Trailer Boats 2024

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Well, we squeezed the contest in before bad weather hit the area, and we had a big response with 47 boats and 129 anglers taking part. The waters off our area of coast had plenty of marlin in them in the previous days so everyone was amped up to go hunting for marlin and win some prizes from Okuma, provided by local boat builder Makaira Boats.

Fishing started on day 1 at 7am with most of the eager boats out by then, ready to go. We recorded 30 hook ups with most of them being striped marlin but there were plenty of drop-offs, with a few fish falling off at the boat, but 6 striped marlin ended up at the weigh station and 8 striped marlin tagged and released. Unfortunately, the striped marlin were mainly of a small size with only one at the weigh-station making the grade; a fish of 117.4kg for Mike Harrison on Hine Moana. Mahimahi started to put in an appearance as well, with Anthony MacDonald on HSR bringing in one of 7kg. On Petal, the crew went looking for snapper and Stuart Seabourne landed the heaviest of 5.55kg and skipper Ian Hills landed one of 3kg. One kingfish was also weighed in by Joe Foster on Kingfish, weighing 10.65kg.

Day 2 was a slower start out of the blocks, with the sea a bit gigglier, but most teams went for a fish, perhaps staying inside the harbour or closer to the coast, but several boats were keen for another go at the marlin and they were still biting, with 21 hook ups for the day. The bite was slower to start but it was all on again from about 9.30am until 1pm. As the average size of marlin was less than 90kg, they were all tagged and released with all the hook ups resulting in 7 striped marlin and one small blue marlin. Allie Edwards on Fine Line managed to tag 2 striped marlin in the same day, and Eva Fulton on Ebony Smuggler tagged her 2nd marlin of the contest. A bigger mahimahi was weighed in, weighing 8.55kg for Shane Wilson on Undertaker. Yellowfin were also found by the lures and one came in for weighing, a fish of 25.40kg caught by Bryant Allen on Undertaker. Kingfish were also targeted, with Brad Hendry on All Tide Up landing the heaviest of 14.05kg on 6kg line.

Where were all the marlin?....... in the two Manuka Doctor grid squares: off Cone Rock or back of Stephenson Island in depths ranging from 80m to 160m with most being caught in 130 – 150m.

It was great this year to have so many boats and anglers take part in the contest, and with a great set of prizes from Okuma, everyone was happy at prize-giving and we didn’t have to do many lucky draws for the prizes because all the species were caught. The contest also had an early bird prize for those registering for the contest early, and Nathan Pickery on Impulsive II was the lucky winner of some cash and a set of Red Gill lures. Stuart Seabourne kept top spot with his snapper and Brad’s 14.05kg kingfish won the heaviest prize in that section. The mahimahi for Shane won him the heaviest other gamefish category, and Bryant’s yellowfin was the heaviest tuna. We had two anglers who both tagged and released two marlin, so the first prize went to the angler who tagged their last fish first, which was Allie Edwards. In fact, because there were so many tagged fish, we put in some extra lucky draws for the tagging anglers. Mike Harrison of course retained the prize for the heaviest marlin, and the fish with the most IGFA points, to win an Okuma X-Factor Roller Tip game rod and Makaira Gold game reel, split ring pliers and a Trailmaxx winch.

We look forward to a good season and this contest growing in popularity next year, thanks to Makaira Boats and all who worked to make the contest a good one.