PORT LINCOLN, SOUTH AUSTRALIA – The Riviera Port Lincoln Tuna Classic in mid-March brought a big catch for anglers in the shortened one-day event with 239 fish caught aboard 17 boats.
The Tuna Classic is the largest offshore fishing event of its kind in South Australia and is proudly supported by Riviera and our representatives R Marine South Australia.
Competitors may catch only southern bluefin tuna and must release all but the largest fish during the sustainable fishing event.
Organiser Peter Teakle deemed the weather conditions too severe on day two of competition.
The Tuna Classic was held in the Southern Ocean waters off Port Lincoln in western South Australia on Saturday 17 March, the first time in the event’s 12-year history that weather has reduced fishing to one day.
“The day we had to fish was fantastic,” said Darren Hoppe. Darren shared skipper and fishing duties with the four other crew members aboard his Riviera 445 SUV Buena Vida.
“This was our third Tuna Classic. It is all about the enjoyment and the camaraderie,” he said.
Tim McDonald has competed in the Tuna Classic eight times.
Tim skippered his Riviera 4000 Offshore, Noble One, with three crew in the tournament.
“This year we decided to head to Neptune Island while everyone else headed for the usual fishing ground at the Cabbage Patch,” he said. “We found plenty of tuna, but they weren’t interested in biting! We managed to catch just five fish this year.
“It is a magnificent event every year. We won in 2012 and I had the pleasure of having Megan Tapley win Champion Female Angler on board for three consecutive years.”
One fish, taken by angler Sam Czabasyski aboard his father’s boat Spartacus, was kept on board, deemed the heaviest fish weighing in at 16.4kg
Sam said: “The entire reel was spooled – all 400 metres of it! I had to get Dad to back up the boat so we could start to reel it in! It was hard work, but worth it in the end.”
The Czabayski family continued their past successes at the Tuna Classic, dominating the awards. Harry, aged seven, won the Small Fry Champion award for the second year in a row with his one tournament-size fish. Mum Susan took the overall Female Champion award with seven tournament fish.
Peter Teakle’s Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge The Battler took out the Champion Boat prize with 52 fish caught and released in one day! Jeremy Cooper was kept busy aboard The Battler, contributing 18 fish to take out the Champion Angler award.
Skipper of The Battler Adrian Bothur was awarded the Perpetual Trophy for his overall contribution and dedication to the event. He has skippered The Battler for the past four years, winning this year with an entirely new crew.
RESULTS – 2018 RIVIERA PORT LINCOLN TUNA CLASSIC
Champion Boat Overall: The Battler, Adrian Bothur and crew – 52 fish
Champion Trailer Boat: Sniper, Kym Sheppard and crew – 40 fish
Champion Overall Angler: Jeremy Cooper, The Battler – 18 fish
Champion Smallfry Angler: Harry Czabayski, Spartacus – 1 fish
Champion Female Angler: Susan Czabayski, Spartacus – 7 fish
Champion Male Angler: Jeremy Cooper, The Battler – 18 fish
Champion Junior Angler: Connor Sammut, Checkmate – 7 fish
Champion Heaviest Fish: Sam Czabayski, Spartacus – 16.4kg fish
Runner Up Champion Boat: Sniper, Kym Sheppard and crew – 40 fish
Runner Up Trailer Boat: In the Red, Mark Dansie and crew – 28 fish
Runner Up Female Angler: Emma Forster, Risky Business – 3 fish
Runner Up Male Angler: Darren Bryant, Sniper – 16 fish
Runner Up Junior Angler: Abbey Sammut, Checkmate – 3 fish
Runner Up Heaviest Fish: Andrew Sammut Checkmate – 13.7kg fish
Overall Contribution Award: Adrian Bothur, 12 years of participation, four wins as skipper