Despite not being the greatest "fish-wise", the Ahipara Gamefish Club still enjoyed a "fantastic" season and one in which the ongoing growth enjoyed over previous years continued.

These comments were made by outgoing president Robbie Matthews at the AGC's annual end-of-season prizegiving and dinner on Saturday.

Matthews applauded the successes of the past season, and described the growth in membership as "phenomenal" especially in terms of the many younger anglers coming through.

"We started with a group of mates in January 2006, and have risen to 352 members this past season. It shows we are on the right path," Matthews told the gathering, held in conjunction with the club's AGM.


"It has been a fantastic year for the Ahipara Gamefish Club, not so much fish-wise, but with the contests and events that we have held during the season."

The evening allowed the club to celebrate all the notable catches, recognise the many trophy winners and acknowledge the many other significant achievements.

That included the successful running of the inaugural Best of the West competition in March where local man Jay Sharp weighed in a 140.5kg marlin to claim the second-place prize of $5,000, while the first prize of $10,000 went to the Out West team, skippered by Muriwai Gamefish Club president Stan Phillips.

"The Best of the West competition has taken the club to the next level and will help us to continue on with further growth ... the support of the Kaitaia Golf Club and the use of their facilities has made this tournament a screaming success."

March was a particularly busy time for the club.

The week after the Best of the West, the annual invitational RADZ Challenge tournament was held with Ahipara taking back the coveted trophy thanks to a good win over their Muriwai counterparts.

Karizma, with Leighton Matthews as skipper, was the top boat in this year's RADZ despite some anxious moments at the weigh station while the team weighed in their last striped marlin which tipped the scales at 90.5kg.

The annual AGC Ladies Competition weekend, in its second incarnation, was also considered another major highlight with the women anglers enjoying reasonable weather for a change and catching three marlin, first place going to Ra Simeon with a 117.5kg specimen, as well as some decent snapper, the biggest of which at 8.8kg by Vanya Sullivan almost made the prestigious 20lb club.


Also notable was Gavin Veza weighing in the first black marlin caught in club history at 130kg.

• A full list of the prize winners from the Ahipara Gamefish Club's 2018/19 season is forthcoming.