Samoa will be the sport fishing mecca for international anglers this month.
After the adrenalin filled activities of the Samoa International Game Fishing Association (S.I.G.F.A.) tournament next week, serious fishing aficionados will continue on to the Asau Fishing Tournament in Savai’i.
“After the tournament, people will be heading to the Asau Fishing tournament. People look forward to that one because it’s much more relaxed,” President of the Samoa International Game Fishing Association, Poao Frances Hansell said.
Vice president of Samoa Hotel Association and President of the Savaii Tourism Association, Tupa’i Saleimoa Va’ai, agrees with Poao and points out that their goal is to increase these types of events for the big island.
“That’s the atmosphere that Savaii brings, you don’t need to worry about where you need to be at a certain time, your there. You’re away from the hustle and bustle of Apia and you can escape.
“As a member of the Savaii Association, we are also looking at more events to bring to Savaii, any events that highlights Savaii is always good and we need more events to really bring that exposure to the big island.”
The Asau Fishing tournament opened for the first time last year.
“The idea for the Asau tournament was born actually out of Tuilaepa’s words during one of the openings for S.I.G.F.A’s tournament, he said ‘if you can do one in Upolu, then do one in Savaii’,” Tupa’i, said.
“And I was very thankful for the support, some of the S.I.G.F.A. members who actually came to me and said can we organise a tournament in Savaii.”
The Savaii Tourism Association is looking forward to building on top of last year’s successful fishing tournament in Asau.
“Last year was the inaugural fishing tour and it was a success. In terms of what it brings to Savaii, our view as a tourism association is we want more exposure to overseas markets and we want to bring punters, now it’s getting harder trying to bring in boats because it’s expensive and a lot of sponsorship for bringing boats over are getting cancelled.”
While the conditions are favourable in Asau, Tupa’i says they are looking to grow the tournament in Savaii to ensure that it stays fresh and ensures that all potential fishing grounds on the big island are explored.
“The best fishing grounds are on that side of the island because Asau harbour is safe for the boat. The harbour itself is deep and the anchoring especially in front of Vaimoana is the ideal stay and location where you can sleep in your accommodation and still see your boats.
“The accessibility of the harbour is also ideal so any kind of boat can go through there. We have a big long line boat that comes through that joins the Yellow Fin II and that can come right through the channel.
“Us Savaiians are very keen and we got some very passionate operators out there who are willing to make it work. We could hold this tournament in Salelologa, in Faga where Amoa is and you can have it at Fagamalo but some of those places still need work with the infrastructure, but as we like to say in Samoa ‘o le motu e fai mea mafai’. We are very fortunate that our executive in Savaii Tourism Association are very passionate and very capable.”
As a hotelier and tourism association member, these types of events are in line with their vision to boost the tourism of Savaii.