Twenty six boats and about 120 anglers set out at dawn on the first day of the Watamu Sea Fishing Club’s annual Christmas tournament, sponsored by Capt Andy’s, Zodiac and Yamaha. On a placid ocean with good fishing conditions tag cards for two black marlin, eight striped marlin and 73 sailfish were recorded at the first day weigh-in, with almost every boat catching at least one sail, and of course there were numerous stories of the ones that got away!
Leading was the team on Neptune, with Royjan Taylor scoring a grand slam with a black and a striped marlin, and a sailfish, for which he won the best angler award. Using two old rods he had acquired and rebuilt himself with new guides, he christened one with a marlin and the other with a sailfish, a great start! With him, Ritchie Moller and skipper Angus Paul had the two marlin and six sail to give them a lead over White Mischief, fished by the Thomas family and John Wright, also with a black and a striped marlin and two sail. A small boat Tamu Sana, with Piers Bastard and family and Ian Craig, lay third with their striped marlin and two sail, as the points scored are divided by the length of the boat, giving the small boats a better chance. Several boats with a marlin and some sail were also in the running, and all boats had seen plenty of fish.
The second day was less active, for no obvious reason but that is typical of fishing !Six striped marlin and 18 sail were caught, and Clueless, fished by Giovanni Montesazza, Eric and skipper Rob Duff came in having released two striped marlin, which added to the stripey and a sail from the first day put them in the lead for the first prize, a 25 hp Yamaha outboard engine.
The Blue Eyes team, lead by Steve Parkinson and varied members of the family which had a stripey and six sail the first day, stayed consistent with another stripey and three sail the second day, which gave them second place fifty points behind the winners – with the girls fishing one day and the boys the other honours were even, and their prize of three Shimano Tiagra rods will keep them all keen!
Neptune, despite their big lead from the first day, found fish hard to find and their two sailfish dropped them into third place, while Simba with a stripey each day and four sail gave fourth place to anglers to Mark and Tina Allen and Christa Cullen. White Mischief also could not find the fish the second day, so dropped to fifth place overall.
Tamu Sana was sixth, and won the prize for the best small boat, while Sean Darnborough aged eleven won the young angler prize, and there is usually a prize for the ‘hard luck’ story – this would have gone to the team on Shika, a 21ft boat which had three sail the first day and decided to go for gold the second day, fishing a live ‘friggie’ near the Canyon. This was duly taken by a huge black marlin, which young Callum fought for hours till long after closing time at 4.30pm! Black Widow stayed nearby to give assistance, and despite getting the fish, estimated at 220 kgs, near the boat several times, it always remained strong and pulled away, and eventually the line broke as it was getting dark and the boat’s fuel was running out! Hard luck indeed – but that’s what often happens when one puts live baits in the water anywhere near the Banks!!
A real fun competition, with so many young family anglers and thanks to so many people who helped.