mp_tourney news lobito
For the last five years there has been discussion about holding a sailfish classic event down in the Southern Angolan city of Lobito using the same rules as the Luanda Sailfish Classic, which has been running for the last 16 years. A group of Lobito anglers led by Vito Mirros and Leonidas Viegas, who were both at the OWC in 2013, finally brought the idea into fruition. With the help of some good sponsorships the event was held on the 22 & 23rd of February 2014 at the Clube Nautico de Lobito. Five boats made the 240nm trip from Luanda to take part and the other 10 participating boats were Lobito based.
This is a 100% release tournament with full points for tagged fish and ½ points for released fish without tags. Scoring is totally in favor of sailfish with 1000 points per sailfish, 250 for a white marlin and 150 for a blue marlin and all teams must use 30-pound line only. As the boats set out for the first day none could have imagined what was going to take place over the next two days.
In an area about 20-30 nm to the NW the sea was full of big Atlantic sailfish many of them over 100-pound and putting up remarkably stubborn fights on 30-pound tackle. Boats took off at 7:00 and the first sailfish was called in as a double strike at 8:35 by Team Kuxica. For the rest of the day, the VHF never went more than 20 minutes without a hookup or a release. The sailfishing was fast and furious with packs of sailfish coming into the spreads. Thrown into the mix were some big blue marlin that mostly escaped on the light line plus a white marlin.
Team Kuxica continued their great form from their previous tournament victory and ended the day with 11 sailfish and a white marlin! Well behind in 2nd place was Marlinheiros with seven sailfish and in 3rd place Tubarões Fishing Team with six sailfish and a blue marlin. Bravos da Baia were in 4th place with five sailfish releases.
Day 2 started just like Day 1 – with the first hook up called in at 8:35 and from then on the action continued unabated all day. Team Kuxica just kept extending their lead steadily throughout the day by catching another nine sailfish and a white marlin for a total of 20,000 points and the most billfish ever taken in a tournament in Angola with 22.
The rest of the teams were only contesting 2nd place, but the final tally for the 2nd day was 47 sailfish, three white marlin and one blue marlin released. Securing 2nd place Marlinheiros released seven sailfish for 13.500 points followed by Tubarões Fishing Team with 5 sailfish and a white marlin for a total of 11.325 points. Marmeladas were 4th with 11 sailfish and Team Dourado, the top Lobito team, was 5th with 7 sailfish.
This was the most successful tournament ever held in Angola, in terms of the number of billfish caught per day/per boat. It surpassed the recent 24 Horas de Pesca held in January, which had seen incredible fishing and set a new level of billfish captures for Angola tournaments.
Fernando Duarte and his team have already qualified for the OWC in 2015 by winning the 24 Horas de Pesca at the Clube naval de Luanda. The Lobito Big Game Tournament is being held from 10-13th march and if the fishing continues like this it will be another great event.