The partnership of Felix Sasamoto and Morito Asai again paid dividends as the two spearfishermen won the Rudder Fish Category of the 4th Annual Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation Spearfishing Challenge held last weekend in the waters off Apra Harbor in Hagatna, Guam.
Sasamoto and Asai caught a 4.93-lb. rudder fish to top the category of the competition. The Open Category was won by Skip Perry, Ron Laguana II, and Pete Siguenza with their two-fish haul of 77.3 lbs, which included a 63.2-lb. dogtooth tuna.
“We enjoyed the Guam tournament very much. The Guam tournament is a big fish tournament which requires luck. We had some but others got more on that day. Thanks to the MUFF( Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation), Guam Fisherman’s Co-op, and the people of Guam,” said Asai in an email to the Saipan Tribune.
He said he and Sasamoto caught the prize-winning fish in the northern part of Guam about seven hours after the one-day competition kicked off. They gave the fish to the captain of the boat (Primo) they rented, who also happened to be from Saipan.
Asai said they wouldn’t have caught the top rudderfish of the contest without the help of their boat captain.
Sasamoto and Asai are the president and vice president of the Marianas Apnea Spearfishing Association, respectively.
Aside from Perry, Laguana, and Siguenza, which collectively call themselves as Team Malate Balate (smart sea slugs), other winners of the annual spearfishing contest were second to fifth placers Steve Meno and Pat Castro (24.81 lbs.), Herb Lagutang and Stoney Soumatua (23.65 lbs.), Myles Driscoll and Todd Genereux (18.78 lbs.), and last year’s winners Jess Aguon and Mike Cassidy (12.45 lbs.).
Joining Sasamoto and Asai in the category winners were Jay Sternadell and Robbie Cabreza (Parrot Fish Category, 4.3 lbs.), Joe Cummings and Barnaby Acfalle (Unicorn Fish Category, 3.17 lbs.), and Monique Genereux and Pat Atherton (Orange-Spined Unicorn Fish Category, 0.84 lbs.).
Other Saipan spearfishermen that took part in the 4th Annual Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation Spearfishing Challenge were the teams of Frank Pangelinan, Tony Roberts, and Martin Camacho and Ed Aguon and Derek San Nicolas.