Life for Tony Orton as a charter operator in Mangawhai Heads, New Zealand, looks a little something like this…

“I’ll leave the dock at first light, so that we can get to the local beach to catch the live bait we’ll use for the day,” Tony said.

“Once that’s done, I’ll head 30 miles offshore to the Mokohinau Islands, where I’ll most likely have the only boat in the area. Our fishing charter operation is world class, and we really are the only charter to fish out there.”

Tony and his wife Bea run Offshore Adventures, as well as the media company Journey of a Fisherman, and it’s safe to say that life for the couple and their two children is all about the sea.

The Mokohinau Islands on the outer edge of the Hauraki Gulf can be a difficult place to fish. With full exposure to the ocean and high susceptibility to bad winds – it’s a place that a charter operator would only go with confidence in themselves, their crew and their gear.

Tony has been a professional fishing guide for the last 25 years, and each charter has a crew of four – so that’s the trustworthy team sorted.

And for gear, he recently made the change to Mercury Diesel 3.0L V6 270hp sterndrive paired with a Mercury Sea Core Bravo Three X drive on his Extreme 795XST vessel “STELLA”.

“A priority for us is to be loyal to our sponsors, so changing to Mercury wasn’t something that we took lightly. But they’re constantly pushing the boundaries for new gear, they’re really at the forefront of new technology,” Tony said.

“I’m over the moon with our new engine, from the safety and reliability to the ride, to the fuel savings – I really couldn’t be happier.

“We used to run boats with two outboards on the back, so if something ever happened to one you knew you would have the other to rely on. Having only one bigger engine, you have to be really certain in its ability to get you through any conditions – particularly being on our own so far from the coast. Thankfully, we can put a lot of trust in the Mercury.

“The change to the diesel makes a lot of sense for us, the boat has a flat transom so we can walk all around the back and not lose any fish. It’s also incredibly easy to service maintenance because the touch points are so accessible.

“The ride is incredible, and we need a lot of power to get across the bar and the waves to get to the Islands. The power is in the right place for our boat. Additionally, the engine configuration keeps the weight down to ensure a soft ride.

“Plus, with fuel prices going through the roof, game fishing has become much more economical with our savings of more than 40L each day.”

In fact, at a cruise speed they’re burning only 1.5L per nautical mile, and at trolling speed of 6.5 knots they’re burning about 6L an hour.

“Our charters have a commitment to sustainability and as little disruption of the environment as we can, so we never anchor when fishing to prevent damaging the sea floor. As a result, we’re always trolling – so these numbers and savings are excellent for us.”

All of this means one thing for Tony and the team – better fishing for the Offshore Adventures charter customers.

The challenge of fishing in the Mokohinau Islands also brings the promise of reefs holding trophy snapper and mighty kingfish – if you know where to look.

And it’s pretty clearly from the impressive catches that Tony and his customers have had over the years, that he knows where to look!

More about the Mercury Diesel 3.0L V6 230-270hp Sterndrive

  • Water-cooled variable geometry turbocharger design (VGT) plus state-of-the-art engine control system means substantial improvements in acceleration and top speed and reduced time to plane.
  • Corrosion resistant with thermostatically controlled closed water-cooled system – the SeaCore ® system. Water-cooled engine oil, gear oil and steering fluid decrease engine-room temperatures, extending engine life its available for the ultimate in saltwater protection.
  • DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) compatible for sterndrive, inboard, diesel and outboard engines uses integrated technology to make rigging the boat easier and means smooth and ultra-responsive throttle performance with zero hesitation and full integration with SmartCraft* digital technologies.

More about the Mercury Diesel 3.0L V6 230-270hp Sterndrive

  • Water-cooled variable geometry turbocharger design (VGT) plus state-of-the-art engine control system means substantial improvements in acceleration and top speed and reduced time to plane.
  • Corrosion resistant with thermostatically controlled closed water-cooled system – the SeaCore ® system. Water-cooled engine oil, gear oil and steering fluid decrease engine-room temperatures, extending engine life its available for the ultimate in saltwater protection.
  • DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) compatible for sterndrive, inboard, diesel and outboard engines uses integrated technology to make rigging the boat easier and means smooth and ultra-responsive throttle performance with zero hesitation and full integration with SmartCraft* digital technologies.

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