With the La Nina weather pattern bringing warm humid conditions and a prevailing north easterly, we expected and hoped for an early start to the game fishing season.
Sightings of flying fish, Manta Ray and cruising Hammerheads made things feel right and the arrival of vast schools of Skipkack Tuna increased expectations to the extent that the occasional boat couldn’t resist the urge to explore.
The rewards to the ”fuel gamblers” have been the first Striped Marlin of the season off Tutukaka, where another boat spotted a tailer. A very early Mahimahi was taken off Whangaroa and this beautiful harbour also witnessed the weigh-in of a very large Yellowfin Tuna of 150lbs. With the scarcity of the latter over the last few seasons, we hope this fish heralds an increase in numbers this summer.
These early captures are sure to prompt a few more boats to venture forth away from the abundant schools of inshore Snapper, which usually dominate the attention of anglers at this time of year.
February is usually the safe bet for the arrival of Blue Marlin but my guess is that the first could be encountered before the New Year, if anyone is prepared to go out wide enough.