Ladies reel in the fun

Lady Anglers are no delicate flowers at sea when it comes to rigging their own baits or catching fish that weigh more than they do.

It was not exception for the ladies competing in the Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament when they kicked off on Wednesday showing an array of different skills ranging from the serious to the social but nonetheless making their presence known.

The proud faces of the ladies on board Troppo Fishing Adventures boat said it all with their impressive catch of the day.  

All five ladies managed to catch a fish with some good weight and diversity of species and team member, Shelley Burich, was very pleased with their efforts.

“Oh yes definitely happy with our catch. We got trevally, barracuda, Spanish mackerels, and some weird fish (a red bass),” said Mrs. Burich. 

“We saw a lot of yellow fish tuna, a whole school of them jumping around. We chased them with our lures, did this, did that but they just weren’t interested. They were right in front of us too. But that’s the game of fishing, luck of the day, anything can happen. We were just happy that we caught fish. Obviously with five of us we were doing a rotation but it was exciting just to be able to catch something.”

For Mrs. Burich, the long day at sea was made easier with the positive attitude of the ladies on board and she even shared her long time secret strategy for a successful catch.

 “Call the fish up. I think the fish knows when there’s a woman on board,” she laughed. “I really enjoyed the spirit of the boat. Everyone is confident and chatty, which helps with the game because it’s a long day out there and if everyone’s down then it’s not motivating. However out there, everyone was keeping their spirits up and encouraging each other.”

Following the intensity of team Troppo, came the ladies of A.N.Z on board Yellow Fin who arrived at the wharf fashionably late well past 5pm weigh in time but for very good reason as we later find out. Their catchy entrance song had everyone joining in singing the “rock the boat’ anthem as they welcomed the fisherwomen in.

What the A.N.Z ladies may have lacked in the size of their catch they certainly made up for it by being the most spirited and entertaining group of the tournament with an equally fun story of how they came about their two fish in the 11th hour. 

Angie Wetzell was the lucky angler who caught the two fish after almost a whole day of no bites.

“So it was very calm when we commenced out of the harbour and we trawled the harbour for some time trying to get some of the fish that were within the reef but we didn’t get anything,” Ms. Wetzell said.  

“Then we went beyond the reef and then it started to get choppy so we thought it was going to ‘rock, drop and chuck’, but it didn’t happen that way thankfully. The crew was really good and we never caught the two fish until the very end. 

“Must have been at 4pm when we were coming in so it was a long day but everybody had lots of camaraderie and lots of fun. We each got a turn on the seat but at the end of the day I was the lucky one but it was a team effort.”

Tag teaming with her aunty Angie was first time angler, Ulalei Van Heeswyk. 

The 21-year-old A.U.T. law student took turns with Ms. Wetzell on the fighting chair leading up to their final catch and said to the Samoa Observer that she will definitely be returning for the next tournament.

“It was exciting and fun,” Ulalei said. 

“For most of the day, we didn’t get anything, not even a single bite and then just as we were starting to come back in going past Taumeasina, we got some bites and Aunty Angie reeled them both – that part was exciting and by then the drinks were in full effect so everyone was having a good time cheering her on.

“I would definitely do this again because it is a good experience and it was good entertainment really. I would say to all the girls, just do it. It’s really rewarding, especially when you hear that reeling noise.”

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