But if you are keen for a South Pacific angling experience with a small but like minded group, with the chance of tangling with a blue marlin and other tropical species such as wahoo, sailfish, mahimahi and yellowfin tuna, then do we have a deal for you!
For the last 17 years New Zealand Fishing News has hosted the annual event which in 2018 takes place from 19 to 27 October, encompassing our Labour Weekend. Recent tournaments have been run out of the Tongan Beach Resort, right on the sheltered shores of the Port of Refuge harbour, Vava’u, Tonga.
This is an idyllic setting where the emphasis is on laid back hospitality, ensuring the participants get a true feel for the island way.
The trip is over eight nights this year, an extra night thrown in to cater for the quirks of airline scheduling. Fishing takes place with teams of four over four days, with crews drawing for a different boat each day.
There are no guarantees – like any fishing – but it is a case of expect the unexpected. Last year before heading away on the trip, Kaikohe’s Trish Muldrock had never caught a marlin. By the end of four day’s fishing, Trish had not only lost her billfish virginity, but had claimed champion angler honours and was part of the winning Red Herrings team. Trish weighed in the heaviest marlin of the contest, a 226kg blue, as well as landing a 35.5kg sailfish and a 14.5kg mahimahi.
Prizes are not huge. Trish took away a cheque for $1000 as the champion angler. The bulk of the other top honours earned the anglers trophies and local carvings.
The event is hosted by Nod Kininmont and New Zealand Fishing News managing editor Grant Dixon with assistance from the Vava’u Sportfishing Association which helps with the logistics of the event. Reputable travel company travel&co make the travel arrangements and can create an itinerary for anyone wanting to stay on and explore the Kingdom of Tonga further.
Funds raised from the boat and team calcuttas goes towards maintaining the FAD’s located around the island which are an essential part of the area’s fishing success.
06 July 2018