Bonanza scales tip in favour of Steenbras
For most of the morning on the day of the 34th Penguin Angling Club angling bonanza held at Henties Bay, the heaviest fish was Johannes Hattingh’s 14,4kg kabeljou he caught at Canopy. It was also the first fish to be weighed in on Sunday for the competition and signalled an impressive start to the bonanza.
Most of the first fish to be brought to the scales at the Henties Bay Sports Club, where the bonanza’s main activities were set, were large kabeljou. The impression was that this year’s N$20 000 bonanza fish would go to a kabeljou – and for three hours it seemed that kabejou was Hattingh’s. Enter Terrance Peterson with his 18,195kg steenbras caught at Mile 87. When it was hung as leading fish, and noted on the leaderboard, it stayed in this position until Peterson’s Steenbras was hailed this year’s ‘bonanza’ fish, earning the angler N$20 000.
He caught it early already, with his second cast. His first cast baited with octopus and pilchard landed him a small sand crab. Once he removed it, his second cast produced the winner. “It was when this little bull took it. It feels fantastic and I am overwhelmed. I take part in this competition every year, and I just thought this would be another year where I took a chance. I did not expect to win,” he told Erongo 24/7 after the prize-giving ceremony.
The categories included the bonanza fish (heaviest fish overall); top three steenbras; top three kabeljou; top three Dassies (blacktail) and galjoen; the heaviest barbel (catfish); and the heaviest gamefish.
The winner of the steenbras category went to C. Lesh with his fish weighing in at 12,270kg. He caught it at Winston. The top three steenbras’ combined weight was 36,125kg, and with the bonanza steenbras, this fish species dominated the scales with a combined weight of 54,32kg.
The price for the winning kabeljou went to Werner Redelinghuys with his fish of 17,990kg, missing the bonanza prize by less than 200g. Redelinghuys reeled in his kabeljou at Baklei Gat. The combined weight of the top three kabeljou was 48,82kg. The winning galjoen was caught by Hentie Schreder’s a 1,675kg ‘botterkop’ landed at Mile 30, while J de Jager caught the largest Dassie tipping the scale at 1,945kg. Gideon Lubbe impressed with a very late entry for the largest game fish, dominated by shad until about 15 minutes before the scales were closed at 16:00. He caught a 1,935kg leerfish near the Swakopmund pump-station at Mile 7. The winning barbel belonged to young De Wet, a 0,5kg catfish.
Former bonanza winner and member of the Penguin Angling Club – the organisers of the event - as well as one of Namibia’s top women’s anglers, Annelien Langenstrassen, said that the bonanza was “absolutely fantastic”. “We are very happy with the outcome, and the fish brought in. We were completely surprised with the fish that won because we thought it would be the kabeljou that takes the prize, but it was the steenbras,” she told Erongo, adding that the competition was getting tough and that “the anglers were starting to chew their nails when they saw the competing fish hanging at the weighing station. According to her, all the winners’ fish will be donated to the Henties Bay old age home for charity.
Christo van der Merwe of King Price insurers, who was the main sponsor of the event, said that they were very proud to be the sponsors at this year’s event. “It was a great opportunity for our company, and the anglers did great in reeling in great fish. People have been stuck at home most of the time due to Covid, but this year was a time to get to the fishing waters and enjoy the competition,” he said.