Ken Pascoe is the skipper of this lovely vessel and you’ll find him the perfect host to ensure your customer-orientated experience is as memorable as possible. With Ken in charge, flexibility with guests is the key to a successful and satisfying trip.
With 25 years experience in the corporate world and as a passionate fisherman, especially for game species, you are assured maximum effort and best results.
Ken grew up in Auckland sailing and fishing, a member of RNZYS since a teenager, he was selected to be the general manager of the club for the first successful Americas Cup 2000 defence.
Over 20,000 ocean miles almost all in small to medium motor vessels, Ken has skippered Gladiator to the Pacific Islands three times. In 2010 he took Gladiator to the remote Chesterfield reef located in the coral sea some 1500 miles from New Zealand chasing Dog Tooth Tuna and Giant Trevally. This year Ken also took Gladiator to the Chesterfield reef four times.
During the 2016 gamefishing season Ken and Donna, along with the crew of Brad and Matt competed in the National tournament. Donna won the Champion Angler for tag and release striped marlin with 13, Champion Angler tag and release billfish , 1st tag and release Blue/Black Marlin, 2nd in tag and release tuna, 3rd in tag and release shark and 2nd team overall.
There were just under 1,700 anglers in this 8 day tournament this year.
In 2014 Donna caught a world record Pacific Bluefin Tuna weighing 411.6kg. This fish earned Donna two world records, the women’s 60kg lineweight and the All Tackle world record. Donna was also awarded the best world record of 2014 at the International Gamefish Association in Florida at an awards evening in April 2015.
In August 2015, Ken and Donna set out to target the womens 60kg lineweight Southern Bluefin Tuna world record and achieved this with an 60kg tuna.
In 2010 Ken and his wife Donna, fishing without crew, won the Kingfish Lodge Easter tournament with the heaviest billfish. Donna has also won top Striped Marlin and Billfish angler at Houhora Game Fishing Club in 2008, the heaviest blue marlin, most tagged and released marlin and angler with the most points in 2010/11 and the heaviest blue marlin and 1st marlin landed in 2011/12. She also won the 1st weighed marlin for NZ in the 2011/12 season. Ken was awarded top skipper prize at the Houhora One Base in 2005.
During the Nationals in 2013 Donna caught and weighed a world record bronze whaler shark.
Brad Bennetto is our full time crew. Brad grew up in a mad keen fishing family in the Whangarei area. Brad has extensive gamefishing experience and had a packed 2015 season before joining Gladiator in January 2016. In 2015 Brad fishing on Arenui January through May in the Three Kings area specializing in dead baits and tease and switch as well as fly fishing. After Arenui Brad joined a number of kiwi crews and headed to Kona and fished for 12 weeks targeting big blues and yellowfin.
Brad was asked to join the Guy Jacobsen/John Batterton operation fishing on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia targeting world record blacks. He joined Gladiator in 2016.
Matt Barchet is our full time gamefishing crew. Matt did the 2015 and 2016 successful seasons with us. Matt comes from a well known Whangaroa based charter family and grew up sportfishing jigging for kingies.
Matt has skippered privately, a number of large gamefishing vessels over the years. Matt has extensive engineering skills and was responsible for keeping Gladiator fully operational during the busy gamefishing season on our long stay away trips.