The team caught a massive marlin to win the marlin slam competition and warned former champions Island Star that they plan to rule this year’s fishing tournaments.
13 teams left shore in the early hours of Saturday morning hoping to have a successful day at sea in the Seychelles Sports Fishing Club’s (SSFC) curtain raiser tournament for 2017. All of them had to be back at the Eden Island designated area by 5pm to weigh their catch or to provide SSFC officials with their videos in cases where they caught and released any bill fish. The teams who took part in the Marlin Slam were teams 9G on board ‘Zekler’, the A-team on board ‘Alati’, Team Venture, the Heineken team on board ‘La Plage’, Waterworld team onboard ‘Vogue’, team Ocean Pearl, team Fins aboard ‘Special K’, team Seysea, team Blue Lady, team Paola, Team Island Star, team Ocean on Ocean Mist and Team 8 on board ‘Mazowe’.
By five, it was only the ‘La Plage’ boat with the Heineken team on board that had failed to make it at the designated area and so they were disqualified, meaning that they could not bring in their catch for weighing. Another team, Venture, also did not come in for weighing for the simple reason that they did not catch anything significant. In fact, most teams complained of bad weather and rough seas.
Being a marlin slam tournament, surely all teams plotted their way to the best spots with the hope of catching the heaviest marlin and of course under its conservation effort, the SSFC encouraged teams to do the catch and release campaign and for those in the conservation league - the tagging and release of the billfish as well.
The teams were vying for the three top prizes with the biggest being SCR175,000, second SCR50,000 and third SCR25,000.
Most teams failed to catch a marlin or sailfish in the tournament but for the few who did, it was indeed worth the trip. In the end seven marlins were caught in the competition and five of them were released. Team Blue lady skippered by Aaron Manes and captained by Timothy Morin caught three, brought in two and satellite tagged and released one. Team Waterworld on board the impressive ‘Vogue’ and skippered by Sony Parekh also released the one marlin they caught. 9G, skippered and captained by Randy Bradley released three marlins. In fact, the team went out a much smaller open boat compared to their normally big luxurious yacht, also satellite tagged one of the marlins released. Team Ocean Pearl also caught and released one sailfish.
The normally reliable A-Team on board ‘Alati’ when it comes to catching, tagging and releasing marlins or sailfish this time failed to land in any of the two big ones, thus came in empty handed except for some Yellow Fins, Wahoo and Dorado.
The same applied for Team 8, formerly Team Oceana onboard the big Mazowe boat. In fact all of the teams came in with tunas; most of them yellow fins and some dogtooth. Team Waterworld weighed two impressive dogtooth tunas.
The weighing event took place in front of an impressive crowd at the Boardwalk restaurant and right after the main winners were awarded with their prizes.
The big winner of the day was Team Blue Lady who came in with an impressive 107.6kg blue marlin. The team, which ended as runner- up in last year’s edition, has now dislodged Island Star as the Marlin Slam champions. “It was not easy, but we persevered after finishing second last year, and we fished in the same spot again this year. We promised to take this cup this year and we have delivered on this promise,” said team Captain Timothy Morin.
Having won the first tournament of the year, Mr. Morin said that 2017 will be team Blue Lady’s year. “We have a good team and I want to tell the former champions, team Island Star, that we will beat them again this year and next year,” he said. The team walked away with a cheque of SCR175,000.
In second place was team 9G. The team caught and released three marlins and tagged one of them. In fact, team Captain Randy Bradley said they actually hooked five marlins but two escaped. “It was a bit rough out there especially in the afternoon but we had fun. Now we have to get our boat ready for the national championship in April and continue trying to break some records in Seychelles’ waters. 9G will be the team to beat this season as we plan to bring the champions down,” said Mr. Bradley. The team won SCR50,000.
In third place with one marlin released was team Waterworld. The team received SCR25,000. A good number of yellow fin tunas were also caught in the 2017 Marlin Slam Team Blue Lady celebrates winning the 2017 Marlin Slam tournament Team.