Pohnpei anglers participate in “Tuna Commission” tourney

tuna commission

Pohnpei Fishing Club
March 10, 2017
Pohnpei, FSM—After two weather related postponements, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (popularly known as the “Tuna Commission”) tournament finally took place on Saturday, March 11.
Even after all of the delays, sixteen boats signed up for the tournament. It ended up being a Mahi Mahi kind of day as those acrobatic fish took lure after lure for most of the boats. Though many Mahi Mahi were caught, the tournament was a Big Fish tournament and only two angles won prizes for their tasty catches.
The Tuna Commission not only put up the prizes for the winning angles but also donated life jackets to the club.
Even after the weather delays, the weather wasn’t always particularly cooperative on the day of the tournament. Just the same, everyone returned to port safely.
Before the winners of the tournament were announced members and watchers observed a moment of silence on behalf of Aminis David, Jr., (Jun), who recently passed away. Jun was a long time Pohnpei Fishing Club member and served as a member of the board, most recently as treasurer. A collection was taken up during the registration and at the weigh-in.
Some members of the club also donated their large fish to the family.
Anyone who would like to make a contribution to assist his family is encouraged to do so through the club or contact Steve Finnen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The tournament was a “Big Fish tournament” with prizes awarded to the biggest fish caught regardless of species. A potential jackpot prize for a record marlin was offered as well but no one caught anything like a prize winning marlin. Alex Tretnoff’s boat, Miss Yirwor did land a marlin that weighed in at 198 pounds but it had to be disqualified due to mutilation of the fish. “It was an unfortunate accident, but anglers must present whole fish to the weigh in,” said the Pohnpei Fishing Club Secretary.
The big prizes for the tournament were all for Yellowfin tuna.
Trevor Mix landed a 27.7 pound yellowfin for the third prize of $200. Westcott Panuelo’s second place fish was 30.6 pounds for a prize of $300. Marty Sanel had the biggest fish, a 93.8 pound yellowfin. It earned him a $400 prize.
Westcott Panuelo also took a $100 prize for his 27.1 pound yellowfin tuna. The next biggest fish was caught by Mark Johnny, a 20.9 pound Wahoo. He also earned $100. Another $100 prize winner was Wilber David for his 19.4 pound Barracuda. Mary Tretnoff won a $100 prize for her 19.8 pound Mahi Mahi, the biggest of that species caught during the day. Trevor Mix was awarded $100 for his seven pound Skipjack tuna.
Mary Tretnoff was awarded two lures from James Wichman for her 22 pound yellow fin as the winning lady angler.
Dane Nighswander, a junior angler received $50 for his 12.5 pound Mahi Mahi. His fishing accomplishments must be getting him a good start for his education fund.
Uta Finnen had a barbecue at the weigh in for the competition that included pulled pork sandwiches. Proceeds entirely benefitted the Pohnpei Public Library.
Also many thanks to Tina, Cel, Dr. Hedson and all the others who helped at the weigh in. We had lots of fish to weigh, and a few celebratory beers afterwards.
The next scheduled tournament will be March 25, 2017 and will be sponsored by the Caroline Fisheries Corporation.