(Text & photos Valentina Prokic)
Team Strozanac from Podstrana, with Stjepko Kesic, Jakov Pavic and Gorki Bratim, and with boatman Mario Bakotic Zile, won XXV° Croatian Team Championship held in the aquatorium of Novalja, island of Pag, organized by the Croatian Federation of Sport fishing on the sea and hosted by club Luc from Novalja.
Kesic, Pavic and Bratim caught, during five-hour fishing, five congers and ten fishes – three wrasses, one mullet, three white seabreams and three red scorpionfish, the heaviest of which was 1190 grams. All that brought them 22102 points.
Second place among the 17 teams competing went to the SRK Periska Ploce team with Mate Baresic, Luka Fatovic and Marko Musulin.
Periska spearos at weighing had five congers and four fishes – forkbeard, wrasse and two mullets worth 14658 points.
Team of Volosko – Luka Kamenski, Sasa Tomic and Marijan Versic, finished in third place with 14511 points. Volosko caught five congers, two mullets, one seabass and two blacktail breams.
Two days before the Croatian competition, it was decided to compete in the reserve zone from Novalja to Lun, because of the strong North wind which was announced and which blew during night of Friday to Saturday.
Fish was less than it would have been if competition would have been held in the main zone on the Northern side of Pag, but the reserve zone also gave a rich catch and only one team was below expected catches.
The heaviest fish has been caught by Anthony Kulusic (Pirka Tribunj), conger of 11420 grams, who was awarded with the wetsuit by manufacturer 4Dive.
The youngest competitor of this year Croatian Champ Matej Njavro from Medulin and the oldest Boris Reinic from Luben Rijeka were given specific gifts.
Stjepko Kesic was one of the best Croatian spearos from the winning team, and this was the first time he has won the Croatian championship.
“I would not have come if colleague Pavic had not pushed me”, said Kesic, who has already set out to prepare for the singles championship, which will be held in Novigrad in two weeks.
More about the winning catch was said by the legendary boatman chief and responsible in the Team Strozanac Mario Bakotic Zile.
“Immediately at the start we decided to jump into one shallow spot, where two more fishermen jumped, but Pavic was the most successful and cought the red scorpionfish. Then we ignored the positions we had in protection from the North wind and went only to the outside spots where the wind Bora was tremendously strong and created a lot of problems, but it proved to be a winning tactic. We spearfished in depths from 26 to 38 meters. It was easier because there were no competitors, but the sea and the Bora tortured us. Towards the end of competition we returned to our positions closer to the coast, where we caught three white seabreams, one wrasse and two congers. We have earned the title, and I am particularly glad because this is the first title for Kesic in Croatia. Now comes his time, said Zile.