The 2016 Tobago Freedive Spearfishing Challenge was held on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June in Castara, Tobago.
This is the Tournament’s 7th year and after the registration on the Friday, we had 40 Divers and one Junior entered to compete.
The Tournament started on Saturday at 6am and with calm, clear waters on the Caribbean side of the Island and with an uncommonly settled Atlantic Ocean, we knew that the divers were going to bring some great fish to the scale.
At the weigh in the Divers brought to scale a variety of fish such as Snappers, Groupers, Barracudas, Cavallis, Jacks Lionfish and Lobsters. Points were being offered for Lionfish to help encourage more divers to catch these very destructive invasive species.
The two largest fish of the Tournament were caught on the final day which was a 31lb Barracuda shot by Paul Dopwell and a very impressive 42.3lb Cubera snapper shot by Brett Thompson which turned out to be the largest of the Tournament.
At the prizegiving it was Brett Thompson who was crowned the Trinidad and Tobago spearfishing Champion with the most points which he received a top of the line Riffe speargun. He also won the heaviest fish category for which he won a Suunto dive watch.
The four time defending champion Josh Lewis had finally been dethroned and had to settle for 2nd place. 3rd place was won by local legend Richard Parkinson and 4th place was taken by another Tobagonian, Marc Jaikeran.
Most Lionfish was won by Tobago’s best lionfish hunter, Keishon Walker from Castara, who also won the 2016 I.M.A Lionfish derby. The largest Lionfish of the tournament was also the largest recorded lionfish in Trinidad and Tobago which was 42.4 cm and weighed 2.2lbs and was shot by Josh Lewis.