The Kenya Association of Sea Anglers annual awards dinner was held at Ocean Sports Resort at Watamu last Saturday, reflecting some great fishing achievements over the past season which ran to the end of April 2011.
Neptune, skippered by Angus Paul, won five trophies, most sailfish on a professional boat, most marlin tagged and released, most sailfish tagged and most giant trevally tagged. Best Junior (under 18) angler Peter Brumby also won his trophy, fishing on Neptune, for two sailfish in a single competition.
Tarka, with skipper Callum Looman, won the trophy for the most marlin caught on a professional boat, while Alleycat, skippered by Pete Darnborough won the most sharks category and Jasiri, with skipper George Allen, had the most broadbill swordfish. For private boats, Sand Dollar won the most marlin caught and White Mischief the most sailfish.
Sean Darnborough received terrific applause in a popular win of the under 12 Junior Angler for his eight sailfish in a season, and Reiner Weilder was awarded the best marlin prize for his black marlin on Eclare, released and estimated at 260kgs on 24kg line, a sterling effort which took him four hours of hard work!
There were many other awards, notably a 154kg broadbill on White Mischief caught by Nick Michaelides, a black marlin of 391kgs on Unreel, a striped marlin of 50kgs caught on fly tackle by Garry Cullen on White Bear, a 104kg striped marlin on Kamara II by Brett Ager , a blue marlin of 181kgs by Jim Robertson on Black Widow and the Lady’s prize for Sara Huth for a black marlin on White Cap.
Chairman Simon Hemphill spoke to thank the staff and management at Ocean Sports for an excellent meal, and Anne Taylor, Sue Lawrence-Brown and Roz Clark for organising it all, while Andy Thomas acted as MC and organised collation of all the trophy data.
Most of the Watamu boats set off on Monday for the Latham Island tournament run by the Dar-es-Salaam Yacht club so there is not a lot of fishing news from Watamu this week. Unreel, tagged a black marlin earlier, and they also had another on the long run down to Dar, while regular angler Gordon Abrams fishing with friend Phil Rivett on Seastorm also tagged a black marlin, and the same boat released three sail the previous day for SJ Botts, Thomas le Olerg and James Watson, a good start for the season for skipper Steve Webb as the boat has just come back into the water after her annual overhaul.
At Malindi, the boats which had been fishing the Banks have now found sailfish and yellowfin tuna nearer to home in the Malindi / She Shale area, which earlier in the season had been too rough. Neptune started well in this area with five sail one day, and next day both this boat and Eclare found a couple of sail. On Saturday Neptune got three sail, 30 yellowfin and a dorado – they were attacked by a pack of sailfish and managed to catch three of these, always an interesting experience as these fish always leap away in different directions, leaving the skipper to try to manoeuvre the boat to avoid running out of line while the anglers struggle in a panic to untangle crossed lines and keep their lines tight!
So it looks as if the sail will be there for the Malindi Festival over the holiday weekend 22nd/23rd October, take time off and join in the fun then.