Nationals 2023

Click Here for a link to the final results on NZSFC web site.

For once the weather was fairly reasonable for most of the Nationals fishing week, and we had an enormous contingent this season, of 20 teams, ranging from teams who have taken part in many Nationals over the years, to several teams new to the contest.

As the sea conditions were good, most teams high-tailed it out of Whangaroa and headed north, finally finding a spot to fish either on the King or Middlesex Banks. On the first day of fishing, team 5 Shades of Grey on Matuku were off to a good start with 3 T&R striped marlin, a tagged blue marlin and a tagged big-eye tuna, all from the Middlesex Bank. Gavin McCauley on team 308 also had a great first day, tagging 4 striped marlin on the King Bank.

Next day a few more of our teams had reached the banks, and on the King Bank, the Liars teams on Te Ariki Nui tagged a striped marlin, as did Steve Isted on Kahlua with 2 tags, and Roger Thompson on Viking Star with one. The November Rain team also tagged and released 2 striped marlin on the King Bank, and on the Middlesex Bank, the Matuku team tagged 2 yellowfin tuna. Sadly, 308 had stayed out on the bank overnight for a drift but by the morning their engines were caput and a rescue operation was underway to get them home safely. November Rain took time out from their fishing to tow 308 to North Cape and Demelza left Whangaroa to go and pick them up and tow them back to Whangaroa, a generous effort by both skippers to get them home safely.

On day 3 Matuku continued to steadily catch fish, with 2 more tagged striped marlin on the Middlesex, and the Late Starters on Diomedea got out to the Cavallis and Jeanette landed 2 kingfish on 10kg line, weighing 12.9kg and 16.05kg. Day 4 brought more tagged striped marlin for Matuku, Te Ariki Nui, November Rain, and Miss Chris, as Linda managed 2 tagged stripys in one day, on the Pandora Banks. Day 5 and Brendon Hosken on Matuku tagged a black marlin, estimated to be 140kg and at the other end of the scales, Cameron Cunningham on the same team, tagged a kingfish of 78cm. November Rain reeled in, tagged and released a blue and a striped marlin and Lou Yukich on Kahlua tagged a stripy for the team, at North Cape.

On day 6 Kahlua was heading southwards and had a very good day, with Lou tagging a blue marlin at North Cape, and at the Hook, Steve landed a blue marlin. Stu was taking it easy on his engines so arrived back at Whangaroa late in the night, but Laurie got up to weigh his fish which went 126.4kg, caught on 24kg line. Our other team Black Pearl managed to tag a stripy at the Garden Patch and November Rain, tagged another stripy, still on the Middlesex Bank. On day 7 most of the boats were starting to make their way southwards, towards home, but Matuku were still on the Middlesex Banks, tagging another 2 striped marlin, and Black Pearl tagged another stripy from the Garden Patch, also Quantum come across a yellowfin tuna which was landed and weighed in by Duane Putt, at 53.2kg.

On the last day, junior angler Aiden Gerrard on Catch 22 tagged a striped marlin off Takau Bay, and November Rain come back home, with Lori catching a mahimahi of 10kg at the 505, and as an added bonus, before the lures were pulled in, a stripy jumped on out the back of Stevies, and Lori tagged that too! Everyone was back home well in time to have all their catch cards, tag photos, and tackle checked, with everything was all ok. There were also quite a few visiting boats bringing in their catches to be sighted as well, which kept me and Laurie busy for some time.

Then it was a day of checking and re-checking everything and I am pleased to say that our teams won the following awards:

  • Air New Zealand Trophy - Team most pts for blues & blacks 1st – Matuku, 3rd – Kahlua.
  • Team most pts for tuna: 3rd – Matuku
  • Team most pts for kingfish: 3rd – Diomedea
  • Champion Angler for Kingfish: 3rd – Jeanette Franks
  • Champion Line Wt. Angler for Blues & Blacks on 24kg – Steve Isted (Kahlua)
  • For mahimahi on 37kg – 2nd – Lori Tanner-Somers
  • For kingfish on 10kg – 3rd – Jeanette Franks
  • Champion Blue & Black Angler – Brendon Hosken (Matuku)
  • Champion T&R Blues & Blacks: Brendon Hosken
  • For T&R Tuna: James Hoseason (Matuku)
  • Penn Tackle Trophy - Interclub for Blues & Blacks – Whangaroa 1st
  • For kingfish – Whangaroa 3rd
  • Our top team is Matuku, and they are the 3rd top team for Northland.
  • The club’s Mavis Rooke Trophy – Steve Isted with a blue of 126.4kg.

At our annual general meeting and prize-giving in August we will also be presenting Jeanette Franks, Lori Tanner-Somers, Gavin McCauley, Steve Isted and Duane Putt with $200 vouchers for weighing in the heaviest of different species, or tagging the most marlin.

To all the teams and anglers, thank you for taking part in this awesome national contest, we did really well this year.