LANGKAWI - A grouper, weighing 9.3kg, caught by private practitioner Dr Adnan Salam, 59, from Perlis, won him RM20,000 (S$8,188) when he was announced the winner for the deep-sea category at the Langkawi International Fishing Tournament 2012 yesterday.
His catch trumped other fish landed by some 200 anglers.
Dr Adnan, who owns a private clinic in Jejawi, Arau, Perlis, said it was the his first time participating in the event.
His victory was not easy as he had a tough time reeling in his catch.
It took Dr Adnan more than an hour.
"As a doctor, I have attended many cases but having to reel in a fish, weighing some 9.3kg, for more than an hour was a different experience altogether.
"It thrilled me. Luck and patience were two elements that played a hand in my winning," he said, adding that the battle between the fish and him had worn him out.
As the winner of the deep-sea category, Dr Adnan also won other gifts from organisers and sponsors.
He said he would use the cash prize to purchase fishing equipment and part of it would be donated to charity.
The second place went to Rosli Abu Hassan, 41, from Kedah, who took home RM8,000 with his 7.5kg grouper (Kerapu), while third place went to Anuar Che Din, 52, with his 7.32kg grouper. He took home RM5,000.
The tournament also offered cash prizes to the winner of the "species category" and other consolation prizes.
The prizes were presented by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Media Prima Bhd executive director (news and editorial operations) Datuk Ahmad A. Talib and Langkawi Develop-ment Authority (Lada) chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli.
The two-day tournament, which started at 4pm on Saturday and ended yesterday, saw some 400 international and local participants.
The tournament started with a warm-up "battle" between the participants in the sea side (beach) fishing competition, which saw Mohd Alang Jibran Abdullah winning RM2,000 with his 1.665kg siakap (Barramundi).
The second and third prizes went to Aliff Ibrahim and Mohd Latif Man respectively.
The tournament was jointly organised by Berita Harian and Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd, better known as TV3.
Participants vied for a total of RM65,500 in cash prizes.
Among those who sponsored the event was TCE Sports Sdn Bhd, Adabi Consumers Sdn Bhd, Zulkifli Bhamadhaj (Petani), Universal Fitness & Leisure (UFL-Coleman) and Petronas Gas.
The tournament was held to promote Langkawi as a fishing haven as well as the world's sports fishing destination.
Meanwhile Ahmad said Media Prima was committed to help promote Langkawi as an international tourist destination.
"We believe Langkawi has everything.
"We will do everything possible to realise the dreams of making Langkawi a world-class paradise for tourists.
"We are at this moment witnessing Langkawi's revival as a world- class tourist destination and we are sure this will become a reality in a short time," he said, adding that the fishing competition had more than met the organisers' expectations.