A PORT Elizabeth-based angler has gained a slot as one of the top three anglers in South Africa to compete in the 28th World Championship Big Game Fishing tournament in home waters.Colin Barris will be setting out for battle against competitors from 20 to 30 countries, who will be competing in the tournament held in Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, this year. They will be hunting for all tuna species, wahoo, black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish.The competition is a series of events hosted by various countries. After the South African leg, the next round will be in Portugal. “I gained a slot by building up merit over the years at various competitions and events. Eventually, I’ve built up a CV and it goes out for selection. That’s how they choose the top three in the country,” Barris said. Barris’s passion for fishing started as a child and he has been fishing competitively for more than 20 years. “My passion for fishing started with my dad. He usually took me out to fish as a boy. “I come from a family background of fishing and I’ve been fishing competitively for the Eastern Cape for many years now.”The opening ceremony will take place in Johannesburg, on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre.Barris competed in the World Championship in Mexico two years ago and will now represent the province in home waters.“I’ve been selected to fish here in South Africa. It’s a huge event. I’m part of the salt water deep sea game fishing category. “Fishing is a ‘time-out session’ for me. It’s relaxing and makes me forget about the rest of the world for a while.”According to Barris, fitness is of vital importance to be able to successfully hook a fish. “People think that fishing is not physical, but it takes a lot of energy and physical capabilities to catch those big fish. You have to be fit to be able to compete as well.” Barris will be fishing alongside Michael Riley, who has been both his teammate and adversary over the years, fishing for their respective provinces. He added, “This is truly special for a friendship to span this length of time and even more so as teammates, fishing and representing our country all over the world and sharing many victories and amazing stories on our journey. “We’re hoping for tight lines and to bring back the gold,” said Barris.