Club NZ National Fishing Tournament 2023

Click Here for the fish tally                         Click Here for the prize list

This year we had 6 clubs, 20 boats and 56 anglers taking part, and for once, the weather and sea conditions were lovely for the competition.

The first day it was quite busy with catches during the morning, but the activity petered out later in the day, but we had a qualifying kahawai of 2.2kg for James Wilkinson on Slainte for Kamo Club, some 'other' species came to the weigh-station; some grandaddy hapuka and a hapuka, and the best snapper of the day was caught by Scott Williams (South Taranaki Club) on Spongebob - 2.7kg. Biggest fish of the day weighed in were kingfish with Cheryl Silich on Shifty II (WSFC) landing a fish of 15.1kg and David Wright on Reel Life (Ngunguru Club) landing a kingfish of 15.05kg. Mike on Shifty II managed to tag a kingfish as well, as did Brett Larmer on Liberator (WSFC). On Kahlua, Murray Swann fishing for the Quota Club tagged and released a striped marlin, estimated to be about 70kg. On day 2 the weather was good again and the radio was quiet but we had plenty of snapper, some kingfish, kahawai, mahimahi and john dory on the weigh-station.

At prize-giving there was plenty of fishing and boating gear from our sponsor who was Chris at Burnsco in Opua, and a few trophies to be awarded. Pam Williams on Spongebob had the only prize for a caught trevally, and the Kamo Club anglers Steve Boobyer and James Wilkinson gained kahawai prizes, as did Graham Robinson from the Ngunguru Club for a 2.1kg fish on braid. All the prizes were won in the snapper section with the South Taranaki team on Spongebob winning 3 of the 8 categories, Kamo Club another 3, and Northland Club and our home Whangaroa team picking up one prize each. The heaviest snapper of the contest weighed 8.2kg and was caught by Graham Forbes, fishing on Ocean Rider, for the Kamo Club.

The kingfish section was also taken up with prizes for fish caught, and Paul Sullivan on Whatever for the Kamo Club caught the heaviest kingfish of 18.2kg. Our own Cheryl Silich on Shifty II had 2nd place with a kingfish of 15.1kg and a close 3rd was David Wright from Ngunguru Club with a fish of 15.05kg. The heaviest other species turned out to be a mahimahi caught on Astraea by Marcus Emerson, weighing 8.3kg. All the tuna prizes were lucky drawn and there was only 1 marlin for the contest, the one tagged and released on Kahlua by Murray Swann fishing for the Quota Club. Burnsco provided a great prize for a lucky angler draw, and a very happy William Rogers won a shiny new 150L chilly bin. The committee also decided to award a hard luck prize, and that was won by Ross Moffat on Spongebob. The skipper Scott told the story that Ross had been on a fish for 2 hours and kept asking if he could put the drag up “no, don’t touch the drag!” would be the answer again and again. After 2 hours of getting nowhere the answer changed to “ok then, put the drag up”, then off popped the fish…. Gutted !!! Ross did win an Edge 80cm cool bag for his troubles.

After working out the points for the trophies, Kamo Club won the national and northern area trophies with 430 points, and with only half the anglers they usually have! They are just too good for us; we will have to pull our socks up! South Taranaki Club were 2nd with 250 points, Whangaroa 3rd with 160 points, Ngunguru and Quota Club equal 4th with 150 points, and Northland Club were 5th with 80 points.

It was great to meet Chris from Burnsco and have him present the prizes, and meet the anglers from the other clubs, it’s always good to see them and have a friendly competition. Whangaroa next year perhaps……….