Power fishing competition Graeme Bee with a 13.2kg Megafish catch in 2016. Photo/NZME
The premier fishing competition at Hawke’s Bay Megafish will net more than 500 fishermen and 130 boaters after the Mission Concert-like entrance sale within a few hours of arriving at the market.
There were 450 entries for the 2022 competition in February, but Neil Price, former president of the Hawke’s Bay Sports Fishing Club and now a club director, said the entry limit for next year’s February 2-5 tournament has been raised to 550.
Nearly 500 sold within the first few hours, which means that with less than 10 left to go, all entries are “early birds,” becoming eligible for a $20,000 jackpot – a combination of the $10,000 jackpot plus to the $10,000 that was reserved for early entries.
The entry would be a record for Megafish, which would stand for a decade since it replaced the club’s Coruba tournament, first held in 1977, as an annual event for 47 consecutive years before the change in 2013, top prize valued at up to 50,000 dollar.
It was once famous as the Coruba Shark Hunt, when top prize went to the biggest catch, as the event number, a 417kg mako landed in 1999.
With the shark fishing tag long gone, Coruba’s brand persisted, becoming one of the longest-running sponsorships in New Zealand sport, but Megafish Championship ushered in all species prospects for the big prize, notching the biggest catch of any of the target species, from marlin to snapper, albacore, and jumping, based on points according to types.
In February I went to Gisborne fisherman Leon Lewis with 235kg of blue marlin hanging on the first day, matching the season when many Marlins were caught off Hawke’s Bay and the coast of Gisborne amidst warmer than average sea temperatures during the summer.
But in 2021, when weather and sea conditions shortened the event to just one day of fishing, the fisherman took home the grand prize of 20kg, and 12 months ago the grand prize was 15.09kg of albacore.
The racers will see a huge shake-up at the clubhouse as work began last week on upgrading the launch ramp and putting in new floats.
The ramp was purchased by Napier City Council in 2015, and in March the council announced that it had authorized a $547,000 contract to supply and build 123 million floating pontoons at “Nelson Boat Quay.”
The project involves the replacement of concrete supports at the top of the incline to give additional clearance in cases of extreme tides, and although it is a specific project that the club has pursued for several years and was only possible through council purchases, it has become a signal for development. other for the inner port.
The work, which involved creating piles through the existing aging slope, was done one side at a time, to enable continuous firing in a single pass.