Kingfish Tournament 2023

Click Here for the tally.    Click Here for the Prize List.

This year we had 8 teams and 26 anglers, and relatively good weather conditions for a change, and it was great to see Pete and Brenda Saul back here from the Tutukaka club, competing for the Tuturoa Cup, after a 2-year absence due to Covid and the chaos it caused. Prizes were sponsored by Burncso in Opua and Rebel Sports.

On the first day of fishing, the first job of the day was catching bait, then turning live baits into kingfish, which resulted in 5 fish at the weigh-station. Heaviest for the day weighed 24.94kg caught by Ian Smith on 'All Tide Up', in the Hedge Cutting Services Northland grid (Cavalli Islands). Ian also caught, measured, photographed, and released a smaller fish of 78cm, and his team mate and skipper Brad Hendry had the 2nd heaviest kingfish weighing 17.7kg, all caught on 10kg line. Aboard 'Diomedea', Pete Saul played and landed a kingfish of 14.7kg on 4kg line, and junior angler Ben Wigley from Ahipara weighed in a fish of 11.15kg caught on 6kg line from 'Star Scream'. It was a promising start to the contest, and with boats all baited up, we looked forward to more fish the next day.

On the second day of the contest, there were 9 kingfish landed and 2 measured, photographed, and released. The KC team got 5 of those fish, with 2 for Dave Chambers and Tineke Smith, and one for Stu Sheard. Heaviest fish for them weighed in at 21.45kg caught by Tineke, who used 6kg line, but unfortunately it didn't count because it had been bitten by a shark, but Dave was not far behind with a fish of 20.8kg on 6kg line. The Diomedea team with Pete and Brenda aboard had 3 fish for Tutukaka, but they were amassing points with Pete and Jeanette Franks landing fish on 4kg line, of 15.3kg and 14.5kg respectively. Brenda also landed a fish of 13.25kg on 6kg line. The Lady Luck team were in luck, with Dave Cobbald landing a fish of 14.45kg and Eric Woodward releasing his fish of 82cm. Junior angler Kale Gee on Star Scream was overjoyed to measure and release a kingfish as well.

On the final day the contest for the Tuturoa Cup was down to the wire; 1 fish could change the outcome so it was very exciting. The two teams representing the clubs ended up as KC for us, and Diomedea for Tuts, and at the beginning of the day we were about neck and neck so every fish counted, as well as line weights! KC dropped 2 fish then one stuck for Dave, which weighed in at 15.15kg on 6kg, then David on Diomedea caught a fish of 16.4kg on 4kg line. Then Tineke Smith on KC landed one, then KC dropped another - nail biting! Stu on KC landed a fish of 11.1kg on 4kg, then KC were hooked up at the end of the competition, played out their fish and Dave Chambers managed to bring home the heaviest fish of the contest at 25.9kg, hopefully sealing the deal in favour of Whangaroa.

After all the catches and points were added up, Ben Wigley on Star Scream was the junior with the heaviest fish, Dave Chambers had the heaviest kingfish of the contest of course, but Ian on All Tide Up was a close 2nd with his fish of 24.94kg. We also had a new trophy to award, given by Anna Smith’s family to be awarded to the lady angler with the heaviest kingfish, a fitting memorial to Anna who loved her kingfish fishing, and always did well as well. The trophy was won for the first time by Jeanette Franks, who felt very honoured to receive it, and the KC team rounded up most of the rest of the prizes, with KC being the top team and thus Whangaroa winning the Tuturoa Cup. We would love to see more teams come along next year from Tutukaka, to see if they can take the trophy!