NZ 6kg Light Tackle Contest 2023

Click Here for the tally                Click Here for the prize list

This year the weather was not too unreasonable for the skippers and anglers, and we had a few more entrants than normal, which was good to see. We had 10 boats and 28 anglers, and our very good major sponsor for this contest was Burnsco in Opua. We also had sponsorship from Darlin Imports with some wooden boards, which were engraved with kingfish, by Wild Gear.

On the first day’s fishing, 3 boats were out the gate early, but the majority went out around 8am and the bait was hard to come by so the first hook-ups didn’t start until around 10am. Skipper John Rowe on Blue Rules took 3 junior anglers out after kingfish, and they did well with several hook-ups, then some of the boats started getting their fish sharked so they had to move position and hopefully leave the sharks behind. The majority of anglers were after kingfish and had gone to the Cavalli Islands and off Step Island, but had to be mindful of divers in the water as the last day of a postponed spear-fishing contest was also taking place at the Cavallis. The anglers first day of effort led to 10 kingfish captures, with 5 landed and weighed in, and 5 measured, photographed and released. The heaviest fish of the day was brought in by Paul Graham on Lady Luck, who used 6kg line to land his fish of 17.9kg from 20m of water by Stevenson Island. The longest fish of the day was 101cm long, and caught by Dave Chambers on KC, on 6kg line with a live koheru at the Tea Pot. KC had 2 more kingfish for their day 1 tally, but the juniors on Blue Rules notched up 5 kingfish, with some of them using 4kg line, and fishing off Step Island.

Day 2 was an earlier start for most teams and the hook ups started before 8am and carried on at a steady pace all day up until 3pm, and the sharks knew breakfast was being served as well, with anglers just reeling in kingfish heads. For the day we had 9 kingfish and 2 snapper. The team on All Tide Up were the snapper hunters, with Brad Hendry bringing in the heaviest snapper of 5.2kg. Of the 7 kingfish landed, Jeanette Franks on Diomedea weighed in the heaviest fish of 21.3kg, caught on 6kg line with a blue koheru off Stevenson Island. This fish turned out to be a pinfish for the club as well. The longest fish was 105cm and caught and released by Tony Ward on El Pescador. An unusual occurrence for the day was a striped marlin taking 2 baits from the juniors on Blue Rules, which they had turns playing on 4kg line, for nearly 3 hours, before it popped off. Some good light tackle practice for them!

Day 3 was a bit less kind weather-wise and a couple of boats didn’t go out but the remaining boats left early to get some fishing in before the weather turned worse. Again, the bites started early and continued on steadily throughout the day, resulting in another 9 kingfish and 2 snapper. Ian Smith landed the heaviest snapper, from All Tide up, at 5.7kg. The heaviest kingfish of the day was landed by Sam Machell on Scrawny, who had been the angler on the spot, all of the contest, so had a good fish tally himself. His fish weighed 19.2kg, which was closely followed by a fish of 18.4kg for Tony on El Pescador. On El Pescador, they had one kingfish where they were sharked at the boat, so only got the head back, which weighed around 15kg on its own!  The longest fish of the day at 101cm were caught and released by Brian Pringle and Dave Chambers on KC.

For prize-giving; the crew on All Tide Up took out the snapper prizes, no one caught a kahawai, and Charlie Rowe on Blue Rules won the Reo Cup with 889 points from 3 fish, and was the junior angler with the heaviest fish of 13.45kg on 4kg line as well. Sam Machell on Scrawny won the Challenge Cup No.1 with a tally of 1276 points from 5 fish. Jeanette won the Kingfish Lodge Trophy for the heaviest kingfish and the coveted Diomedea Cup – the important trophy !!! was won by the kingfish champions on KC, who had a tally of 1698 points from 8 fish.