lockdown: Here’s the biggest fish, who competed and who won GBBAC’s special Covid 18 Tuna Bonanza
21 Boats. 4 Days. And 40 lekker tuna. After a crazy year of isolation and continuing worry, Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club decided to organise one of the first sizable commercial tournaments we’ve seen after the lockdown. And it went safely and very well for an October comp in Cape Town. Here’s what happened at the specially organised Covid 19 Tuna Bonanza.
ABOUT THE COVID 19 TUNA BONANZA
2020’s been a tumultuous year for everyone. And most fishing competitions scheduled after March were cancelled or postponed – including Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club’s spectacular annual Offshore Classic. So, with SA being on Level 1 now, and there being a little more room to hold Covid-safe tournaments, the club created a special-edition new comp in October.
“As you know we had to postpone the Offshore Classic, and a lot of the guys had gotten really sick of just sitting at home during the lockdown,” says Club committee member Phillip Van Der Walt. “And now that there is some chance to hold safe events, the full Offshore Classic would just be too big, so we just wanted to do something small and fun for the club.
“So we thought, hey, it’s October, and that’s tuna season here in Cape Town. So we created this fun, social (but also safe) comp.”
DATES, SPECIES & PRIZES
The Covid 19 Tuna Bonanza took place over the week 10–17 October, and would you believe that the weather played along (Cape Town is notorious for its bad fishing weather over October)! The guys were able to fish 4 out of the 7days, which is great for this time of year.
The name of the game was tuna, and while the club expected to have maybe 10 or 15 entries, a whopping 21 boats entered. And in the end, the teams managed to catch around 40 tuna in total, mainly yellowfin and some longfin.
Entry was R3000 per boat, with some smaller prizes up for grabs. But the main prize was the R55000 pot for the heaviest tuna. And that went to the team who netted a beautiful 71.5kg yellowfin – here’s the weigh-in:
TEAM VISKOORS WINS THE COVID 19 TUNA BONANZA
There were 40 fish in total, with some notable catches: a 50kg by team John Graeme, 42kg team Blade and a 48kg tuna by team Piromero. But the heaviest fish came from Team Viskoors.
Led by skipper Dirkie Ellis – who also took top honours on Geelstert at last year’s Offshore Classic – Team Viskoors included Gus and Karla Rautmann. And that winning tuna was caught by fourth team member Barry Van Zyl.
Incidentally, this was also Barry’s first time catching a tuna in the Gordon’s Bay area. So that evening he paid his customary dues with a shot of Jägermeister, a bite of the tuna heart (see in the picture!) and swallowed it down with a shot of tequila. Well done, Barry!
HOW WAS THE EVENT KEPT COVID SAFE?
One thing to remember is that we’re not clear of Covid-19. We might be on Level 1, but a second wave seems to be sweeping across the world, so it’s important to still stay safe. Incidentally, that’s one of the reasons why parts of the competition were live broadcast via the club’s Facebook page.
“We wanted to get feet in the club, but obviously you have to keep within limits and keep everyone safe,” says Phillip. “So we had all the recommended controls in place. When you arrived at the clubhouse, we took your temperature and noted it down, with name and contact details etc. We limited it to 50 people on site max (but we broadcast live) and we also didn’t have any opening or closing ceremonies – so no dinners or anything, briefings were basically just with the skippers.”
And it seems to have worked, showing that you can host a Covid-safe event at your club!
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
Well, most of the big fishing competitions were cancelled from March onwards in 2020. And this is one of just a handful still scheduled in October, but we’re hoping to start seeing more fishing competitions from November onwards again.
As for the club, the next big comp is the 2021 Offshore Classic, and it’s going to be a big one!
COVID 19 TUNA BONANZA
At Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club
10–17 October 2020
021 856 1683
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