More than $16,000 worth trophies has sparked strong interest in the 2015 Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic – the biggest offshore tournament in South Australia.
Entries for the 11-12 April tournament close on 10 March and many of the reigning titleholders will be back to defend their crowns.
Tim Cook from Team Club Marine confirmed he will be back for his second tournament, last year catching and releasing 16 Southern Bluefin Tuna to claim Champion Male Angler aboard The Battler.
“This is a fantastic tournament and I’m looking forward to doing it again – it’s very well run,” he said. “We had some great fishing last year … constant.”
So what is Tim’s secret to catching a trophy tuna?
“A good skipper, a good crew and, of course my top-secret lure,” said Tim. “I have one bad boy that last year basically got me 90 per cent of my fish.”
Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic organiser Peter Teakle said that 2015 trophies were a ‘true work of art’.
“In Australia, we fish tournaments not for cash prizes, but for a ‘piece of wood’,” he said.
“The Tuna Classic Trophies are not your normal piece of wood, as we now have gold for the champions and silver for the runners-up.
“And because of the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic’s growth in the past four years, we have now added more trophies … this year there will be 40 trophies at a value of $400 each.”
Last year, 25 boats including five trailer boats competed in the tournament, which saw 248 tournament-sized Southern Bluefin Tuna caught, tagged and released back to the water over two days – all of them above the tournament regulation 10kg.
Entrants are awarded one point per fish which must be released in good condition. Captured and weighed fish do not record a point-score.
Tournament coordinator Tanja Jost said there were a few changes this year, including the addition of a perpetual trophy honouring an individual for outstanding achievement or contribution to the event.
“We also have a $500 prize for the best photograph, and I hear there may be an all-female team entering this year, which is really exciting,” she said. “Our reigning champion, Meghan Tapley on Noble One, has won the title three times.”
Ms Jost said the tournament would begin with a social event on Friday 10 April, followed by an official sail-past at 7.30am on Saturday. Start-fishing will be called on the radio South of Port Lincoln fishing at 9am.’
“By all accounts there are plenty of tuna out there, so here’s hoping it will be another good catch this year.”
Please note that entries must be received by March 10, 2015 to ensure participation. For more information, rules, guidelines and entry forms visit www.tunaclassic.com
2014 Honour Board
- Champion Boat – Most Fish Tagged: The Battler/Team Club Marine, 48 fish
- Champion Male Angler Tim Cook, The Battler, 16 fish
- Champion Female Angler: Meghan Tapley, Noble One, 8 fish
- Champion Junior: Ben Kapur, Dark Star
- Champion Trailer Boat: Liquid Asset, 16 fish
- Champion Boat – Day 1: The Battler, 31 fish
- Champion Boat – Day 2: C’World, 18 fish
- Heaviest fish: Peter Smythe, Gladiator, 15.5kgs
If you would like to enter the Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic, please click here.
If you would like to follow the tournament on Facebook, please click here.