All The Big Fish at this Year’s Two Oceans Marlin Tournament
The most marlin in 15 years! See what made the 2021 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament so special: All the catches, the top 3 boats, PLUS: Awesome pics and vids of huge marlin
50-Something big fish. 22 Boats. And a whole lot of marlin fever. The 2021 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament will go down in the history books – if only for the record amount of big marlin spotted and hooked during the comp around Struisbaai in February.
MOST FISH EVER AT THIS YEAR’S TWO OCEANS MARLIN TOURNAMENT
Club members say this was the most marlin seen around Struisbaai in at least the last 15 years! With almost every boat reporting a hook-up on every day of fishing – which was another anomaly: Every day of the planned 6 days were fished!
And the guys just couldn’t keep up: Teams reported seeing 300kg marlin jumping right next to the boat while they were busy fighting another fish on the other side. It was truly miraculous and bodes really well for all the other tournaments coming up this year.
Now, almost everybody released a big marlin, which means almost everyone walked away with a prize! But there were some standout releases during the 2021 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament that ran 8–12 February at Struisbaai’s Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling Club.
SOME TOP HONOURS AT THE TWO OCEANS MARLIN TOURNAMENT
FIRST PLACE (SHARED): TEAMS DORY & LYFIE
Team Dory shared first place after releasing two big black marlins at 272kg and 362kg on Day 6 of the tournament – after numerous hook-ups in the preceding days.
Sharing with Team Lyfie, skippered by Rudi Moolman, after numerous hook-ups throughout the comp. But most notably a 120kg release by Robin Vermaak (owner of the beautiful CarryCat 760 Piromero) and a 282kg black marlin by Louis Langeman.
SECOND PLACE (SHARED): TEAMS JOHN GRAEME & BAYSWATER
You might remember that Team John Graeme had the first really big release of the comp. And Bayswater with numerous hook-ups and a big release on Day 5.
THIRD PLACE: TEAM MARCO POLO
Third place went to Team Marco Polo, skippered by Rikus De Beer after release of a 100kg striped marlin on Day 4, some hook-ups and one very SAD loss of a reportedly HUGE black marlin.
ABOUT THE TWO OCEANS MARLIN TOURNAMENT
QUALIFYING SPECIES AND RULES
The Two Oceans Marlin Tournament is mainly a billfish competition, with any species of billfish allowed – but strictly on release. In fact, only successfully released billfish count towards your score. There have been incidents in the past where the billfish weren’t released and that then doesn’t count as a catch in this comp.
That said, game fish are allowed. But only as part of special daily bonus prizes. And you know that Struisbaai offers some of the most diverse marine life in the country, so there’s plenty of species to be had. The region’s famous for its yellowtail – some of them grow to monstrous sizes out here. And you’ll likely find tuna and dorado, too.
A UNIQUE MARLIN COMP
This tournament is unique in that you usually don’t get many big marlin comps this far southwest, but again, Struisbaai’s one of the most biologically diverse regions in SA, and you’ll find almost any kind of species and fishing here.
“Now, we’ve had a couple of dry billfish seasons in the past,” Hubert Meyer says. “Like 2019, when there were plenty of hooks but the marlin broke the lines, one or two unsuccessful releases and such. But I think we’ve just been through a cycle, and it looks like we’re back to normal now. 2020 certainly saw a lot more marlin.”
And it looks like 2021 is also off to a great start!
TWO OCEANS MARLIN TOURNAMENT
FEEDBACK: WHAT HAPPENED AT LAST YEAR’S (2020) TWO OCEANS MARLIN TOURNAMENT 2020
The 2020 Two Oceans Marlin Tournament took place 7–14 February, with the opening ceremony and fishing commencing from Sunday 9 and Monday 10 February before the weather turned a little and fishing was called off for Tuesday and Wednesday.
But things cleared and everyone was able to get back on the water for some good fishing on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 February. All in all, there were four good fishing days, and the teams really made it count.
Five marlin were released in total. Four black marlin and a striped. And that among a few sharks and live bait catches, as well as a good few yellowtail bi-catches that netted some anglers daily prizes. But most of the marlin action was reportedly around Struisbaai’s famous 12-Mile Bank.
“I myself tried the 45s, the 10-Mile and Alphard Bank, but there wasn’t much there, most of the marlin were around 12-Mile,” says Les. “We got a couta hook-up about 10 minutes to lines-up on Friday, and that was at Alphards, but it wasn’t successful. So 12-Mile was the place to be and it shows in the results.”
RESULTS: TOP THREE FINISHERS IN THE TWO OCEAN MARLIN 2020
WINNERS: TEAM TITAN
Taking the overall win with a monster black marlin released by Chris Steyn, Team Titan included Ernie Magson, of course, and Ryan Williamson as well as Craig Maas and KZN fishing legend Gary Maas. Congrats on taking the title Team Titan.
SECOND PLACE: TEAM WOMBAT
Now they didn’t have the biggest boat – some teams fished off 28+ footers – but Team Wombat delivered the goods with another spectacular black marlin release.
THIRD PLACE: TEAM STOMPIE
And of course there was going to be a CarryCat among the top performers – this is Struisbaai after all. Team Stompie actually landed the first successful release and the only striped marlin of the tournament. The team is Renier, Oom Wimpie, Ettiene, Adriaan and skipper Stompie.
Thanks to all the teams, sponsors and club members for making the tournament a success!
Also see who’s competing in this year’s Richards Bay Billfish Interprovincial.
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