King Fisher wins at Savai'i Game Fishing Tournament
King Fisher took first place overall at the Savai'i Game Fishing Tournament finale held last Wednesday at the Vaimoana Seaside Lodge in Asau, Savai'i.
New Zealand Angler, Ross Davies of Team King Fisher not only took out first place with a 60.5kg Yellow Fin, but he also reeled in the award for Best Angler of the tournament. In second place overall was Team Reel Cat who redeemed themselves after catching half a barracuda on day two of the tournament.
Their saving grace came in the form of a pint sized, first time Angler from New Zealand, Lauren Griffin, who caught the first and only Marlin of the tournament weighing in at 40.4kg.
The 23-year-old Volunteer Service Abroad based in Savai'i recapped the experience of the hour long fight with the Marlin,
“It was really exciting and I’ll definitely be back because Savaii has so much to offer in terms of adventure tourism” said Ms Griffin.
“I’ve never gone game fishing and I’ve never caught anything of this size before. During the fight, I almost called it quits because I had torn the skin on my hands and got some mean blisters but the boys and Maria just kept pushing me on. They kept the sun off me and kept pouring water on me so it was a real team effort.”
Coming in third place overall was Team Manu o Tuasivi, the Alia crew from Fagasa and Sataua, Savaii. Captain of the Manu o Tuasivi, Faitau Tuitama Crighton, gave his thanks to the Fish Savaii Committee for extending an invitation to participate in the Savaii Fishing Tournament.
“Thank you to Tupa’i for inviting us to join this tournament,” said Faitau. “It was a surprise to be asked but it has been a great opportunity to meet and fellowship with others. This is very new to us because fishing is what we do for a living and we have never been a part of something like this – it has been a good experience.”
The President of Samoa International Game Fishing Association (S.I.G.F.A.), Michael Rasmussen, gave the closing remarks and presented awards to the winners on the evening. Rasmussen commended the Fish Savaii Committee for taking the tournament back to its roots after rising shipping costs have all but ceased international boats from coming into Samoa for the last set of tournaments.
“We had it good for a while with having sponsorship to bring in the boats but we need to go back to the old formula now,” said Rasmussen.
“Seeing what Savaii was like and what Tupa’i has done with bringing the Alias in – that’s how the Samoan tournament used to be. In the past we didn’t have the fancy boats you see now because it was too expensive however these days we have some really nice boats here in Samoa and people are running proper charters so that’s the path we should be going down.
“The whole idea is to go back to how we use to run the tournament whereby we chartered the local boats which not only kept all the money in the country but it promoted the charter boats as well because international Anglers would return back to their game fishing networks and spread the news about the skilled captains and the great fishing experience," he said.
President of the Savai'i Fishing Tournament Committee, Tupa’i Saleimoa Vaai reiterated his thanks to the tournaments’ major sponsors, acknowledging that every year is a race to the finish line to ensure the continuity of the Savaii Game Fishing Tournament,
“It’s important to give thanks to our sponsors and supporters,” said Tupa’i.
“Especially Taula, Ah Liki Wholesale, Apia Concrete Products, Samoa Tourism Authority, National Bank of Samoa, Swire Shipping, Salafai Metal industries, Le Well Company, Savaii Game Fishing Adventures, Samoa H2O and SIFA. Without them, this event could never come to fruition.”
Savaii Game Fishing Tournament 2019 Results:
1st Place Overall: King Fisher
2nd Place Overall: Reel Cat
3rd Place overall: Manu O Tuasivi
Best Skipper: Alfred Schwalger aka Chief
Best Angler: Ross Davies
Supporter of the Tournament: Fritz Rasch Family
First place Marlin: Lauren Griffin (Reel Cat) 40.4k
First place Yellow Fin: Ross Davies (King Fisher) 60.5kg
First place Dogtooth: Manu o Tuasivi, 7.9kg
First place Masimasi: Fish Pirates, 14kg
First place Barracuda: Ola I Vavega, 4.8kg
First prize GT: Manu o Tuasivi, 9.2kg
First prize Skipjack, 9.1kg