Champagne corks pop aboard Moet

Moet stood out for all the right reasons in the four day Eldorado Gamefish Competition hosted by the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club which began on January 23.

The team aboard the Houhora-based charter vessel - which comprised Linda and Darryl Bradley from Whangaroa, and owners Lynda and Robbie Matthews - came up trumps when Linda took only 15 minutes to land the competition's first and only striped marlin at 127kg on a 15kg line (weighed at Tutukaka) giving her 846.66 points.

As well, Lynda Matthews tagged a stripey on day two gaining the team 500 more points. The Moet crew braved the 30 knot easterlies for the last two days of the competition and the fourth day eventually proved the most exciting, Lynda again to the fore in landing a nice 27.7kg shortbill spearfish (weighed at Whangaroa).

This was eventually the only fish caught on the final day out of the 18 boats in the tournament, and also the first shortbill to be weighed in by a lady angler from the Houhora Big Game and Sportsfish Club, making it the first - ergo the heaviest - shortbill landed during the 2012/13 New Zealand gamefishing season so far.

The other boat, albeit Ahipara-based, owned by the Matthews, Karizma, has also been seen hauling in some nice fish recently including decent sized kingfish, snapper and hapuka. The biggest hapuka was 42kg for local angler Rhys Hillegers adding to a 35kg hapuka also landed by a Canadian tourist.

Last but not least, one of Moet's recent trips to the Bay of Islands proved both particularly successful and very exciting for 18-year-old Amy Hopper who, in her first attempt at gamefishing, tagged and released a nice stripey estimated at 80kg. Lynda Matthews said the above fish gave evidence a promising season was at hand.

"The start of the gamefishing season is looking great with very warm sea conditions and an abundance of fish," Lynda Matthews noted.

- Northland Age

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