2019 DECORO SNAPPER KINGFISH TOURNAMENT REPORT
The Snapper Kingfish comp for some reason always feels like the first tournament for the year. Spring is in the air, the days are getting warmer and longer and the kingies are starting to bust up bait on the surface, plus there always seem to be a few really big snapper around.
The team at Decoro this year emphasised a real desire to run an event that was fun and had as little impact on the resource as possible. To achieve this we revisited the tournament prizes schedule and basically redistributed the value into those Measure and Release categories. Not only this we expanded the M&R sections ensuring that everyone who came in the top five for both snapper and kingfish walked away with a nice Penn combo as well as a bunch of tackle and merchandise. Still having weigh prizes ensures that anglers can still keep fish if they wish and gave anglers flexibility with fish that didn’t survive capture could also be submitted. They just aren’t worth as much at prize giving time. It’s a formula that really does work. The fact we had 123 anglers turn up last weekend to essentially release many of their best fish speaks volumes as to how seriously our anglers value the resource we have!
The weather again this year was a pretty tough call with some conflicting forecasting and the potential for wind on the last day of the event. After waiting for the final updates as a group we decided that the weather window looked like we could comfortably get the comp underway but with the wind due sometime after lunch on Sunday we pulled the weigh station hours forward with final weigh time at 4pm.
There was only one crew through the weigh station on Saturday and that was the team off Marlin with young Ashton Edwards weighing a beautiful 5.8kg Snapper, this one later claiming third place in the weigh snapper category and heaviest fish for a junior. Well done Ashton!
Day two turned on the calm weather and with that the boat ramp carparks looked absolutely chocka! The majority of reports seemed to be suggesting slow fishing out there, however there were rumours abound of some very large snapper being caught so this predictably made the weigh in all the more exciting.
Only one kingfish made the length for a legal weigh at 1m long, and it was Mark Armistead claiming first place in this section with a 15.8kg kingy. Other than this all other kingfish were submitted in the M&R category, 22 in total and some nice one too with Stu Roberts fishing on Nailed it picking up the best of them at 114cm (Smart Marine grid) and also winning the Dave Foley Memorial Trophy for the longest Kingfish. The longest fish for a junior was claimed this year by Mason De Raat with a respectable 87cm kingfish.
In the Snapper weigh section Tony Brown managed to pip the competition with a 6.36kg fish and Jamie Lee just behind with a 5.84kg. In total only 12 snapper weighed this year compared to 27 fish submitted in the M&R category.
This year it was heart-warming to see so many large snapper being caught and returned to the water to fight another day. The top four in the Snapper M&R section were over 70cm, the biggest of these a whooping 85cm beast (est 12kg) caught by David Wallace fishing on board Free Flo, this one out of the Generation Homes sponsors grid!
The final accolades were shared by the team on board In Pursuit winning the Decoro Team Trophy. This one was for the longest combined length of a Kingfish and Snapper. It was close with the In Pursuit team clocking up 175.5cm, Free Flo 174cm and Nailed It on 172cm! Well done to all of you!
Finally thanks to all of our anglers that turned out and supported the event and in turn supported the Club and Sponsors – Decoro, Rock Gas Tauranga, Penn Tackle and Heartland Homes! This is one very cool event, made all the better for the people involved and supporting it!
We can’t wait for next year!