Local fishing crew Endeavour have taken out one of most prestigious fishing tournaments in Northland, the Anglers Eldorado.
The four-man crew of Murray Hansen, Greg Thompson, Rob Annandale and Jeff Douglas won the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club's four-day event after they were the first boat to catch and release three marlin, which put them ahead of two other crews who were close behind.
Teams earned 500 points by tagging and releasing their catch.
Those who wanted to keep their fish would multiply the fish's weight by 100 and then divide it by their line class to see how many points they were awarded.
Endeavour caught three marlin over the four days with the heaviest being estimated at around 80kg. The heaviest of the tournament would go to the team named Bill Collector who reeled in a whopping 248.1kg blue marlin, but it wasn't enough to topple Endeavour.
"We had some great weather which helped, but we were very happy," Douglas said.
Douglas, who was also the club's president, had entered in the tournament for the past seven years but, until now, had been unsuccessful in winning the top prize of $10,000.
Seventeen marlin were caught on the first day which Douglas said was great number considering the time of year, and said the nature of competition fishing had contributed to the high catch rate.
"If it's an angler's first fish you'd probably spend more time taking photos and so forth, but when you're tournament fishing, you just want to get on to the next one, get the gear out and keep going."
He said he didn't use any particular strategy when it came to improving on his past seven attempts at the competition, but he was glad to be able to put his share of the money back into the club.
"Just like all these sporting clubs, we've got a lot of expenses during the year so the money will be put to good use."
Tournament convenor Andrew Johnson said four days of great fishing was all he could have asked for.
"We had more marlin caught on the first day of fishing than in the past two years so there were a lot of fish getting caught."
He put this down to the large number of boats out on the water and the skill of those who entered. Across the four days, only two marlin were kept out of the 50 which were caught.
Johnson said Endeavour's crew had been focused from the start and fished just as hard as the rest of the boats in the field.
"Most teams would fish for the four days and three nights straight so it was very competitive.
"The little difference in the few winning teams really came down to luck."
The club's next competition, Battle of the Small Boats, begins on February 16.