First and foremost, and on behalf of all the anglers, I would like to thank the sponsors for their very generous contributions – it goes without saying that the annual Let it Swim Tiger Fishing Tournament would never be possible without your valued support and contributions. We are all very grateful and look forward to your continued support and involvement in 2018.
The 20th Let it Swim Tiger Fishing Tournament 2017 is done and what a struggle the anglers had compared to the 2016 event!!!! The ‘elusive’ Tiger Fish is very apt given that only 13 qualifying of 500mm plus were recorded – the weather conditions were absolutely perfect and very hot but the fishing was seriously tough for the 195 anglers who took to the water.
This year also saw the introduction of the newly developed Let it Swim App that was used to log and record all qualifying fish – expectations were high and the App did not disappoint. Ryan Marchand of 253 Technologies, the App developer, was on hand ably assisted by Robert Perry of Integrated IT Solutions to deal with any possible problems. The App was a success and was commended and endorsed by many of the participants so it is now the basis upon which all fish will be logged and recorded in the future.
So on Friday, the first day of the comp, only 10 qualifying fish were recorded including the 2 fish that would ensure their anglers 1st and 2nd place. Saturday saw 3 qualifiers boated and the 3rd placed fish was one of these.
The fishing was indeed challenging and the number of fish logged and recorded was the second lowest since 2014. Yes, the low pressure system and dirty water were contributing factors to the low Tiger fish count but the question has again been raised as to the effect that illegal gill-netting is having on the fish populations at Jozini Dam. Before and during the Comp gill-nets were very much in evidence in and around the Eastern shoreline and sightings by the anglers were noted and reported to the relevant authority to be acted upon. The JODCIG fund (Jozini Dam Concerned Interest Group) was created and set up last year and to date 3 anti gill-netting/poaching operations have been carried out since September 2016 resulting in 13 boats and almost 15km of nets being destroyed. I am pleased to say that R25 000 was raised at the 2017 LISTFT raffle and this amount has been added to the JODCIG fund (Jozini Dam Concerned Interest Group) set up to assist the SAPS Waterwing in their efforts to combat the gill-netting and poaching in and around the dam. Big thanks to Leon, Mark, Lourens, Jannie and Louis for their help in monitoring the gill-netting and reconnaissance and many thanks to all the sponsors for their valued prize contributions and indeed the anglers themselves for supporting this initiative by purchasing raffle tickets.
Back to the event results and the main winners are as follows:-
Top 10 ‘Longest Tiger Fish’ Places:-
- 1st Place – Mike COLDBECK (Team ‘Mucking Afazing’) – 645mm – R30 000 cash, Legend Kayaks –Nessy Fishing kayak, Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge week-end, Shimano rod and reel combo, Rapala tackle bag, Razor Jaw hamper, Inside Angling/Roam Free gear, African Fisherman magazine subscription and additional sponsored prizes.
- 2nd Place – Mike LAIDLAW (Team ‘Tiger Tiger’) – 620mm – Legend Kayaks Makara Fishing kayak, Whispering Waters – Club Leisure 3 night stay for 4, Penn Sentinel Reel and Rod combo, Inside Angling/Roam Free gear, African Fisherman magazine subscription and additional sponsored prizes.
- 3rd Place – Wesley RAUTENBACH (Team ‘Eagles’) – 615mm – Lake View Bush Camp – Kosi Bay week-end for 6, Penn Sentinel Reel and Rod combo, Inside Angling/Roam Free gear, African Fisherman magazine subscription and additional sponsored prizes.
- 4th to 10th Place:- Shane LACON-ALLIN (610mm), Peter BECKLEY (560mm), Steve SLATTER (560mm), Len FLANAGAN (555mm), Wynand SCHREIBER (550mm), Hannes KILPERT (525mm) and Justin Burnie (520mm)
Longest Tiger – Printing Industry:-
- Mike COLDBECK (Team ‘Mucking Afazing’) – (645mm) – R2000 cash and the Intamarket Graphics floating trophy, Razor Jaw, Inside Angling and Rapala gear, Sappi and additional sponsored prizes.
Most Qualifying Tiger – Team):-
- Team ‘Eagles’ with 2 fish totalling 1165mm (Tony TALBOT, Wynand SCHREIBER, Werner Jansen VAN RENSBURG and Wesley RAUTENBACH – sponsored prizes by Ecopress, Razor Jaw and Midlands Firearms and Outdoor
*There were no fish caught on fly so the prize/s for this category were included in the Raffle inventory as 3rd Prize.
*Longest Tiger Fish – Ladies – This prize was not won so became a Lucky Draw prize won by Annetjie PAULIK.
*Top results and all others can be viewed on the Results page of the Let it Swim website www.letitswimtft.co.za
The top 10 anglers received prizes and there were also Skipper and Angler lucky draw prizes, a barbel prize, boat pack gifts and the anglers received sponsored shirts, caps and commemorative trophies. These, together with the banners and printed material and complimentary ice were all very kindly sponsored, in random order, by the following companies and individuals:- Antalis, Sekoma Island Lodge and Afri G Adventures, Legend Kayaks, TBA Design and Print, Yamaha, Q20, Pratley Adhesives, Razor Jaw, African Fisherman, MJH Machine Tools cc, Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge, Emcom, Intamarket Graphics, Self-Copy Papers CC, Dyna Castings, Airstream Water, Gap Moulding, Inside Angling, Whispering Waters, Midlands Firearms and Outdoor, Roam Free, Wild Fly.co.za, Tarocube, All Roader Motors, Barry Aylward, The Pumpsmith, Eco Press, Kenart, Shave and Gibson, Khwela Print and Sign, Everest Ice, Bell, Hi Tec Plumbing, Sappi, Dimple Paper, Lake View Bush Camp – Kosi Bay, Papercor, Afrihost, and Ghoti Gear.
The top 3 Raffle prizes were drawn and chosen as follows:-
- 1st PRIZE – Esplin (Steve) HOAREAU – Sekoma Island Lodge, Zambia – 3 night – 2 full days fishing on the Upper Zambezi River in conjunction with Afri G Adventures, Rapala Tackle Bag with Tommo’s Tiger Selection, Razor Jaw and various additional sponsored prizes – combined value – R23K
- 2nd Prize – Colin HENDERSON – Yamaha 4HP, 4stroke, Outboard motor and various additional sponsored prizes – combined value – R15K
- 3rd Prize – Marco Du PLESSIS – Fly Fishing Hamper – Whipsering Waters – Fort Nottingham – 3 nights for 4 people, Xplorer fly rod and case, Xplorer reel, Wildfly selection box and custom made Landing net and various additional sponsored prizes – combined value – R10K
- 4th Prize – Ron ANSELL – Rapala Tackle Bag, Tommo’s Tiger Selection, Safari Cool Box
Much goes into the organising and running of an event such as this and it is only possible with the assistance and commitment of the following individuals and companies. I would, therefore, like to thank the following persons in no specific order:-
Leon Graf, Mark van Wieringen, Rick Lazenby (MJH Machine Tools cc), Daryl Scott (Fishwicks), Rob Perry (Integrated IT Solutions), Ryan Marchand (253 Technologies), Juanita Scott (TBA Design and Print), Mark Henderson (Kenart), Deon and Brandon Swanepoel (Khwela Print and Sign), Cheryl Johnson (Flying Colours Designs and Airstream Water), Dave de Broize (Dave de Broize and Associates), Barry Aylward, Peter Edwards (Dyna Castings), Dries and Lea Drieselman and team (Siyapheka Caterers), Dave Nisbet (Dave Nisbet Photography), Colin Henderson, Peter Beckley and Zahed Moosa (Ghoti Gear). My apologies if I have inadvertently left anybody out.
Many thanks again to all involved and I look forward to your continued support in 2018 for the 21st Let it Swim TFT. The event will take place on 16th and 17th March 2018.
For Let it Swim TFT
083 679 7616