The amazing Bluefin Tuna fishery off the South Island is preciously short in length; so bad luck with the weather over this winter’s season has made the available forays, out hunting these huge fish, even more precious.
The smaller Southern Bluefin were around in July but, as of last year, the big Northern cousins didn’t arrive until a week into August. By mid-September the fishing is pretty much over for another year….but what fishing!
One exhausted group caught seven large specimens in a forty-eight hour trip. Six fish were tagged & released with the seventh kept for the freezer, shared between the participants.
T & R is becoming the norm for the fishery, with just exceptional fish weighed & the odd one kept for human consumption.
This has to be good news for what is currently uniquely available in the world of big game fishing.
These valuable fish have repeatedly been over-fished to near extinction elsewhere in the world.
An extensive satellite tagging programme has taken place for the second consecutive year, which will enable the scientists to learn more about these impressive fish.
Plenty of fish around the 500lb bracket were tagged with the largest estimated between 750 – 800lbs.
A claim has been made for a women’s 130lb line class world record.
As the days become longer and the sun starts to feel warmer, the many fine weather fishermen are dusting off the tackle for the coming season.
Albacore are already showing in the Bay of Plenty; both the size & numbers of Snapper & Yellowtail Kingfish will steadily increase and the first Marlin sightings are likely to be reported around Christmas…..can’t wait!