HOT LINE PROVES HER PEDIGREE —
2017 OET Bill- and Gamefish Tournament
By Erwin Bursik
FORTY years! Yes, indeed, the OET has been holding its November competition for the gamefish anglers of the Mpumalanga Deep Sea Angling Association (formerly the Oos/Eastern Transvaal Ski-Boat Association) since way back in 1977. Under the then chairmanship of Jimmy de Pradines and Secretary Cliff Reid, this competition was founded for two reasons. The first was to galvanise the member clubs of this provincial region, and the second was to prove to all that Sodwana Bay had — in addition to the prolific gamefish of the area — a hitherto untapped billfish fishery.
For this reason the competition has historically focussed on both the gamefish as well as billfish — a determination that stands to this day. Where light tackle and heavy tackle used to differentiate between the two structures of the competition, the two are now melded by having an open line class up to 80 lb class tackle, but the rules stipulate the weight of the gamefish is added to the basic points allocated to the released billfish.
The 2017 point scoring rules proved essential in determining the final outcome of this year’s OET because it was the gamefish points scored that made it such a thrilling chase to the final finish line. Have a look at the scores of the top ten teams and you’ll appreciate the tension as Hot Line skipped by Sean Van Veijeren and Zean-Mari with Captain Japie Kleinhans at the helm fought their way to the finish line. With final scores of 424.2 and 421.9 points respectively, it couldn’t get much closer!
Read the full story in the January/February 2018 issue of SKI-BOAT.