Fishy business

2018-05-21 15:39
Samaarah’s 44kg yellowfin tuna took only 45 minutes to land on the day. Photo: Supplied

Samaarah’s 44kg yellowfin tuna took only 45 minutes to land on the day. Photo: Supplied

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“Find your passion and just do it.” 
This is the simple advice given by a 15-year-old girl after receiving the top junior award at the annual Gordon’s Bay Furuno Classic Tournament earlier this month.
Samaarah Ibrahim from Rondebosch, a learner at Islamia College in Lansdowne, weighed in fish every day over a three-day period of fishing, and took home the trophy after catching her 44kg yellowfin tuna, which took only 45 minutes to land.
“I am very proud of myself. I was the only girl and the oldest to compete in my age category at the tournament. I thought I did okay on the final day, but I didn’t think I would win. When they announced the winner I was extremely shocked and excited,” she explains.
Samaarah has now won this specific tournament twice in a row, and plans to compete in several upcoming tournaments this year. She currently fishes for the Western Province Offshore League and is a member of the Gordon’s Bay Boat Angling Club. 
But fishing is not new to the Grade 9 learner. She has been fishing from an early age and is extremely passionate about the sport. In fact, Samaarah caught her first fish at the age of four, explains her proud father Nishaad Ibrahim.
“She has been going on fishing trips with me since the age of eight months old. I would take her with me on the boat, and as she got older her love for fishing just progressed. She has caught over 100 different sea specifies to date,” he explains.
“This is a four-generation sport in the family that was passed on by my father, grandfather and great-grandfather while living in KwaZulu Natal. When I moved to Cape Town at the age of 17, I continued my passion. Samaarah has now taken over my passion and she hasn’t stopped fishing ever since.”
If Samaarah is not occupied with schoolwork, she can be found fishing most days on her father’s boat, “Monish Days”. 
This particular boat was among the top participants in the tournament, taking third place in the competition with a 79kg yellowfin tuna caught by her father.
It is obvious that Samaarah’s biggest inspiration is her father, who to date has made it into the Protea team, has won gold in several competitions and has been chosen for provincial leagues, among others. He is also set to compete in the Fips World Champs in France later this year. 
“I am just really proud of my daughter for winning this competition. The seas were really rough during the tournament and she managed to handle it. She is hardcore! 
“She gets up as early as 04:00. We get up in the dark and come home in the dark. For someone to do anything you must be really passionate about it and Saamarah is just an example of that. 
“I have reached my pinnacle in fishing and now it’s all about Samaarah. We will fish the league really hard for her this year to make it to provincial and nationals,” he concludes.
Salaama Mohamed, the principal at Islamia College, also congratulated Samaarah on her success in the fishing industry. “It is good to see that girls are excelling in things that were a no-go for us women in the olden days. It is good to see that her father is also instrumental in this process, and we are extremely proud of her achievements.”

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