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Tonga's world class fishing tournaments

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Tonga should be proud of world class fishing tournaments

23 September 2010

One of the most popular events taking place every year during September-December time is the annual Tonga International Billfish Tournament. This year it features four days of class line fishing in Vava'u. Tonga's most prestigious sports fishing event, it attracts many international participants, particularly from Australia and New Zealand.

In the early 1990's the Tonga International Game Fish Association (TIGFA) was established to facilitate local and visitor catch records. As the sport developed, Nukualofa and Vava'u Sport fishing Clubs were established in July 2002 to record local records and TIGFA became the parent association responsible for National Records and one tournament event - the Tonga Nationals held in December each year. TIGFA and the local clubs are affiliated to IGFA and follow strict international angling rules.

Tonga's ocean - world class fishing

Tonga is blessed with world class fishing - Blue Marlin (Pacific), Black Marlin and Striped Marlin, Sailfish (Pacific), Skipjack Tuna, Yellow Fin and pelagic species such as Mahimahi, Tuna, Wahoo (Valu Louniu) and a host of reef species including Dog Tooth Tuna (valu Tonga) and Giant Trevally (GT).

Other fish include; Kawa Kawa (Mackeral Tuna), Baracuda (‘Ono), Coral Trout, Dolphin Fish, Grouper, Job Fish (utu), Long Tom (haku), Spanish Mackeral, Ranbow Runner, Roundtail Seabream (mu), Hammerhead Shark, Mako Shark, Oceanic Whitetip, Shortbill Spearfish, Bluefin Trevally (lupo), Big Eye Tuna, Snapper Emporer, Emporer Spangled (koango), Queenfish.

Tonga holds the following of IGFA world records:

1. Men's 24kg line class for a 94kg Sailfish
2. Small Fry - Sailfish 55kg
3. Women's 15kg line class for a 38.4kg GT

Vava'u Fishing Club

Vava'u has around 35 residential members and visiting anglers can join the club for T$10 which qualifies them for recognition of local and/or National Records.

There are 6 charter fishing operators based in Vava'u.  The Vava'u Club has its headquarters based at Mango's Restaurant right on the harbour foreshore, kindly provided by Moorings, Tonga's most successful charter Yacht business.

The club also funds a local FAD program - currently two are deployed in 1,500 meters of water some 4 miles off shore.

The Vava'u Sport Fishing Club hosts two major International tournaments:

1. Tonga International Billfish Tournament
The TIBT is Tonga's most prestigious event attracting anglers from Australia and New Zealand. It is a four day line class tournament and is a qualifying event for the IGFA Offshore Championship Event held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico each year.

2. The New Zealand Fishing News Tournament
The event is a four day tournament which attracts 30 International anglers where the teams fish on a different boat each day.

For more Tournament information please contact Steve Campbell e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa.  Photos and information provided by the VSFC, 2010.

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 October 2010 15:33 )
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