Fishers eagerly look forward to the summer each year. November brings the snapper on thick and easy, as they school up in large numbers and prepare for their annual ritual of spawning. Labour weekend saw some good snapper catches in depths of 30 to 50 metres around the cable area. Sliders worked very well for anglers, who managed to have a great day and bag some great fish. The main lure colour used was orange, and this has been the go-to colour for the last three or four years. Depending on wind and current, jigs of 100g at the lightest and up to 150g are the preferred weight. Snapper are bottom feeders, and you need to get right down to the bottom if you want to snag the bigger fish.
Jeanette Franks took 1 hour and 45 minutes to land her world-record kingfish.
On the kingfish front, some good fish came out during October as the birds started to follow large schools of small pilchards from Little Barrier down toward Tiritiri Matangi Island. A lot of workups have also been around Kawau Island and some good kingfish were caught over Labour weekend. The top kingi story, and another record for New Zealand, came during the winter months when skipper David Franks put his partner Jeanette on to a world record kingi. For those of you that think heavy tackle and a game rod is the only way to catch these fish, think again. This fish was caught on only 2kg monofilament. Using live bait and a light overhead rod and reel, Jeanette worked long and hard (1 hour, 45 minutes) to finally land the fish. Weighing in at 13.26kg this is a new world record. Jeanette had to wait patiently for the line to be tested, firstly in New Zealand and then in the US. Although confirmed as a new record on the International Game Fish Association website, Jeanette is still waiting for the official certificate to arrive in the post. Due to Covid, it is taking a long time for mail to travel around the world.
Meanwhile, well done Jeanette! Please note that she has been fishing for this record for a number of years, now so please don’t think it is a fluke. In 2016, she missed another world and New Zealand record attempt in the 4kg line class, when the fish landed weighed in at 25.16 kg. The weight to beat still stands at a whopping 25.4 kg.
Of course, let’s not forget the kahawai that have also been around in large numbers while the workups have been happening. Kahawai are great fighters, jumping and shaking the lure vigorously while on the line and making them fun to land. Just remember to “match the hatch” when casting a lure into the workup. Lures larger than the food source will be seen as just another predator and not as bait.
Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors