A spell of poor weather and the lack of charter bookings has led to a pretty quiet ending for our game fishing season.
Lack of effort leads to lack of results which, in turn makes anglers assume that it’s all over.
This is simply not the case and was proven last week when one of the few boats to try caught two nice Striped Marlin, with one going an impressive 340lbs.
Back in April, the biggest (so far!) was taken by a local angler. At 433lbs this Stripey was his first….what a way to start!
The upside of attention being taken away from Marlin has been greater effort made for Broadbill Swordfish. For many, these fish are the ultimate challenge for the saltwater angler and a successful capture is very prestigious.
The potential here for big swords is better than most places in the world but this potential goes mostly untapped by all but a very few. Their distribution is also very widespread around New Zealand, unlike the Marlin which only visit the northern waters.
The advent of deep daytime fishing is certainly increasing the popularity of this sport, as many don’t fancy the long night time battles. Results are very encouraging though slow trolling at night still seems more productive.
Several good swords have been caught with one boat getting a couple in one go and some very good ones have been lost, as is often the case with these elusive, soft-mouthed, fearless predators.
An estimated 650-700lb fish pulled the hook after a back breaking 6-hour struggle but, at the other end of the spectrum, a couple of boats have been very lucky indeed.
A lone angler who was deep-water fishing from Gisborne had a solid hook up which eventually proved to be a Broadbill of large proportions. This fish was too much for the solitary fisherman to drag aboard, so he gutted it and tried again. It was still too heavy so he towed it back to harbour where the empty fish thumped the scales down to 572lbs.
A young fella from Auckland fancied a try out the back of Great Barrier Island from Auckland and….would you believe it….hooked up, hook held and four hours later boated a fat sword of 605lbs. There must be something in this beginner’s luck…..trouble is that it’s all downhill for them from now on!
As we move in to winter, thoughts turn to the short, but productive, giant Bluefin Tuna fishery, where a different variety of sea monster can be taken on.