The visiting fishermen on board Te Manga skippered by George Koteka were all stoked to take part reeling in the fish.
“It felt unreal, it’s the biggest fish I’ve ever (helped) reeled in,” said Thomas Piclin one of the visiting fishermen on the trip.
James Dullard on holiday from Australia said, “it’s pretty amazing, it was a team effort to get it landed.”
The fish was hooked by the Fish Aggregating Device near the airport, taking approximately 20 minutes to get on board.
Vakatini Ariki (Papa Joe) also took part in the day’s event fishing with Junior Ioapa bringing in a 50.1kg striped marlin.
The fish was not counted in the competition as it was under the minimum weight of 90kg (for marlin only); for their efforts they received the “hard luck” award for the evening.
A notable number of 33 boats registered for the Bond Store Steinlager fi shing event.
The awards are as follows:
- Heaviest Fish: 1st yellowfin tuna 67.4kg, skipper - George Koteka, boat – Te Manga;
- 2nd mahi mahi 22.6kg, skipper - Nga Katuke , boat - Jnr Boy;
- 3rd mahi mahi 20.9kg, skipper Tangi Akama , boat – Lady Simeki.
-Heaviest Aggregate : 1st 33kg, skipper - Alfred Story, boat – Vahine Koka;
- 2nd 21.1kg, skipper - Tioni William, boat – Velani;
- 3rd 20.3kg, skipper – Don Beer, boat – Trader Don.
- Kent Baxter received a special prize for the youngest fisherman out at sea, and Papa Ina Kaukura collected the lucky boat draw.