Tuna record smashed

2016-05-26 06:00
Local fisher, Tim Christy, caught a record fish of 84.7kg at the St Francis Bay Tuna Classic held over the weekend - breaking his own record of 16 years. Photo: SUPPLIED

Local fisher, Tim Christy, caught a record fish of 84.7kg at the St Francis Bay Tuna Classic held over the weekend - breaking his own record of 16 years. Photo: SUPPLIED

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WHEN Protea Angler and owner of St Francis Safaris, Tim Christy, set out to sea in the St Francis Bay Tuna Classic 2016, catching the biggest tuna in the history of the competition was all he hoped for, although the last thing he expected.

Christy’s yellowfin, weighing a gigantic 84.7kg, broke his own record of 74.6kg held for 16 years - being a pending Eastern Province record on 80 LB line class and the competition record for the hea- viest yellowfin tuna reeled in to date.

Along with crew members Neville Bowden (Port Elizabeth), Patrick Smith (Port Elizabeth) and Bridget Rodgers (New Zealland), as well as Patrick and Luke Mason, Nicholas Freel and Reuben Visagie from Kimberley, their boat Lucky Strike also reeled in the Top Boat award.

Talking about the record-breaking tuna he caught on day one of the competition, Christy says; “It was a fantastic and very hard fight that took around 40 minutes. At first I thought it was a mako shark, until it showed itself with amazing long yellow fins. We were so exci-ted when we landed it, as I knew it was a competition winner and a possible Eastern Province record.”

“One thing I have realised in competition fishing is to never ce-lebrate a win on the first day, but only at the end of the last day.”

On day two of the competition, a double strike 40 miles offshore on the 2 000m mark, Luke Mason and Reuben Visagie landed two similar sized tunas - placing their boat Lucky Strike way into the lead on the tournament scoreboard.

According to Christy, on day three they could not hook one fish. “We were aiming at our brave lady Bridget Rodgers to land a big one, but our luck has been spent. We had a marlin hooked and lost, but Neptune had given us enough points to win the competition,” says Christy.

“A big thank you goes out to the tournament organisers.”

The main prize was a rubber duck and motor sponsored by Bay Marine Suzuki and tickets for four to Madagascar with R20 000 spending money from SA Air Link.

“We will fish through the tuna season with two months to go, and always aim for bigger fish and better stories on the high seas,” says Christy.

“Being a sportsman, I love the freedom and adventure of the high seas and the challenge of breaking records and achieving my second Protea badge. I achieved this in 27 years of fishing and pioneering fishing charters in St Francis Bay. My father, Don Christy, the pioneer of the calamari industry, shared the same passion and passed it down to me. I hope to do the same with my son Keenan Christy.”

  • Hosted by the St Francis Boat and Angling Club with entries from far and wide, the St Francis Bay Tuna Classic 2016 took place from May 17 to 21.

Team photo of the

Top Boat Award on P12

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