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  • Megan Du Plessis - Top Lady.
  • Alan Fraser - Top Angler
  • Cameron Palmer - Top Junior
  • Alan Fraser - Top Angler

This year’s edition of the Shelly Beach Ski Boat Festival was greeted with a chilly cold front marking the middle of winter. Keen anglers from all over the country once again made the journey to Shelly Beach Ski Boat Club to participate in this premier game-fishing tournament held from the 29th June to the 2nd July. After a rather slow start to the team registrations mostly due to a speculation about the week’s weather conditions and a change in the prize format it was great to see more than 50 boats enter this year’s competition.

Due to changes in the major sponsors the traditional first prize of a Mallards ski boat with two Mercury motors was replaced by a cash prize of R100,000 for the overall heaviest gamefish. The rest of the field of prizes, as every year, where extremely impressive and added incentive for the anglers to take to the sea to search for the big one. The Ski Boat Club committee who worked tirelessly to secure this major sponsorship also introduced a new “Calcutta” or “Skins” system, led by PJ Botha, which generated R60,000 in cash prizes on the registration evening with 30 boats competing for a daily prize of R15,000 for the heaviest gamefish per day.

The weather played it’s part on the first three days of the competition with safe launching conditions at all of the launch sites from Port Edward through to Durban, but it was Shelly Beach Ski Boat Club that featured as the preferred launch site with the majority of boats launching there to go in search of Yellowfin Tuna and Amberjack. As in previous years the tussle for top spot usually features Amberjack, Yellowfin Tuna and King Mackerel with specimens over 30kg securing a spot in the top prizes. Fishing was slow on Day 1 with very few reports of decent fish caught. It was a pleasant surprise for the large crowd gathered in the tent at the weigh station on Day 1 when a very respectable 32,5kg Yellowfin Tuna came to the scales caught by Roy Jackson on the boat “Thunderchild” off Umkomaas. Roy and his fishing mate Simon Colley were previous winners of the tournament in 2014 and this fish secured them top spot for Day 1 with the next biggest fish for the day was a 20.1kg Yellowfin Tuna caught by Charles du Plessis on the boat “Tails Up” followed by a 19.1kg Yellowfin on “Master Tom” caught by Shaun Posthumus.

Day 2 produced far better results with fish brought to the scales from Port Edward right through to Durban. Local anglers Carl Gutzeit and Patrick Fenton brought two lovely Yellowfin Tuna in weighing 20kg and 25.7kg respectively caught near Hibberdene. However the day belonged to the anglers fishing aboard “Come Tomoro” fishing out of Hibberdene. Local anglers Alan “Moo” Fraser and Josh Rodwell arrived at the scales with a crate filled with large Amberjack and had the crowd anxious to see their weights. The three fish were all impressive but the biggest two weighed in at 23,7kg and a massive 34.8kg respectively handing Alan Fraser the overall lead. Another notable catch on Day 2 was Frank van der Merwe’s 22,7kg King Mackerel caught off Port Edward which interestingly was the only couta weighed for the entire competition.

Day 3 was make or break for many of the anglers who had battled on the previous days and with the prospect of a huge cold front making its way from Cape Town it looked like Day 4 would be unfishable. Many of the boats changed tactics and went after amberjack in an effort to beat the leading fish. The day ticked by with very few reports coming in of notable catches. At scales on Day 3 there were very few fish weighed but rumours soon spread about a big Yellowfin coming in from Port Edward which built the excitement for the crowd. Many smaller fish were weighed including another amberjack by Alan Fraser of 18.3kg which secured another prize placing overall. However Day 3 belonged to the crew of “Master Tom” who arrived at the scales with a very impressive Yellowfin Tuna that had everyone guessing if it would topple the 34.8kg amberjack for top place. Eventually the tuna weighed in at 31.3kg securing Shaun Posthumus 3rd place overall.

As Day 4 dawned it was quite clear that the gale force South Westerly and rough seas would prevent any boats launching for the last day of the competition and this proved to be the case as no fish were brought to scales on the last day. Prize giving went very well on a chilly evening in the tent with overall placings going to Alan Fraser (R100,000 cash), Roy Jackson (2nd overall) and Shaun Posthumus (3rd overall). The “Calcutta” prizes went to “Master Tom” for days 1 and 3 and “Bluetooth” for Day 2.

Notable junior placings were the top three Juniors namely Cameron Palmer (1st ), Pietie Bodenstein (2nd) and Reydon Basson (3rd) all Shelly Beach anglers. Another great result was the top lady which was taken by Megan Du Plessis another local Junior angler.

Download the final results of the 2016 competition :

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