As we approach mid-March the big game fishing in New Zealand is still red-hot on the coast & is shaping up to be one of the best seasons for several years.
Whilst occasional storms & shifting blue water makes relocating the heaviest concentrations of fish a necessity, the consistency of fishing remains remarkable.
Double & treble hook ups are still commonplace and I have personally heard two reports on the VHF, where four Marlin have been hooked from “pack-attacks” and, on each occasion, there were only two anglers on board……..interesting!
The size of the Striped Marlin continues to run high with the latest, highly impressive capture, pulling the scales down to 370lbs.
One of the boats competing in the prestigious 8 day, NZ Nationals Tournament, tagged a huge Stripey which was reliably estimated at over 450lbs. As the fish was caught offshore at the Three Kings Islands on only the fourth day of the tournament, the decision was made to forego the return to port to weigh the potential world record fish. It proved a good decision as the boat finished second overall with 19 Marlin.
Some good Blues continue to make their smash & grab raids before embarking upon their characteristic “ballistic” displays. A big fish was weighed at Waihau Bay recently, making 791lbs and a bigger fish was tagged & released from the same area. Its measurements calculated at a minimum of 790lbs and a maximum of 900lbs …a great fish by any fishery’s standards.
A couple of nice Black Marlin have been taken; a feisty, “green” fish of approx 485 lbs was tagged & released from the Bay of Islands and a larger fish of 873lbs was brought to the weigh-station.
The number of Yellowfin Tuna continues to be very disappointing but some very nice Big Eye Tuna have put in an appearance, particularly off Gisborne, several over the 200lb mark with a beauty of 280lbs landed at Mercury Bay.
Mahimahi are present, with some good sized fish in the mix, though unsurprisingly not in the unprecedented numbers as last season.
Shark numbers seem to be on the up with large numbers of Bronzies present, often in very shallow water & a definite increase in Mako numbers. The best Mako to date is a good fish of 497lbs but some real monsters have been seen, though the common practise now is to tag & release these magnificent predators…..at a good arm’s length!
When you want to fish the best Highlife one has to make the effort to get there, after all 3 kings has to be the meca place to fish, that and the whanganella banks one day when im old n rich i to will fish the 3 kings lol