Anglers’ Eldorado International Billfish Tournament
Oceanmax will be in the beautiful Bay of Islands for this exciting sport fishing competition, long considered one of New Zealand’s best. Held 24 to 27 January, it’s all about skill.
Russell, Bay of Islands, is home to one of the oldest billfish tournaments in the world. From 24 to 27 January 2018, avid anglers from all over will be competing for over $70,000 in prizes. Oceanmax, the makers of Propspeed foul-release coating, is the tournament’s principal sponsor and will be on location shooting the event as well as participating in it, with our own Chris Gibbs, Jeff Edbrooke and mates looking forward to four days of fishing and camaraderie.
The tournament, hosted by the Bay of Islands Swordfish Club, is as much about socializing as it is fishing. Each team gets a "Mad Huey’s flag," which, when run up their rigger in the evening, serves as an open invitation to come over for a raft-up and a yarn. Vessels can berth overnight on Russell Wharf at no charge, and free moorings for tournament boats are also available in the bay.
While the competition can get fierce, the fishers don’t take themselves too seriously. The tourny’s generous purse includes a whopping 13 prize categories, including Heaviest Billfish and "Biggest F&%kup of the Tournament."
“I’ve won it before,” laughs Chris. One can only wonder how.
Last year, Diesel won the arguably more prestigious Team Most Points category, catching a 700lb blue marlin, tagging and releasing eight more billfish, and taking home $10,000.
Attending the event for the first time, Jeff says, “I’m looking forward to the chance to get out on the water and catch up with the anglers.” Maybe Chris can give him a few pointers.