The good fishing continued through the week with the Penn Challenge coming to a successful conclusion with the prize giving dinner at Sandies Hotel, Coconut Village in Malindi.
Top team were the Strike team of Iwan Raven and Jerry Vos with a black, a blue, and a striped marlin and nine sailfish in their four days fishing, while runners-up were the Tuna Boys team, Piet de Corte and Kees de Groot, which had a blue and a striped marlin and seven sailfish. The Wild Hookers, Gerrit Edelijn and Peter Held came third.
There were twenty boats in the tournament, not fifteen, confusion arising as some boats were weighing in at Malindi, with the rest at Watamu. Snowgoose, skippered by Alfred, was top boat, having had a marlin on each of the first three days and eight sailfish on the last day. Neptune with skipper Angus Paul was second and Rob Hellier’s Unreel third, for a total of fourteen blue, two black and ten striped marlin and 67 sailfish.
Prize for the heaviest fish, a blue marlin of almost 550lbs, went to the Penn Force1 team, Richard and Sjaak Pronk. This tournament is run annually by the Fishing Dutchmen Foundation, which helps local charities and orphanages, and they plan a bigger tournament here next year after such a successful one.
White Mischief made history here last year with the first broadbill caught in daylight by the long drop method. The same team have been trying again, and this time it was Jodie Thomas who caught and released a 50kg swordfish, her first! That they had a strike with every drop was encouraging, as these fish are hooked over 500 metres deep, so there is all that line out to recover when one starts! Unreel also was trying the method, and Mark Jury was successful in catching one of 100kgs – broadbill swordfish are thought to be the strongest fighters of all the fishes.
Another successful young angler was Mansur Khan fishing on his dad Nas’s new boat Whatever it Takes, who released a fine blue marlin estimated at 180kgs – good to see the release ethic in the young, as far too many big fish have been killed recently.
Fishing went quiet in the Pemba Channel, then improved with Broadbill and Kamara II finding good water conditions and after a strike from a 400lb blue marlin on the latter which jumped athletically for the camera before breaking the line, Tyler Hicks on Broadbill released a 90kg blue. Pete Smith and Alex Rostocil on Kamara II then contended with a treble strike from stripeys, hooking up on two, with the former bringing a fish about 75kgs to the boat, and the latter one of 65kgs on 15kg line, tagging both successfully. Pete then added another stripey to the tally for a very memorable day. Next day White Otter was out and caught a stripey so the fish are around again.