On to Savai’i, looking back at a great fishing tourney

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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Free Spirit Boat Team Diggabits.

Free Spirit Boat Team Diggabits. (Photo: James Abrahim/Salt and Glass.)

All is well that ends well.

And so it was when anglers gathered for a fisherman’s farewell at the Samoa International Game Fishing Association base at Mulinu’u to close the 2018 Samoa International Game Fishing tournament.

After a week of fun and fishing, Anglers put aside their competitive streak and recognized old friends again as they came together to share stories and a few beers at S.I.G.F.A headquarters.

While it was the boat, Double Hooked, from American Samoa who were the overall winners, other Anglers were recognized for their achievements on Saturday.

Katja Alber from Team Troppo was the winner for the Women’s competition.

The native Austrian told the Samoa Observer that this was her first experience in fishing and living near the ocean. Coming from a landlocked European country Katja has displayed a natural ability for deep sea fishing.

“I didn’t attend the tournament last year and I’m from Austria – we do not have the ocean so I was very, very lucky. My partner is a fisherman so I learnt from him but I am absolutely hooked on fishing.”

Katja’s team mates from team Troppo Fishing Adventures put in a team effort to catch an impressive total of 15 fish on their boat making them the overall winners in the Women’s tournament.

“We had a beautiful day, our whole team was lucky not just me we had a very good energy on the boat. Each girl got three fish each – I was just lucky that one fish was 400 grams heavier than the other fish. But we were all winners that day.”

Guests at the S.I.G.F.A. closing ceremony.
Guests at the S.I.G.F.A. closing ceremony.
Team ANZ Anglers.
Team ANZ Anglers.
Winner of the biggest catch at the Womens tournament: Katja Alber.
Winner of the biggest catch at the Womens tournament: Katja Alber.
Lady Anglers Tuilagi Keil van Heeswyk,  Angie Wetzell, Ulalei van Heeswyk.
Lady Anglers Tuilagi Keil van Heeswyk, Angie Wetzell, Ulalei van Heeswyk.
Anglers and supporters at the closing ceremony.
Anglers and supporters at the closing ceremony.

Angler Joseph Roscup from New York was acknowledged at the Closing ceremony having travelled three days from America to participate in the Fish Gaming Tournament and for the New Yorker it was his first time being in a deep sea fishing tournament.

“It’s my first time in Samoa and I love it here, everyone has been so friendly and it’s been so fun here. 

“With regards to the fishing, we didn’t do the greatest in the tournament but we had a great time,” he laughs. 

“But I plan on staying here for several months and maybe working on Greg’s boat where I’ll be 2nd deckhand so I’ll be here for a while.”

While Mr. Roscup had a great time fishing out in pristine waters of Samoa, the Angler from the big Apple was disappointed that he only managed to get few bites during the week. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Lopa’o Natanielu Mu’a who gave the closing speech mused that the cause for that was due to the fish migrating to Savai’i.

 Lopao’o took the opportunity to extend his well wishes to the Anglers moving on to the Asau Fishing Tournament and also thanked S.I.G.F.A for their efforts in organizing the event.

“I can see now why you didn’t get a lot of fish because I think all the fish are going to Savai’i now. I hope you all go to Savai’i next week (this week) for the Asau Fishing Tournament and I just want to let the organisers and the chairman know that I will be there too.”

“I would like to thank the president of S.I.G.F.A, Poao Francis Hansell to the organizing committee and of course all the lady Anglers whom without them the tournament would be a boring one for men.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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