Team Stevenson's wins 2019 fishing competition
Team Stevenson's at Manase representing Samoa are the winners of the Samoa International Game Fishing Association Tournament (S.I.G.F.A.) 2019 with 146 points.
The one-week tournament came at a close on Saturday with a prize giving ceremony at S.I.G.F.A. headquarters at Marina bay.
According to a member of the winning team, Courtney Stevenson the win came as a shock to them.
“I have been fishing in the tournament for 15 years and was fortunate to come second twice but we never came first until this year, we are very relieved that it has taken a long time to finally come first.
“We give back the glory and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father and like everyone it was hard fishing on the last day.
“We were coming back between Apolima and Manono, right at the last moment as we were heading back home, so far away from Apia we caught the fish right when we were about to pull up our rods as we were heading home. We were all very nervous in case we might lose it,” he said.
He also said that they caught the big fish on the last day.
“We were happy that we had a fun tournament and I thank God especially my skipper, Ian Moroney and team, all my best mates and am very fortunate to have them - it was a good team effort.
“We tried to go out and pick a goldfish or a marlin because that’s how you win tournaments but it was so quiet, we managed to catch some barracudas, Spanish Mackerels, and one wahoo.
“We lost a few fish just like everyone else and didn’t have any monsters like these other guys but we were fortunate enough to be at the right place and time to come home with the win,” said Mr. Stevensons.
He also added that they always have a strategy.
“On Monday we focused on the reefs, we lost a few good fish, we wanted to get different species because there are prizes for the different species. We always managed to leave early,” he said.
The champion male angler went to Sam Balian from Sydney, Australia who dedicated his winnings to his team Troppo.
“My friend recommended coming to Samoa for a holiday and this is my first time in your beautiful country. I fished a lot in Sydney ever since I was a kid.
“My biggest catch was the yellow fin tuna weighing at 38 kg, it has been an amazing experience, I did not expect to win any prizes,” he said.
President of S.I.G.F.A., Michael Rasmussen, said that it was not about fishing but about Samoa, and promoting the country as a tourist destination through game fishing.
“The ladies day on Wednesday was to encourage the women to come fish, because it is harder to be on the open women’s tournament which is for four days. But in saying that there were two ladies that fished at the open tournament, which was Pafuti Tupua from American Samoa who won the champion female angler.
“On ladies day it is not part of the tournament but an encouragement to the ladies to actually come out and fish in the tournament. But fortunately the biggest fish of the tournament, which was a marlin was caught by team Hurricane Angels on boat Le Doradi by Karleen Rasmussen,” he added.