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Angler Reflects on SIGFA’s International Tournament Journey

As the Samoa International Game Fishing Association (SIGFA) marks its 25th anniversary milestone, Henry Rasmussen, a seasoned angler who has participated in the tournament for over two decades, reflects on the sport’s enduring success.

Introduced to fishing during his youth by his father in New Zealand, Rasmussen initially struggled with seasickness, until bonding with Max Rasmussen, a family member turned long-time best friend who would take him out fishing.

“Max and I clicked like mates, and he was a fisherman,” he reflected. “He would take me fishing, and I came to the first inaugural international tournament and then I just kept coming every year. I did miss a couple of years for different reasons.”

The late Max Rasmussen was known for his love and passion for fishing, paving the way for the establishment of the Samoa International Game Fishing Association, where he remains revered as one of its early founders

Over the years, Rasmussen’s affinity for the SIGFA tournament grew, drawn not only by the thrill of the sport but also by the camaraderie among fellow anglers from diverse backgrounds. While he has clinched several prizes over time, it wasn’t just the thrill of winning that drew him back every year but in the shared experiences and connections made on the water.

“Meeting different fishermen from different countries, it’s just comradeship. I’ve won a few prizes over the years, I’ve never won it all but I did come close this year. It’s just my special trip” he explains.

Recalling the tournament’s early years, Rasmussen notes the evolution of SIGFA into a well-regarded fishing competition, with increasing participation from international contingents like New Zealand and Australia. He acknowledges the advancements in infrastructure, from the clubhouse to the marina, enhancing the tournament’s appeal and functionality.

“Everything has changed from the clubhouse to the marina, it looks great, and it’s a great place to come to” he said. “I brought a boat over ten years ago and I was supposed to take it home but I left it here and it’s still here and I come every year. All the local boats now are so good and competitive, back in the day they weren’t competitive.  The Pago boats were always bigger but for the locals, they have done well this year.”

“During the first couple of tournaments, it was only the overseas countries that competed such as American Samoa and Tonga but now, we’re getting the New Zealanders and Australians joining in and you can see the event is getting bigger and better.”

This year’s tournament stands out for Rasmussen due to the record number of Blue Marlins tagged and released, alongside encounters with Sailfish and Yellowfin tuna. Despite occasional challenges like extreme weather conditions, he remains dedicated in his commitment to returning annually, recognizing the tournament’s significance in supporting Samoa’s tourism sector.

Team Razzee continue a family fishing legacy ( L-R) Henry Rasmussen, Patrick Rasmussen, Michael Rasmussen

“I think it’s over 60 Marlin tagged for this week, there were some sail fish we have had some yellowfin tuna caught. We also saw a few whales this week. As a team (Team Razzee), we have tagged and released four blue marlins, and Yellowfin tuna during the week of the tournament” Rasmussen says proudly. “I think this tournament is significant to Samoa because it contributes to the tourism industry. I think I’ve got ten years in me to come back. I think the club does a really good job at looking after all the fishermen, Kiwi, Pago and Aussie boats.”

Looking ahead, Rasmussen envisions another decade of competing in the SIGFA tournament, praising the organisers for their dedication to catering to anglers’ needs across various nationalities and cultures. For this Samoan-Maori fisherman, the SIGFA tournament is not just an event but a cherished tradition that he plans to uphold for years to come.

The Neptune SIGFA 25th International Tournament was made possible by the following generous sponsors:

Naming Rights Sponsor: Neptune Pacific Direct Line

Diamond Sponsors: Samoa IBFCApia Concrete Products LimitedTaula Beverages – SamoaSamoa Ports Authority

Platinum Sponsors: Samoa Commercial Bank LtdSeb & Rene Sports Ltd Samoa Tourism Ca’Bella Pacific Construction Samoa Ltd.

Gold Sponsors: TransAm Samoa Ltd NBS – National Bank of Samoa Special Occasions Supply Samoa, Penn & Co, Jason Hansell Electrical, BDO Samoa, Tanoa SamoaLe Well Company Limited Bank of South Pacific, Oceania Gas Limited

Silver Sponsors: Bluebird Construction, Ott Transport &Engineering, Central Bank of Samoa, SMI, Lucky Foodtown-Samoa Petroleum Products Supplies, Pacific Aluminum Ltd, Troppo Fishing Adventures Samoa Goldstar Co Ltd, Stevensons at Manase HJ Keil, Samoa ObserverElaine’s Quality FurnishingApia Export Fish Packers LimitedBluebird Lumber and Hardware RMR Foods Ltd Motor Distributors Ltd, Fiji Airways Tower Insurance Samoa, Motor Distributors Ltd, Siva Afi

Bronze Sponsors: Betham Brothers Enterprises LtdSL EngineeringDelicious cakes Nana Bellas Shop, SignsStudio Samoa Apia Marine Services Ltd, Rasmussen Engineering Ltd, Asco MotorsBistro TatauKofe HausVaimoana Resort, Asau, Savaii, Samoa Ah- Liki Construction, Lee Transport Co Ltd, Motors Ltd, Nourish Cafe Skippys Restaurant, Loibl Lepea Motors Ltd, Island Grill Restaurant, Hansell Electrical, Beau Rasmussen, Silva Group, Apia Spare Parts & Accessories, Amoa Hotel, Radio PolynesiaLe Manumea HotelAmanaki HotelSamoa Airways

Friendship Sponsors: Brighouse Motors, LA Painters, Geogas Samoa Ltd, CCK, Plumtech, Seafood Gourmet, A Touch of Samoa, DMC, Giordanos Pizzeria, All Things Sweet,


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