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Lady luck: New division hooks biggest catch in months at CIGFC Weighmaster

Thursday 23 May 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Fishing, Sports


Lady luck: New division hooks biggest catch in months at CIGFC Weighmaster
Yellowfin tuna and skipjacks were a popular haul in the Weighmaster Fishing competition. CIGFC/24052126

In a first for the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club (CIGFC), the Weighmaster Fishing Competition introduced a women’s angler division. The women impressed, bringing in a total haul of 1011.5 kilograms – the best catch recorded in the club competitions for several months.

Twenty-four boats entered the tournament held on Saturday, May 11, with 18 women heading out to the big blue taking with them “lady luck” on the high seas.

Every woman managed to reel in a fish keeping the skippers happy.

A combined total of 122 fish was caught on the day.

First-time angler Ake Viniki-Teauiti was “thrilled” to reel in the heaviest fish in the ladies division – a 34kg yellowfin tuna onboard “Island Time” skippered by Simon Marsters.

“When we left the harbour in the early morning it was still dark and I was quite excited,” Viniki-Teauiti said.

They struck the winning fish at the Rarotongan FAD (Fishing Aggregate Device).

“I learned what a FAD was, and how to reel in a fish properly … it was so much hard work, I just collapsed after and wanted to go to sleep.”

Viniki-Teauiti said she enjoyed the fishing experience and would like to see the Game Fishing Club continue the women’s division in the next Weighmasters Competition.

The club would like to acknowledge the fishermen who took the women anglers out on their boats, and the women for participating in the event.

The competition saw a diverse range of catches, including one wahoo, one mahimahi, one rainbow runner, one marlin, 47 yellowfin tuna, and a whopping 71 skipjack tuna.

  • Melina Etches


Heaviest Fish – Women Division: 1st Ake Viniki ‘Island Time’ – Yellowfin Tuna 34.0kg wins $1000 cash + Pacific Resort $100; 2nd Marilyn ‘Mama Matapakia’  - Yellowfin Tuna 26.5kg wins $500 cash + Pacific Resort $100; 3rd Mii Nicholls ‘Velani’ -  Yellowfin Tuna 12.5kg wins $300 cash + Pacific Resort $100.

Heaviest Fish – Men’s Division: 1st Junior Ioapa ‘Bobi Marie’ – Yellowfin Tuna 31.5kg wins $500 cash, 2nd Clinton Charlie ‘Upokoina’ – Mahimahi 24.0kg wins $300 cash, 3rd Tem Strickland ‘Ikurangi’– Skipjack 12.0kg wins $200 cash.

Heaviest Aggregate: 1st Tioni William ‘Velani’ - 146.5kg (14 Skipjacks, 3 x YF Tuna) wins $300 cash; 2nd Gavin Henderson ‘Extreme’ - 14 Skipjacks, wins $250 cash; 3rd Tem Strickland ‘Ikurangi’ - 14 x Skipjacks, wins $150 cash.

Marlin Section – Maarateinga Vakapora Papai wins $200 cash plus $50 Manea Room Spa and Beauty Voucher.