One of New Zealand’s biggest tuna tournaments to date

11 Jan 2022

One of New Zealand’s biggest tuna tournaments to date


The Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club’s Top ten Tuna Tournament prizegiving on Saturday evening last week topped off a busy day on the water. One blue marlin, four striped marlin and three shortbill spearfish were weighed, and club members tagged and released four striped marlin. One of the tuna that shared the top spot in the eight-day tournament was also caught on Saturday.

With 233 anglers fishing from 87 boats, the tournament was one of the biggest tuna tournaments in New Zealand to date. “I’m stoked with how the tournament went,” says John Booker, tournament coordinator. “Maybe we’ve expected more tuna to be caught, but some very good other gamefish have been weighed or tagged and released and, most importantly, everyone seemed to have enjoyed their time on the water.” 

The tournament was sponsored by Suzuki and Whitianga’s Pacific Coast Marine & Diesel.

Phillip Holland and Beau Hamilton finished equal first in the tournament, each with a yellowfin tuna weighing 35.5kg. For their effort, they both took home $3,100 cash. Phillip fished from the vessel Hookum and Beau was on On Tap. Mac O’Connor, fishing from Blue Seas, rounded out the top three with a yellowfin tuna of 33.8kg. He took home a cash prize of $1,600.

In total, $11,800 was given away to the top 10 placegetters.

Five lucky anglers have also won a 2.5hp Suzuki outboard engine, valued at $1,300 each.


Pictured: John Booker (on the right) with the tournament’s top three finishers. From the left: Mac O’Connor, Phillip Holland and Beau Hamilton (next to John).