LOCAL angler Craig Eaton recently came first in the South African Shore Angling Association (SASAA) Senior B National Championships which took place in Jeffreys Bay recently.
Eaton is 23-years-old and studying for a Bachelor of Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). He got involved in fishing through his dad Len who used to take him to fish in the Kowie River.
It was through the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club that he met other good fisherman who, together with his father, helped him to progress. Neil van Linde, Darian Keeton and Brian Pietersen have all been big influences in his life.
THE BIG ONE: Craig Eaton caught this 52 kg duckbill, the winning fish of the tournament, at the South African Shore Angling Association (SASAA) Senior B National Championships while fishing at Van der Riets recently Picture: SUPPLIED
He has been fishing competitively since the age of 14. The biggest edible fish he caught was a 13kg kob at Sunday Surf outside Port Elizabeth. The biggest non-edible he hooked was a whopping 150kg ragged tooth shark at Fish River.
As he has grown up in a fishing community, he has a lot of friends who also fish. Eaton believes fishing has grown in popularity since he was young, thanks in most part to magazines and television programs.
Eaton joked that what he most enjoys about fishing is catching fish.
“It’s a sport you can do until you are old. I also enjoy the whole build up to it,” he said.
When he was part of the EP B team last year, he and Terry Stewart came second in the national provincial championships. He was also chosen as the reserve for the EP A team at last year’s Eastern Province Shore Angling annual prize giving. He also won the Cotton Trophy competition for heavy tackle with the rest of the team.
In 2009 he was chosen for the u-21 Angling Presidential Team after a three-day national rock and shore angling competition in Mossel Bay.
His advice to anyone who would like to get involved in fishing is to just go for it.
“Get the tackle and the equipment, and join the Ski-boat Club if you want to improve you skills.”