Seychelles anglers in 24 hour battle to catch the heaviest of 24 fish species this weekend in SSFC's 11th La Digue tournament
A partial view of the La Digue jetty. The jetty will be bustling with activities the coming weekend as the La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament Kicks off. (Gerard Larose, STB)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles’ sports fishing enthusiasts will be converging to the archipelago’s third most populated island of La Digue the coming weekend, with the Seychelles Sports Fishing Club (SSFC) envisaging some 25 boats to take part in the 11th La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament.
The tournament which is one of the last two remaining for this sports fishing season in Seychelles is also being seen as the one that might decide which team will win the league title. The race is on between Team Island Star Captained by Marc Houareau and Team Kuki Captained by SSFC’s Chairman Tarak Patel.
Island Star is currently leading by 45 points.
Teams have until 1pm on Friday October 24 to register for the La Digue tournament with each boat expected to pay a registration fee of around $218 (3,000 Seychelles rupees).
Anglers will be departing La Digue at 3pm local time on Friday in search of the heaviest of 9 different trolling species like marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo and 15 bottom species like red snapper, groupers, job fish and many others before returning to the island latest 3pm the next day, Saturday October 25.
There will be prizes up for grab for the heaviest of each of the 24 individual fish species.
“If an IGFA (International Game Fish Association) World Record is caught per IGFA rules, it is a 10,000SCR prize,” SSFC’s Secretary, Grant Heyer told SNA in an interview.
The overall winner of the tournament will take home a cash prize of a little over $1,000 prize plus trophy and a gold pendant sponsored by jewelry company JOUEL, while there will also be other prizes including for the top junior angler and top lady angler.
“We will also have prizes for best total trolling, best total bottom and runner-up as well as a special prize for a Slam which is the heaviest combination of 3 of the following 4 species: billfish, dorado, tuna, wahoo,” added Heyer.
“Our hope is to exceed the total fish caught from last year and to provide all with an opportunity to win something within the tournament with such a broad range of species included. SSFC also focuses on bringing a positive economic benefit to La Digue for the whole weekend with the island almost sold out on accommodation.”
Around 3.2 tonnes of fish was caught in last year’s La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament.
|Team 'Dyab Lavwal' - Winner of last year's La Digue Offshore Fishing Tournament. (SSFC) Photo License: CC-BY|
While there will be no tagging and release of any billfish during the upcoming tournament, SSFC is still trying to promote the conservation spirit amongst the sports fishermen as it engages them on another initiative.
“We are supporting Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) in reporting whale and dolphin spotting, locations and species. We will collect this data and it can form a part of the Marine Spatial Planning Initiative data assessment in the long run. This applies throughout the year - every day anyone is fishing. We will provide members with the identification guide from MCSS,” Heyer told SNA.
As for the La Digue Fishing Tournament all fish caught will be sold to local fisheries Company - Oceana Fisheries and proceeds will go towards a charitable project on La Digue.
The island is home to one of the most popular beaches in Seychelles Anse Source D'Argent, that was recently voted amongst the top 12 Beaches with Crystal Clear water by the travel website, TripAdvisor and as the most beautiful beach in the world by the national Geographic’s coffee-table book, the 10 Best of Everything.