With our game season now fully underway, catch reports are coming in thick & fast.
Striped Marlin are around in good numbers all around the coast of the top half of the North Island, with the Bay of Islands currently offering as consistent fishing as anywhere.
The largest Stripey, so far, has been taken in the Bay of plenty and weighed 315lbs.
Also in the Bay of Plenty, Waihu Bay has been firing for Blues as well as Stripies and we can expect to soon hear reports of big Blues landed or breaking free as is the norm in this location at this time of year.
The best Blue, to date, came from the Coromandel and pulled the scales down to 584lbs.
Four Black Marlin have been tagged & released, with the largest estimated at 575lbs, a good fish but we know much larger fish prowl our reefs….if only more effort was made to find them!
Yellowfin Tuna have gone scarce after some early season promise, with just a very occasional fish taken & usually much smaller than the early run.
Spearfish continue to be taken in greater numbers than usual & there have been plenty of Albacore around. Mahimahi are hiding under any significant lump of flotsam in northern waters and the implementations of FADS would surely improve the fishery for these beautiful little battlers.
Most unusual capture occurred during an early season trip to the renowned Three Kings Islands. A mix of bottom & game fishing had already produced some good Kingfish (Yellowtail) and Hapuka (Wreckfish) to 145lbs.
Three nice Striped Marlin complimented the growing catch total and when a game reel’s ratchet sounded at midday, it seemed as if a fourth was on its way. To everyone’s amazement this billfish turned out to be a Broadbill!
Rarely seen during the hours of daylight and, if so, rarely feeding….. the chances of one powering in to take a lure, trolled at 8 knots, is very rare indeed.
A small fish by NZ standards, at approx 220lbs, it responded in the manner expected of its species to put up “one hell of a scrap”.