Fishing - Look out for bluefin

By: Anthony Roberts

June brings us to the shortest day and the longest night. The good news is the days get longer from the June 22, so keep your heads up and keep on fishing. For those who are interested in the bluefin tuna run, June normally produces sporadic schools of them as they migrate up the East Coast. These fish can live up to 40 years and are known to dive in excess of 3000 feet. Hence when catching them they tend to dive down to almighty depths, making sure you have a fight on your hands. Although at the time of writing none of these beasts have turned up off the East Cape yet, keep a look out for the first signs of action. This normally starts from the waters off Napier, where commercial fishermen target them at this time of year. It could be all go any day now. Meanwhile, what has been good to see is the increase in the other species of tuna, namely yellowfin. It has been a few lean years for catching them, but they are ever on the increase and are currently still being pulled out of the waters off Waihau Bay.

Charles had great success straylining on the incoming tide.
Charles had great success straylining on the incoming tide.

The weather hasn’t been too kind this autumn and there have not been many opportunities for boats to target broadbill. The calm nights have been few and far between. But there has been more action on the marlin front as large schools of bait fish have been lurking around Ocean Beach between the Hen & Chicks, Mokes and the Poor Knight Islands. Where there are bait fish, there are predators, and for those who have trolled using live bait there has been success.

Snapper have been pulled out on both the East Coast as well as the Kaipara Harbour. Here is a great photo of a snapper caught by Charles whilst straylining on the incoming tide in the shallows of the Kaipara. Most of the fishing has been more productive in the shallower water as the snapper feed up for the colder winter months.

Gurnard will start coming on the bite over the next two or three months. The Kaipara always produces good-sized gurnard, so do give it a try if you haven’t already. It makes a welcome change from snapper. They taste good, too.

Anthony Roberts, Tackle & Outdoors


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