Great Barrier 2016 One Base Tournament
“It doesn’t get any better than that”
… was a consistent comment at the WGFC 2016 One Base – stunning weather and unprecedented numbers of gamefish. Combine that with a massive prize pool and a bunch of great people and BOOM, that’s a One Base we’ll remember for a long time! The weeks leading into the comp were ideal, consistent northerly and easterly breezes.
Loads of hook ups not far off Barrier and the Mokes, and plenty of skippies (until the seiners hoovered them up the week before). 112 anglers on 30 boats tagged and released 22 marlin and 9 marlin were weighed. No one can remember a ‘Barrier tournament cracking double marlin digits, let alone over 30! The 60% T&R rate is to be commended. There was also a spearfish, yellow-fin tuna, and some sharks sporting new jewellery (tags). Day One was Friday 29th and it dawned like it does in those adverts for tropical holidays.
Plenty of teams got cracking early and were rewarded with some early hook ups, but there was a definite bite time around 11am when Jade on Game Keeper skippered by Steve Parkes tagged a stripie while fishing down from Tutukaka.
This year we had 31 more anglers and 6 more boats than the previous year. Many hit the 155, at different times of the day you’d swear there was a regatta of some sorts on! Free jumpers and marlin just cruising on the surface were frequent sights, the marlin seemingly unfazed by the boat traffic.
Friday was the stay away night and some boats put up with a slight wobble at the top of ‘Barrier. The few that overnighted at the Mokes got less sleep, but it was way better than what we’re used to in this event.
Saturday dawned like the day before. Yup, a pinch confirmed we’re not dreaming! Another day in paradise chasing gamefish.
Again there was a distinct bite time and the radio ran hot with hookups around 11am—12:30pm. There’s a buzz at the weigh-station because there’s some good fish coming in. Tag cards and weigh sheets were pouring in. The gantry was ably run by Clive, thanks mate.
Changing our Saturday night gathering from Smoke-house Bay to The Landing happened because there was just so many fish to weigh in.
Our first 6 potential travelers were drawn and they received our traditional numbered paper plate. A bit of partying was in order for crews that only catch up at this event. It’s not just about the fishing. Antics includ-ed swimming to random boats and diving off in the shape of a starfish, rowing in circles, and tagging large bronze whaler sharks in the harbour. And that was just ONE person! Legend.
Sunday was a slow start for some. There were patch-es of pretty intense rain, depending on where you were, and then back to sunshine by early afternoon. Time for rafting up and some drinks before walking up the hill to the Fitzroy Boating Club that we’d hired for the event.