Yellowfin tuna, sharks and marlin add excitement to Riviera 33’s maiden voyage in South Africa

Granger Bay to Gordon's Bay, South Africa: A beautiful day greeted the new owner, captain and crew of Riviera 33 Flybridge, Gunners, as they prepared the boat for her maiden voyage from Granger Bay to her new home in Gordon's Bay.

Greg Alice from Boating World, Riviera's South African dealer, joined the crew on board Gunners for an unforgettable fishing adventure.

"We left the berth just after 5am and headed south down the coast towards the Cape Point. There was a slight chop in the water and the reports indicated to expect a 2m swell. On route we planned where to start trawling for the target species, the yellowfin tuna," he said.

"It took us about three hours cruising at 18 knots to reach our fishing spot. We took it slow and had a chance to experience why Riviera boats are such sought after vessels here – comfort!"

Upon reaching their fishing destination, the crew set up their rods to trawl, and within minutes they had their first strike but the fish was so strong it pulled the rod out of the rod holder and overboard. Keeping positive, the crew put out three more rods making sure to secure them to the boat and it didn't take long before the first reel was screaming, then the second and the third. The crew could hardly contain their excitement at the thought of a triple hook up but the first fish threw the hook, they landed the second fish, a 15kg yellowfin tuna and continued fighting the third.

"Tuna are an extremely strong fighting fish pound for pound and we could see the beautiful yellow colours of the fish glimmering through the water and just before the tuna reached the surface it shot off and raced away," Greg said.

"We saw a flash of blue and knew something was chasing it. Our first thought was a shark, probably a mako, but to our surprise it was a huge marlin. Everyone screamed with excitement because marlin are not commonly caught in the Cape.

"The marlin circled our boat and chased the tuna under again but the line was stuck so with quick thinking, we sliced a fillet from the tuna we caught earlier and threw another line overboard."

Anticipation and excitement kept the crew waiting with baited breath for the marlin to strike and when it did the signal was given to move the boat in order to safely land the fish. After a 15-minute battle, the marlin breached out of the water not once, but twice, giving the crew a good look at the immense size of this almighty fish. Thirty minutes later, the marlin broke free.

Disappointed but excited from the experience they had just encountered, the crew continued on to their final destination of Gordon's Bay Harbour landing two small blue sharks along the way.

"It was an amazing experience to land a yellowfin tuna, two blue sharks and to almost land a marlin. It was a great start to the boat's future fishing and we gained some priceless knowledge from the day's highs and lows. Some people enjoy fishing as a hobby, others, it is their livelihood, but it can be extremely dangerous fishing in the rough seas off South Africa and you need to take extreme precaution and plan ahead. We urge all boaters not to ‘skimp' on safety and to be prepared for any kind of situation. Check the weather and make sure your boat and electronics are in good working order. Happy boating and tight lines."