26 May Safire Insurance King of the Sea 2016
Over the weekend of 20-22 May, jetski, kayak and skiboat fisherman took to the sea south of Durban to fight it out for the inaugural title of Safire Insurance King of the Sea. Friday night’s briefing at Pumula Beach Hotel was abuzz with excited anglers plotting their moves for Saturday morning with others keeping their cards very close to their chests. All in all 176 anglers would launch between the boundaries of Isipingo in the north and Uvongo River mouth in the south in search of ‘the fish’ that would claim them the title.
Saturday’s conditions started off well and with a 10 to 14 knot North Easterly predicted to pick up later, it looked like the guys would be able to fish for most of the day. However, as was seen by 10am, no one can predict good old Mother Nature and she threw a spanner in all the weather websites’ predictions by sending through an 18 to 23knot wind that would chase most of the anglers off the water by 11-30am.
Throughout the day steady catches were seen at the weigh-in with only two fish allowed per species per angler according to competition rules. This formula coupled with the restrictions that only Snoek, Couta, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and Dorado could be taken out, guaranteed that this event had little to no effect on the marine life off this stretch of coastline.
There was also an event within an event with the Safire Insurance King of the Bugs crayfish competition, sponsored by Freedivers, also taking place and final weigh-in for that was 2pm. Only 13 divers would battle it out for their share of the spoils by Freedivers and at the end of it all, multiple champion of the King of the Bugs, Joe Mulder, took the title for 2016. Anglers, their wives and kids as well as visitors to the Pumula Beach Hotel enjoyed free seafood braais, beer tasting, wine tasting, live music, big screen rugby and many lucky draws throughout Saturday. The final weigh-in on Saturday closed at 5pm and between 4pm and 5pm there were ten Couta over 20kgs weighed in and nine Tuna upwards of 15kgs. In the end PJ Botha would go into Sunday with the leading Couta of 28.2kgs.
Sunday’s conditions were perfect to be at sea but with no chop on the ocean to get the fish going, little current and not much bait around the guys struggled a bit and only 12 fish hit the scales on Sunday with the biggest fish being Trenton Lamble’s 25.4kg Couta.
In the end PJ Botha would walk away with the 2016 Safire Insurance King of the Sea title with his monster 28.2kg Couta. He also took prizes to the value of R60 000 including R20 000 cash and tackle and holidays to the value of R40 000. Trent Owen snatched the Top Junior prize with a brilliant Couta of 25.3kgs winning himself a Legend kayak and other goodies. Top Jetski title went to Tom Smith with his Yellowfin of 23kgs. Top Kayak title went to Winklespruit Fishing Ski Club’s Mark Shum with a Couta of 16.5kgs. Top Skiboat title went to Bradley Whitcombe with a Couta of 25.75kgs, with each winning R25 000 worth of prizes.
The event was a huge success with many saying it’s the best fishing event on the KZN Coast. Big thanks to all involved in making this event a triumph and to all our sponsors, especially title sponsors Safire Insurance Company, and Kencrete, Fury Ford Toti, South Coast Tourism, Champagne Sports Resort, Mercury,Bothma Branding Solutions, Maverick Tents, Dezzi Plant Hire, Harcourts Port Shepstone, Tilley Sheds and our host venue Pumula Beach Hotel.
Top 10 title winners:
- Safire Insurance King of the Sea 2016 – PJ Botha – 28.2kg Couta
- Top Ski Boat – Bradley Whitcombe – 25.75 kg Couta
- Top Kayak – Mark Shum – 16.5 kg Couta
- Top Jetski – Tom Smith – 23kg Tuna
- Top Junior – Trent Owen – 25.3kg Couta
- 2nd place – Josh Rodwell
- 3rd place – Trenton Lamble
- 4th place – Noel Allchin
- 5th place – Gregory Botha
- 6th place – Richard Mosely
- 7th place – Trevor Mosely
- 8th place – Andrew Birkett
- 9th place – Louis Posthumus
- 10th place – Trevor Watson