Nationals 2024

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

This year the club did really well again with 17 teams and 58 anglers, comprising of teams of from 2 to 5 anglers, eager to fish all the way down to the Waikato and up to the Pandora and Middlesex Banks looking primarily for marlin. The local marlin were plentiful but small so the hunt was on for bigger fish. The team on 308 left early and went down to Waikato, and other early leavers shot up to the customary King Bank for a start. What those teams found was cold water and next to no fishing action so after a few days they worked their way back home and started to catch fish again, but towards the end of the contest! The old spots behind Stevies were still producing plenty of fish, but small ones, which are ideal for a tagging contest!

On the first day, a new boat called MJB had a lovely couple Wanda Swailes and Dave Bedford aboard, who tagged a striped marlin in 140m off Cape Brett. They were both mightily pleased with their catch. Jeff Bawden on Macksom, Nick Jowitt on Santana (an Australian overseas team) and Viv Croft on Astraea all stayed local and tagged a stripy, and November Rain were up on the Pandora Bank and managed to catch a mako shark.

On day 2 November Rain tagged a striped marlin, as did Darrin Ross on Black Pearl (a very nice new boat for Paul Robson, up from Auckland), Fernando de la Pla on Matuku up at the Middlesex Bank, and Neil Croft on Astraea and Rob Adcock on Santana, fishing locally. On day 3 Noelani at North Cape and November Rain still on the Pandora, tagged 2 more striped marlin each, and Beretta up at North Cape managed to tag 2 as well. Jeff on Macksom and Charles Pearce on new local boat Benchmark, skippered by soon to be local Paul Atmore, also tagged a stripy each. Quantum was off Parengarenga Harbour and in 280m, Paul McDermott hooked into a yellowfin tuna on 37kg line and managed to get it weighed in, tipping the scales at 57kg.

Day 4 was a much quieter day with Macksom chalking up another stripy, and Lou Yukich on Kahlua tagging his first stripy of the contest, on 24kg line, off Mt Camel. On day 5 there was another tagged striped marlin each for the teams on Black Pearl, Michele Williams on Astraea, Benchmark, Matuku who were now off the Cavallis, and Steve Isted on Kahlua. For day 6, the crew on 308 tagged their first fish, caught by Gavin McCauley on 37kg line off Raglan. Noelani off Mount Camel and Benchmark at the back of Stevies in 130m both tagged and released another striped marlin to add to their tally. Day 7 was the start of boats heading back towards home, and it brought 3 more tagged and released stripys, one each for Black Pearl, Matuku and Noelani, all fishing locally with lures.

Day 8 was the last day and Matuku tagged and released two more striped marlin, both caught in 150m behind Stephenson Island on lures. Our teams made it back and had paperwork and tackle checked, and unfortunately, some tackle did not make the grade so some catches were disqualified which is always a shame. MJB team Dave and Wanda who live in Dargaville did their checks at Tutukaka club, and 308 stayed the night at Tom Bowling Bay and took advantage of the 24 hours after the contest finishes, to get their paperwork and tackle done, so were back just in time the next day for their checks. The Council had a bit of a problem with their software getting the results out and as I write, the preliminary results have just come out, with 24 hours to check them over for any bloopers. It looks like we have the following awards:

Paul McDermott with his yellowfin is 3rd Champion NZ Angler for tuna, and Champion Line Weight Angler for tuna on 37kg line. Team Santana Australia is the top Overseas Team and the club is 2nd for the Northland Regional Varta Cup. At our AGM and Prize Giving in August we will present vouchers to our top tagging anglers: Darrin Ross, Charles Pearce, and Jeff Bawden with 3 striped marlin each, and Paul McDermott for the heaviest tuna, Paul also has won the Millie White Trophy, and our top team is Astraea who was first to tag and release the one species everyone went for: striped marlin. We do need to diversify our catch species to be able to get more points and be in to win different awards and trophies, perhaps we can interest some different teams next year to catch the other species.