Zane Grey International One Base Fishing Tournament
First week of March, considered by some as the most stable weather conditions traditionally for the Bay of Islands but not in 2012. With a mixed forecast leading up to the event I went to Metvuw on the eve of the tournament and it’s showing 20 knots Wednesday, 15 knots Thursday 5-10 knots Friday and 5 knots Saturday. Not all bad so Trevor Hickey to the fore, let everybody know it’s not as bad as it looks, boy did I ever get it wrong.
Despite that 12 teams turned up to fish and most of them braved the conditions which not only blew 20 knots plus for the first three days but also seemed to put the marlin down as well.
On Wednesday local angler Ashley Hankinson tagged a small Hammerhead Shark on the boat Legend to get the points moving.
As would be expected in the conditions the first fish bought in to weigh was a Bronze Whaler Shark for the boat Cerveza 2 of 173 kgs.
Next was a marlin for the boat Pukematu bought in on Friday night but unfortunately it didn’t make the 90kg mark so no points there.
There were several fish called in either coming into the gear or hooking up but then being dropped probably due to the conditions and the hard lucky story must go to Pukematu who hooked u another Marlin on Saturday but then discovered they didn’t have a tag pole and lost their fish in their attempt to tag it. Had they got tags into their two marlin they would have easily won the team prize and the trip to the World Offshore Championship. However it was not to be so Cevaza 2 took out top prize with their Bronze Whaler Shark.
While the fishing wasn’t so great the shore based activities were the highlight of the event with the contribution made by the Duke of Marlborough Hotel being absolutely amazing.
Briefing was held in the Russell clubhouse on the Tuesday night and a Calcutta was also run for the event with the winning boat being the one who weighed in the heaviest billfish. Obviously not won but drawn on the last night and won by Independence who covered the bar with their winnings for the night.
Wednesday night was fish away however due to weather several boats didn’t go out or came back over night. Thursday night was the first of the return to base nights and the Duke put on a top class buffet dinner and live music for the night. It was great to sit in a still room after a day out at sea and enjoy the fantastic surroundings.
Friday night was the pinnacle event with Sir Graham Henry as guest speaker and a full sit down meal. Sir Graham’s address was inspiring and covered the Rugby World Cup win and members of the squad followed by a question and answer session. He spoke for well over an hour and I am sure all present were impressed.
Prize giving night was held at the Duke of Marlborough Tavern with a pig on the spit South Island White bait and Waggu beef buns. Prize giving was obviously over quickly and the n the party began with the Independence team putting their Calcutta takings on the bar.
Nobody won the Mercedes Benz car sponsored by Caribbean Boats and it was great to have the two owners of Caribbean Boats NZ Ltd attend the tournament, Scott and Paul White. They have confirmed that they will supply the same sponsorship next year.
A great vote of thanks must go to Anton and Rikki from the Duke who made a significant commitment to the tournament and turned on an event which had all competitors vowing to return in 2013. Planning is already under way and dates are tentatively locked in for the 6th to 9th March 2013.