The Border Rock and Surf Angling Association has out-fished all other 11 provincial teams to take top honours at the South African Shore Angling Association (Sasaa) Senior A national tournament last week.
Border this year hosted the prestigious event, which took place in and around popular Kidds Beach.
Border scored 539.11 points with Eastern Province hot on their heels with 538.86 points. Eden, Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal took the remaining top spots in that order.
All Sasaa tournaments are catch-and-release with anglers earning two points per kilogram for edible species while non-edibles, such as sharks and rays, earn one point per kilogram.
Some 1.5 tons of edible fish were caught over the four days. The predominant species caught included Bronze Bream, Kob, Black Musselcracker and White Catfish (Barbel).
According to Sasaa , if a catch dies due to injury or exhaustion it is surrendered to the weigh officials. In this particular competition very few died.
The Border Senior A side commented on social media that the team took top honours under extremely tough conditions which tested the anglers mentally and physically.
Among the top 10 finishers in the Border team were Greg Brown, Matthew Grindley and Jonathan Timm.
Both Brown and Grindley were also selected for the SA president’s team which competes against Namibia in November at the Gus Kolner Tournament.
The Border team also won top honours for the most edibles caught as well as the most improved team.
The competition took the anglers to many favourite fishing spots, from Hamburg to Kiwane, from Kieskamma River Mouth to Dolphin Rock, Mgwalana to Cox’s Rock and from Kidds Beach Tidal Pool to Chalumna River Mouth.
Border team member Jay Kruuse said the most outstanding catch of the tournament was considered to be a Diamond Ray of 18.65kg caught by Mathew Sumner of Eden. While these Rays frequent rivers on the Border coastline, they are seldom caught off the shore, he said.
While many teams expected the tournament to be dominated by catches of Ragged Tooth Shark, weather patterns resulted in warm water temperatures with no Ragged Tooth Sharks caught and edible species dominating the scorecards.
Port Alfred resident Neil van der Linde, who represented the Eastern Cape, was the top angler and national champion after the four-day fishing event, resulting in his first time selection to the President’s A Team.
Kruuse said many anglers felt that the most interesting catch was a Black Musselcracker of 8.1kg caught by Greg Brown of Border. While a considerable number of this species were caught over the four-day competition, most were juveniles weighing in at under 5kg.
Sasaa representative at the tournament Frans Claasen said during the prize giving that in excess of 1500kg of edible species were caught and safely released over the four days, which he said has never been bettered since the national tournament started two decades ago.