With Marlin & Tuna present, not so far offshore in September, we were hoping for a very early start to our New Zealand game fishing season.
A monster Yellowtail Kingfish of 110lbs, rattling the world record, was taken from the Ranfurly Banks (weighed 2 days later) and thoughts turned evermore to the “big ones”. Amazingly, the very same angler caught a fish of 102lbs last year from White Island….who says that lightning doesn’t strike twice!
Enthusiasm was further fuelled by the sighting of a huge Black Marlin feeding in shallow water amongst large schools of baitfish, not far from Whangarei.
The subsequent strong & cool offshore winds seemed to put pay to hopes & certainly deterred the hardier fishos from making the required effort.
As the weather became more benign in December, the first of the “prospectors” began to venture out wide & the reward of the first Striped Marlin for the season fell to an angler fishing from Hokianga early in this month.
With few charter bookings & “amateurs” awaiting the approaching holiday season, it was left to a local charter operator to venture out solo from the Bay of Islands to report the next tagged Stripey, just before Christmas.
Soon after, also from the Bay of Islands, another Stripey, a good fish approaching 300lbs, was weighed in by a junior angler. This is believed to be a pending junior/line class world record.
Numbers of Yellowfin Tuna were very low last season, but the recent success of long liners has raised hopes for better things this summer. The first reported fish was a beauty of 155lbs and is right at the top of the size we can expect here and we hope for many more in the more usual 50lb range to follow.
As New Year broke an early Blue Marlin of about 465lbs was caught from Whangaroa, suggesting it’s all about to happen!