The gamefishing season is now well under way for the Ahipara Gamefish Club with some impressive specimens being produced at the weigh station in recent weeks.
The most notable catch of the season to date saw Gavin Veza and the crew on board Aquaholic reeling in a 130kg black marlin earlier this month. It came after a late start to the morning for Aquaholic, which didn't head out until 8.30am where the crew discovered they were on the only boat fishing off Ahipara that morning.
The weather reportedly wasn't the best, neither was the water temp, and it was a very quiet day to begin with and no action to speak of in the usual hotspot.
The crew decided to head north to find better water and scout potential spots for a planned fishing trip on Waitangi Day where, in a patch of cold green water, Veza took "a strike out of nowhere".
Despite the black putting on a good aerial display, Veza had it boatside 45 minutes after hook-up.
"It was certainly a day of firsts," he said, "The first gamefish for me, first gamefish for my boat, first black marlin for the Ahipara Gamefishing Club, and the second black marlin for the New Zealand gamefishing season," said Veza, adding he couldn't have caught the fish without an "awesome crew" alongside of skipper Nick Herbert and Cory Petera on the leader.
Another standout catch for the club came with Asher Peters jnr reeling in a massive snapper at 9.33kg at Rangaunu Bay on January 27, which gave him the lead in the snapper section of the club's Juniors Addicted to Fishing Challenge.
The club is now preparing to host the inaugural Best of the West competition from this Saturday to next Tuesday, February 16-19.
The event has already sold out with 50 boats competing for huge cash prizes, including the main one of $10,000 for heaviest striped marlin.
This will be followed closely by the 15th Radz Invitational, the annual 24-boat West Coast Challenge between current holders Muriwai and Ahipara. Later in March, the AGC will run its annual ladies' competition featuring TradeZone Addicted to Fishing presenter, Nicky Sinden.
* For more information, download the club app or visit its facebook page. For membership inquiries, contact Lynda Matthews (021) 132-5352.