Hospice Mid-Northland have landed a massive winner after anglers hooked $20,000 in fundraising for the charity as part of the annual Blu Heelers fishing competition.

Sixty-five boats with 185 anglers competed in the three-day event held in the Bay of Islands last week.

The Blu Heelers Fishing Tournament was in its 21st year and attracted fishers from across the ditch.

The event has raised over $350,000 over the years with money being given to charities including Whangārei Hospice, Kids Can, and The Northland Rescue Helicopter.


This year's event raised the biggest amount yet.

Hospice Mid-Northland fundraising and awareness officer Adele Woodward said there were currently 78 patients using the service. She said only 41 percent of the running costs of the service was met by the Northland District Health Board and the rest had to fundraised.

Woodward said the amount of money donated through the fishing competition was life-changing and meant they could purchase their own medical equipment rather than having to juggle equipment between patients.

"This is a major boost for our team who help people in the most vulnerable time of the live."

Committee member Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe said anglers had thrown their weight behind the tournament and supported the raffles and auctions that boosted the coffers.

Fish caught during the three days was sold at the end of every day.

Metcalfe said only fish over 40cm could be kept and the winner was judged on landing the longest fish, rather than the heaviest. The winning snapper was 85.6cm.

Anglers were encouraged to take a photo of their fish on a measuring mat and email it to organisers then release their fish.


"We are conservation-minded and committed to sustainable fishing in the Bay of Islands," Metcalfe said.

There were snapper, kahawai and kingfish divisions along with crayfish and pack horse cray sections.

Sponsors had also come to the party with Shimano donating a huge amount of gear for prizes. One of the biggest prizes was a $7500 package from the world class resort Eagle's Nest.

A 2019 Rugby World Cup All Blacks jersey signed by players and management was donated for auctions and was sold for $3500.