Gordons Bay, South Africa: Since he was a young boy, South African Riviera 33 Open Flybridge owner Ismail Bhorat has been dreaming of landing a tuna that little bit bigger than his last.
Going out as often as he can in his 2005 model Riviera, Gunners, which he has owned for the past two years, Ismail has been fortunate to enjoy a great deal of success in the fishing stakes.
However, the 90kg yellowfin tuna he caught 40 miles of Cape Point, South Africa, this month was a nothing short of a dream come true – and his personal best for this particular pelagic species.
Ismail and a group of friends – Chris Gerber, Mario Oberholzer and Wean Welgemoed – had set off at 6am from Gordons Bay and arrived at Cape Point in good time, courtesy of the 33 Open Flybridge’s twin Volvo 310hp diesels.
It was a fruitful day, landing several big tuna … one after the other. In fact, just before the 90kg monster was hooked, the excited team aboard Gunners had landed four other yellowfins, including one topping 65kg.
Yellowfin tuna are renowned for their speed and strength when fought on a rod and reel. Indeed, many anglers believe that large yellowfin are, pound for pound, the fastest and strongest of all big game tunas.
And once you’re on, there’s a very real chance of following through with another as they often travel in schools with similarly sized companions.
Ismail’s big yellowfin was hooked at the end of what was a busy day on the rods, and was finally lifted into the cockpit after 100 minutes of muscle-aching, adrenalin-pumping work.
However, the braai made it well worth it.
In short, braai is a very South African way of preparing meat, which is not exclusive to the preparation of the food, but also to the time spent with friends in mutual camaraderie.
Derrick Levy from Riviera’s South African dealer, Boating World, says that the 90kg fish could have set the benchmark if caught a month prior in the Atlantic Boat Club’s annual The Hout Bay Tuna Derby.
“We have many Riviera owners in South Africa and most are passionate offshore fishermen,” says Derrick.
“The owner of a Riviera 43 Offshore Express caught a Tunny of 78kg in the Tuna Derby, and the winner was 88kg.
“There are also a number of Rivieras in the Durban Richards Bay area where the water is warm and this is prime marlin and game fish water.
“We have one Riviera owner who bought a Riviera 33 Open Flybridge who, a year later, bought a Riviera 37 – he now has a new Riviera 50 Enclosed Flybridge due to arrive in South Africa in March.
“This owner has boated and released three marlin on his Riviera in a single weekend recently and he’s very keen for the Marlin Club Fishing Competition, incorporating the Riviera Billfish Challenge, from 11-14 February 2015.”
Boating World also has a number of happy Riviera owners in Angola, Seychelles and Mauritius and Tanzania.
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