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Island lure lands winning yellowfin tuna for Piniata

Wednesday 3 April 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Fishing, Sports


Island lure lands winning yellowfin tuna for Piniata
Skipper Katoa Piniata of the Game Fishing Rarotonga won the heaviest fish and heaviest aggregate at the BSP Easter Fishing Competition. Katoa (third left) is pictured with the fishing charter crew with their heaviest catch – a 55.85kg yellowfin tuna. MELINA ETCHES/24033002

Katoa Piniata from the Game Fishing Rarotonga charters took out both the heaviest fish and heaviest aggregate cash prizes of $1500 combined at the annual Bank of the South Pacific (BSP) Easter Fishing Competition.

The event, held in conjunction with the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club (CIGFC), took place on Saturday.

Using an island lure, Piniata said the winning 55.85-kilogram yellowfin tuna was hooked outside The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Lagoonarium, about four miles out, while taking out a fishing charter on “Lady D” on Saturday afternoon.

Angler Brodie Smith from Aotearoa New Zealand was stoked to have reeled in the heaviest fish, the heaviest he and his friends had ever weighed in.

Piniata and his deckhand weighed in two mahimahi at 17.85 and 11.90 kilos while out on another charter trip that morning.

The BSP staff Roimata Katuke, Tokoa Taringa, Ali Napa and Sandrina Kelly also participated in the competition, going out to sea with master fisherman Papa Dick Marsters.

Taringa said although their fish catch was small, she was “thrilled” that they had caught some fish on her “first fishing charter trip ever”.

“It was pretty amazing like wow did I actually catch that (although they were baby tuna),” said Taringa.

The fishing competition drew a total of 34 registered participants, weighing in a total of 29 fish.

The total qualified weighed-in fish (3kg and over) came to 305.45kg. The fish species were 22 yellowfin tuna, two mahimahi, four skipjack and a wahoo.

The BSP Easter Fishing Competition results are as follows:

Heaviest Fish: 1st Katoa Piniata, ‘Lady D’ - Yellowfin tuna 55.85 kg won $1000 cash; 2nd Kent Baxter, ‘Magken’ – Yellowfin tuna 26.30kg won $500 cash; 3rd Marah Tairi ‘Mariu’ – Yellowfin tuna 24.75kg won $300 cash.

Heaviest Aggregate: Katoa Piniata, ‘Lady D’ - total weight 29.75kg (2 x Mahimahi 17.85, 11.90kg) won $550 cash; 2nd Cameron Thorp, ‘Tamahine’ total weight 26.30kg (2 x Yellowfin tuna 22.7, 3.6) won $350 cash; 3rd Kent Baxter, ‘Magken’ – total weight 25.65kg (1 x Yellowfin tuna 21.85, Skipjack 3.8kg) won $250 cash.

Mystery Weight prize of $100 cash went to Richard Tanu, ‘Jesserani’ for his Skipjack 3.1kg.


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