Date de publication : 2010-08-03

[texte en anglais seulement]

Meritorious award for 30.94 kgs (68.1 Pounds) by Phillipe Virgili, lonfing tuna caught by Phillipe Virgili off the Cape Town coast (South Africa)...


It was my second spearfishing trip to South Africa and at the time, I was pretty keen on seeing my friend W. Bernardis in Durban. I have been planning for months to freedive again with african tiger sharks there.

On the 12th of April 2009, , as soon as the 28ft boat left the Hout Bay harbor (Cape Town area), D. Christie the « Obsession » sportfishing boat skipper headed on early morning to the offshore waters

It’s well known that you can get there the four seasons in the same day, but we were pretty lucky to get a stable sunny weather, a sea becalmed and an exceptional blue water. D. Christie the skipper has a great expertise in tuna fishing. My trip mainly targeted to catch one good size yellofin tuna and do underwater video of the fish. After  1h1/2  boating, we explored a specific area wich is located at about 20 to 25 miles off the coast and where seeing the fish was probable. After ½ hour the crew effectively spotted on a fish finder a tuna school swimming very deep and the mates did chuming with sardine in order to tease up the school. Half an hour boating and chuming later, I got with the gun in the 22C degree clear water. I was told by the skipper that the school could stay there a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, and that I should better first to hunt. I made during about 1/2h several dives and  I could finally observe some medium size restless tuna ( 70 to 100lbs) swimming  at about 80ft depht and sometimes coming racing up to the chum line, then racing fast to the deep. I spotted a medium size fish wich was swimming like a rocket to the surface. But at about 60ft depht it changed its path and swam less fast and diagonaly to the deep. I dove as fast as I could in following the fish wich seemed to ignore me. At about 15ft range I aimed instinctively and shot. The shaft hit the fish on the   lateral line, penetrated it half way and probably broke the spine. The tuna took off to the deep an I swam back to the surface while holding on the bungee. Then I grabbed the buoy while playing the fish. I yelled the skipper to inform him of the capture. The fish did’nt resist a long time and after about 5min I felt less resistance. As I pulled in the float line the fish came into view : I was sure the fish could’nt rip away  because my shot was a solid mid body shot. A couple of blue sharks showed up, followed the fish then swam to the deep. I pulled easely the exhausted fish to the surface and the skipper gaffed it on board. It needed not to do a second shot. Retourning to the boat I took a quick break, got back the shaft and the line, then dove staight away again to catch an other fish. During the break on the boat the skipper told me I caught a record longfin tuna. I was surprised, because at the time I spotted the fish I identified it as if it was a big eye : the body colour, the shape, the eyes…

About one hour later I caught an about150lb yellofin tuna and I could do video of the small school   and of blue sharks.

Back to the dock the I.G.F.A. certified skipper weighted the fish : a 30,94kg longfin tuna/ thunnus alalunga. He told me I smashed the south african spearfishing record…

-a T. Botha tuna gun equiped with a 9mm/ 1800mm long spear with a S Alexander style slip tip.
-five 16mm elastic bands.
-a T. Botha float system equiped with a 75ft bungee.

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